Taking a closer look at Alzheimer's disease Thursday

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By The Staff

Take a closer look at Alzheimer’s disease with Dr. Gnana Gnanakaran as he deeply examines the molecular aspects of Alzheimer's disease and approaches to prevention Thursday.

Gnanakaran’s talk, which is part of the four-part Alzheimer’s lecture series, will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bradbury Science Museum.

He will explain protein folding, misfolding and aggregation and how they could lead to human diseases. While Gnanakaran admits he is not a medical person, specifically an immunologist, his thesis work with a focus on physical chemistry has an emphasis on solute-solvent interactions.

Following his Ph.D. work, Gnanakaran became interested in conformational dynamics of peptides in aqueous environment. He joined Los Alamos National Laboratory with an interest of utilizing efficient computer algorithms to understand how proteins fold into their native shape.

“Specifically, I wanted to understand how a linear chain of amino acids is able to adopt a unique three-dimensional protein structure that is essential for its function,” Gnanakaran said.

The doctor had two motivations for coming to Los Alamos. The first was the possibility of working with his former mentor, Angel Garcia. Garcia is a world-renowned scientist and a protein folding expert.

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