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Dr Amy Nelson received her PhD in neurobiology from University of Alabama at Birmingham.  She joined the lab of Professor Zlokovic at University of Southern California as a postdoctoral scholar in January 2014.  She is investigating the contractile functions of pericytes using optogenetics. Her career goal is to discover new therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer’s disease, by preventing and/or repairing blood-brain barrier disruption.

Amy left the Uninversity of Southern California in January 2021 to start her new post as an Assistant Professor at the University of South Alabama (USA). 


Awarded grants

Funder: NIH/NIA                                                                                 

Project title: "Brain pericyte contractility, cerebral blood flow and blood-brain barrier integrity are impaired by normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease amyloid-beta and are dependent on p75NTR"

This project investigates the novel hypothesis that normal aging and Alzheimer’s amyloid-beta oligomers impair pericyte contractility, and thereby cerebral blood flow, and also blood-brain barrier integrity, via p75NTR.


Key publications

Nelson AR, Sagare MA, Wang Y, Kisler K, Zhao Z, Zlokovic BV. 2020. Channelrhodopsin Excitation Contracts Brain Pericytes and Reduces Blood Flow in the Aging Mouse Brain In Vivo. Front. Aging Neurosci (Accepted 3/30/20). 

Publication link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32410982/


Related links

Dr Amy Nelson publication list (PubMed)

Past collaborators