Yaisa Andrews-Zwilling, PhD
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Dr. Andrews-Zwilling's research focuses on a protein called apolipoprotein (apo) E, which is essential for the health and repair of neurons. Specifically, she studies a form of apoE known as apoE4, which also happens to be the strongest genetic factor involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, Dr. Andrews-Zwilling discovered that apoE4 causes a type of nerve cell to become dysfunctional in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that is extremely important in learning and memory. These results set the stage for a more in-depth exploration of the pathological effects of apoE4 in the brain and a model for testing how to reverse these detrimental effects. Her research has recently expanded beyond Alzheimer’s disease into the area of traumatic brain injury, an increasingly common neurological problem that is also associated with apoE4.
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Andrews-Zwilling completed her BSc in biochemistry and chemistry at the University of the West Indes, St. Augustine, before earning a PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen, Germany. She joined Gladstone as a postdoctoral fellow in 2007 and in 2012 she became a Staff Research Scientist in the laboratory of Gladstone President Emeritus Robert W. Mahley, MD, PhD.
Dr. Andrews-Zwilling is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. In 2004, she was nominated as an outstanding young scientist and invited to attend the annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany, and in 2009 she earned the Alzheimer’s Association Award for Young Scientists. That same year, she was awarded a prestigious postdoctoral scholarship from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.