Unraveling Alzheimer’s: Molecular Insight

In this episode, Dr. Jean-Pierre Roussarie, Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Medicine and a 2023 Toffler Scholar, joins host Deborah Westphal to discuss his innovative research on Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Roussarie shares his journey from engineering to neurovirology and finally to his current focus on the molecular events that lead to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s.


Academic Journey: From engineering to neurovirology at the Pasteur Institute, Dr. Roussarie explains his transition into Alzheimer’s research, driven by a desire to tackle a major human health issue from a new perspective.

Lab Focus: Insight into Dr. Roussarie’s lab operations, focusing on the entorhinal cortex’s layer two neurons, the first affected by Alzheimer’s. This specific focus aids in understanding the disease’s progression and potential interventions.

Innovative Approaches: Dr. Roussarie discusses the development of in vitro models of these specific neurons, which could revolutionize understanding of neurodegeneration and memory formation.

Therapeutic Potential: Exploration of the possibilities for therapeutic interventions based on early detection and prevention of neuron degradation, highlighting the importance of targeted research in finding effective treatments.

Challenges and Collaborations: The discussion covers the difficulties of aligning academic research with industry capabilities, emphasizing the need for robust models and partnerships to accelerate therapeutic development.

Future of Alzheimer’s Research: Dr. Roussarie shares his vision for the future, including the development of new diagnostic tools and treatments that address Alzheimer’s at its onset.

Dr. Jean-Pierre Roussarie’s episode provides a deep dive into the complexities of Alzheimer’s research and the innovative approaches being taken to understand and eventually mitigate this devastating disease.

For more episodes and information, visit the Karen Toffler Charitable Trust at tofflertrust.org.