The research in the Guo Laboratory is centered on the structural biology of amyloid-related neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, we are interested in the structure and mechanism of protein aggregation involved in Alzheimer’s disease and prion disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder, with no definitive cause and no cure. In the world, the number of people living with dementia is estimated to be 47 million in 2015, and will reach 135 million in 2050. The major risk factor is age. It rarely occurs in people under the age of 65. In contrast, almost half of the people over age 85 have dementia.

The prevailing paradigm for Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis is the amyloid hypothesis, which contends that accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) protein in the forms of non-fibrillar or fibrillar aggregates initiates a cascade of events leading to neuronal death and ultimately the clinical symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The fibrillar aggregates are called “amyloid”. The Guo lab has been working to understand the process of Aβ aggregation and the structure of various fibrillar and non-fibrillar Aβ aggregates.

Our Areas of Focus