Xi Chen and her colleagues in Bill Jagust’s research group at Berkeley Lab recently published a study in the Journal of Neuroscience that provides some clarification of the differences between normal aging and AD brains, and elucidates the transition from the former to the latter.
Research led by UC Berkeley scientists found that adults who reported a decline in sleep quality in midlife (40s–60s) had more beta amyloid and tau clusters in their brains—both of which are associated with a higher risk of developing dementia later in life. The same study also revealed that people with high levels of tau protein in their brains were more likely to lack the synchronized brain waves that are crucial to getting a good night’s sleep. Together, the findings suggest that sleep changes detectable in a simple overnight sleep study may serve as biomarkers for later risk of dementia.
Congratulations to William Jagust, senior faculty scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division, for winning the 2018 Radical Ideas in Brain Science Challenge, made possible through the generosity of Berkeley Brain Initiative donors. Jagust, who is also Professor of Public Health at UC Berkeley, will receive up to $190,000 over two years to investigate the degradation of the blood-brain barrier as a potential paradigm-shifting culprit in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Biosciences’ Thomas Budinger has been elected by the IEEE Board of Directors to receive the 2018 IEEE Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology for “pioneering contributions to tomographic radiotracer imaging.” An affiliate scientist in the Molecular Biology & Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division and recalled professor in the Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley, Budinger noted that the cited work was made possible by support from the DOE and the contributions of his principal colleagues Stephen Derenzo (MBIB), Grant Gullberg (MBIB), Ronald Huesman (emeritus, Life Sciences), and William Jagust (MBIB/UC Berkeley). The award, sponsored by the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, was established in 2009 and is given annually for exceptional contributions to technologies and applications benefitting healthcare, medicine, and the health sciences. A gold medal, bronze replica, certificate, and honorarium will be presented to Budinger at the IEEE Honors Ceremony to be held in conjunction with the Vision, Innovation, and Challenges Summit in the spring.
Several Biosciences Area personnel have been named as recipients of 2016 Berkeley Lab Director’s Awards. Yan Liang (Biological Systems & Engineering), Eva Nogales, and William Jagust (Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging, MBIB) were honored with individual awards in Early Career, Scientific Achievement, and Societal Impact, respectively. Jill Fuss and Steven Yannone (MBIB) were the recipients of a team award in Technology Transfer for the launch of their company CinderBio. Jim Bristow (Biosciences Area Office, Trent Northen (Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology & Joint Genome Institute, JGI), and Susannah Tringe (JGI), along with Eoin Brodie and Peter Nico of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area, were named in a team award in Service.