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Benjamin Bell, PhD

Bell PFDS21 headshot
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Drug Discovery, 2021 Johns Hopkins University

Reducing Tau Propagation by Inhibiting Extracellular Vesicle Biogenesis


The personal and medical costs of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are among the highest in the world and continue to steadily rise; yet there are no effective treatments available. Results from recent clinical trials targeting the buildup of a toxic protein in the brain, amyloid-ß (Aß), have been disappointing, highlighting the need for a new approach. Our lab has turned attention to small particles that help spread another diseased protein, Tau, across the brain. We are developing a new drug, called PDDC, which prevents the production of these carrier particles, with the intention of stopping or slowing the damaging progress of Tau propagation. In this proposal, we aim to determine the efficacy of PDDC in a mouse model of AD, while simultaneously developing a new and predictive blood biomarker, a serious unmet need in the field. This research will advance our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie AD as well as aid in development of a novel treatment option.

The PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship uniquely enabled my growth as an independent scientist by providing the funding and support to more deeply pursue a branch of research that would otherwise be passed over. Our findings are important in the field of Alzheimer’s research, and I hope that one day this work will have a meaningful impact for patients around the world.

Benjamin Bell, PhD

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