Taub Institute: Genomics Core


Columbia University
Irving Medical Center
Neurological Institute

710 West 168th Street, 3rd floor
(212) 305-1818

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About Us

Taub Faculty


Sandra M. Barral Rodriguez, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurogenetics (in Neurology, the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain) at the Columbia University Medical Center

Email: smb2174@cumc.columbia.edu
Tel: (212) 305-5139

My research is primarily in the area of mapping genes contributing to the susceptibility for Alzheimer disease and other human neurodegenerative disorders.

Alzheimer's disease affects an estimated of 4.5 million Americans, and the national direct and indirect annual cost of caring for individuals with Alzheimer's disease are at least $100 billion according to estimates used by the Alzheimer's Association and the National Institute of Aging. Although the etiology of Alzheimer disease remains to be fully understood, there is compelling evidence that genetic risk factors play a major role in the development of the disease. It is well accepted that, along with age, family history is the most prominent risk factor for the development of the disease. Inheritance of the apolipoprotein ε-4 allele is a risk factor, including both sporadic and late-onset familial forms of the disease. Variation in four genes has already been shown to cause rare forms of early-onset AD (the Amyloid Precursor Protein Gene, Presenilin 1 and Presenilin 2). Nevertheless, epidemiological studies suggest that additional genetic or environmental factors could play essential roles in the disease.

The identification of additional genetic risk factors contributing to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's will lead to improved genetic medicine, so that screening and diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease as well as enhanced therapeutic and preventive tools can eventually be developed. Through application of different gene mapping statistical methods, linkage and association strategies in genome-wide and candidate gene approaches, we are able to identify genetic risk factors influencing Alzheimer's disease.

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