Last month, Rebecca Wallings, Post Doctoral Associate, received the Bright Focus Foundation fellowship for an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program award.
This is a 2-year fellowship worth $200,000 where Wallings will be completing a project entitled “The role of the peripheral immune-system in FTD-GRN; increasing understanding for future therapeutic target development.”
The completion of the proposed studies will provide a clearer understanding of the mechanisms underlying the role of the peripheral immune system in FTD and will inform rational design of new therapies. Indeed, if the peripheral immune system is instrumental in the aetiology of FTD, it may represent viable therapeutic targets that are in the periphery and therefore more easily accessible than those in the brain, thereby changing the landscape to improve future therapies for patients, explains Wallings.
Wallings’ passion for neuroscientific studies started early, as she says, “My spark for neuroscience started as an undergraduate student and since then, neurodegenerative research has given that initial spark of curiosity a sense of true purpose and meaning. These are diseases that affect millions of individuals and their families around the world.”
“If my research can bring us even one step closer to understanding these diseases and towards a potential treatment, then I will consider that a life goal met,” says Wallings.