On April 1, 2021, Yuxing Xia, MD-PhD student, defended his dissertation entitled “Pathogenic tau recruits wild-type tau into brain inclusions and promotes brain-gut degeneration in tau SPAM mice.”
Tau inclusions are one of the hallmarks of neurologic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia, Xia explains. “We wanted to model tau brain pathology in a new transgenic mouse that expresses the tau S320F and P301S aggregating mutations (SPAM). The tau SPAM mice develop progressive age-related tau inclusions similar to those found in human disease.”
Xia works in the Giasson lab and says they hope to use these mice to find new disease mechanisms and to screen different therapies.
After finishing his MD-PhD degree, Xia plans to apply for a neurology residency program and become an academic neurologist.