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Disque Hall, Room 919, 32 South 32nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104


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Physics Colloquium: Alzheimer’s Plaque Formation at the Molecular Level: A Computational Study ...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

3:00 PM-4:00 PM

Cristiano Dias, PhD, New Jersey Institute of Technology


"Alzheimer’s Plaque Formation at the Molecular Level: A Computational Study of Amyloid Fibril Stability"

Fibrils made from amyloid peptides are a main constituent of plaques found in the brain of Alzheimer's patients.

However, a clear correlation between dementia and the presence of plaques is missing while studies are suggesting that small disordered aggregates of amyloid peptides could be responsible for disrupting synapses accounting for memory loss in patients. In this scenario, the presence of amyloid fibrils could slow the progression of dementia since fibrils recruit peptides that otherwise would form toxic aggregates. Thus, being able to modulate the stability of fibrils could become a treatment option for Alzheimer's patients.

In this seminar I will discuss how thermodynamics provides a quantitative framework to study the stability of fibrils. The later remains, however, largely unknown since thermodynamic quantities of fibrils are not easily measured using conventional experimental methods. In contrast, computer simulations can provide insights into these quantities and I will present recent simulations in which we studied the dissociation of Abeta(16-21) peptide from a fibril.

Contact Information

Prof. Luis Cruz