Dr. Alex Nackenoff is a post-doctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Matthew Schrag, M.D., Ph.D., in the Department of Neurology. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University in the Laboratory of Randy Blakely, Ph.D. There, he worked to separate direct and off-target molecular, behavioral, and neurogenic effects of serotonin transporter directed antidepressants. Additionally, he fostered new collaborations and research funding from the pharmaceutical sphere to work to identify feasibility of combinatorial serotonin receptor directed antidepressant pharmacotherapies.
His research in the Schrag lab aims to identify novel molecular pathogenic mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Disease and Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy (CAA) in the hopes of illuminating druggable targets for therapeutic interventions. These efforts include in vitro and ex vivo gene silencing experiments in cellular and animal tissues, gene function analysis of novel Alzheimer’s Disease risk genes, as well as 3D imaging pathology analysis of CLARITY-mediated optically transparent human tissue samples. This novel imaging technique provides the highest resolution analysis of CAA to date, and has immediately allowed for observations of the pervasive vascular fragility in CAA, providing novel opportunities to identify strategies to minimize cerebrovascular micro-hemorrhage risk and promote longevity.