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Frank M. LaFerla - UC Irvine. Irvine, CA, US

Frank M. LaFerla Frank M. LaFerla

Chancellor’s Professor and Dean | UC Irvine

Irvine, CA, UNITED STATES

Frank M. LaFerla,Ph.D.,is the dean of the UCI School of Biological Sciences.His research focuses on the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Frank LaFerla, PhD - LESSONS LEARNED OF MICE (& MEN) COVID-19 – Moving Beyond the Pandemic

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Biography

Frank M. LaFerla, Ph.D., is the dean of the UCI School of Biological Sciences and a chancellor’s professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. He joined UCI in 1995 as an assistant professor and later served as chair of Neurobiology and Behavior from 2010 to 2013 and the director of the UCI Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) from 2009 – 2018.

Dean LaFerla is the current director of the National Institutes of Health funded UCI Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the co-director of the National Institute on Aging funded Model-AD at UCI, a research consortium to develop the next generation of model organisms to evaluate and cure Alzheimer’s disease.

His research focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common form of dementia. His scholarly work has had a global influence on the field, as some of the model organisms he has generated have been distributed to over 150 researchers in more than 20 countries throughout the world. He has published more than 200 original peer-reviewed articles and has been listed among the top 1% cited researchers in his field.

Dean LaFerla has received many honors for his research accomplishments throughout his career, including the Promising Work Award from the Metropolitan Life Foundation for Medical Research, the Ruth Salta Investigator Achievement Award from the American Health Assistance Foundation, the Zenith Fellows Award from the Alzheimer’s Association and the UCI Innovators Award. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an elected member of the American Neurological Association, the American Society for Cell Biology, the International Society for Stem Cell Research and the Society for Neuroscience.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Learning and Memory

Alzheimer's Disease

Molecular Biology

Neurodegenerative disorders

Accomplishments (5)

Distinguished Achievement Award (professional)

2016 Sicilian Confederation of North America

Distinguished Faculty Service Award (professional)

2014 Lauds and Laurels

Daniel G. Aldrich Jr. Distinguished University Service Award (professional)

2010 UCI

Promising Work Award (professional)

2006 MetLife Foundation Awards for Medical Research

Zenith Fellow Award (professional)

2005 Alzheimer’s Association

Education (2)

University of Minnesota: Ph.D., Microbiology 1990

Advisor: Dr. Richard W. Peluso

St. Joseph’s University: B.S., Biology 1985

Affiliations (6)

  • American Association for Advancement of Science
  • American Neurological Association
  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • Society for Neuroscience

Media Appearances (4)

Opinion: We expect too much from Earth

The Hill  online

2021-11-04

We expect too much from Earth. This year at the UN COP26 climate conference, scientists from around the world are discussing a frightening truth, our planet’s resiliency reaching a tipping point. Now is the time to move beyond cleaning up the mess we’ve made and evolve our ways to respect our home, which is trending toward a less-and-less habitable climate and environment. It is time to heed the calls from ecologists and climate scientists alike and redouble our conservation investments and clean energy commitments.

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EP 1051B - New Mouse Model Provides 1st Platform to Study Late-Onset Alzheimer's

You: The Owner's Manual Podcast  online

2021-07-06

University of California, Irvine biologists have developed a new genetically engineered mouse model that, unlike its predecessors, is based on the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The advance holds promise for making new strides against the neurodegenerative disease as cases continue to soar. Their study appears in the journal, Nature Communications. [...] Professor Frank LaFerla is the study’s co-senior author, the Dean of the UC Irvine School of Biological Sciences, and a Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. He is the Director of the NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and Co-Director of the NIH consortium called MODEL-AD. He joins us today to talk about his findings.

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New Mouse Models Better Mimic Tauopathy, Alzheimer's

AlzForum  online

2021-04-02

With ever more models to choose from (peruse at Alzforum Research Models database), the question on many scientists’ minds is: Which one is the best? “There is never going to be one perfect model,” Frank LaFerla, University of California, Irvine, said during the live discussion. “What specific questions you are seeking to address determines which model you would pick.” LaFerla is a member of the MODEL-AD consortium.

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Stemming the Tide of Alzheimer’s

UCI News  online

2019-10-04

Frank M. LaFerla, dean of the UCI School of Biological Sciences, also recalls Swayne’s struggles. “Alzheimer’s disease really impacted his family,” he says. “Judy was a very special woman. He wanted to make sure future generations wouldn’t experience the pain his wife did.”

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Event Appearances (3)

Lessons Learned of Mice (and Men)

UCI MIND 30th Annual SoCal AD Research Conference  Irvine, CA

Successful Aging in the Era of Alzheimer’s Disease

Orange County Chapter of Legatus  Newport Beach, CA

Winning the War Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Mission Hills Country Club  Rancho Mirage, CA

Research Grants (3)

NF-κB as a driver of neurotoxic astrocytes in Alzheimer’s disease

NIH/NIA $275,000

2020-09-30

Our proposal seeks to use newly engineered genetic tools to investigate the hypothesis that chronic activation of astrocytic NF-κB impairs brain function and drives AD pathogenesis. These studies will provide definitive evidence of the pivotal role played by NF-κB in astrocytic function and its potential as a target to treat AD.

Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of California, Irvine

NIH/NIA $10,000,000

2020-06-15

The University of California, Irvine Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (UCI ADRC) is strategically located to have a major positive impact as we identify, quantify, and validate factors that influence the risk of AD across the lifespan. The UCI ADRC brings energetic and innovative multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary approaches toward solving this insidious disease, contributes to several national collaborative efforts, and provides key resources to the research community, including studying special populations impacted by the disease, such as underrepresented ethnic groups, adults with Down syndrome, and the oldest-old.

UC Irvine AD Translational Center for Disease Model Resources

NIH/NIA $7,500,000

2017-09-15

The focus of this project is to develop the next generation of animal models of Alzheimer’s disease using recently identified genetic risk alleles combined with humanized APP, tau and APOE proteins that should better recapitulate the etiology and progression of human Alzheimer’s disease.

Articles (6)

We expect too much from Earth

The Hill

Frank LaFerla And Travis E. Huxman

We expect too much from Earth. This year at the UN COP26 climate conference, scientists from around the world are discussing a frightening truth, our planet’s resiliency reaching a tipping point. Now is the time to move beyond cleaning up the mess we’ve made and evolve our ways to respect our home, which is trending toward a less-and-less habitable climate and environment. It is time to heed the calls from ecologists and climate scientists alike and redouble our conservation investments and clean energy commitments.

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Generation of a humanized Aβ expressing mouse demonstrating aspects of Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology

Nature Communications volume

The majority of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cases are late-onset and occur sporadically, however most mouse models of the disease harbor pathogenic mutations, rendering them better representations of familial autosomal-dominant forms of the disease. Here, we generated knock-in mice that express wildtype human Aβ under control of the mouse App locus.

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MTH1 and OGG1 maintain a low level of 8-oxoguanine in Alzheimer's brain, and prevent the progression of Alzheimer's pathogenesis

Scientific Reports

8-Oxoguanine (8-oxoG), a major oxidative base lesion, is highly accumulated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brains during the pathogenic process. MTH1 hydrolyzes 8-oxo-dGTP to 8-oxo-dGMP, thereby avoiding 8-oxo-dG incorporation into DNA. 8-OxoG DNA glycosylase-1 (OGG1) excises 8-oxoG paired with cytosine in DNA, thereby minimizing 8-oxoG accumulation in DNA.

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Animal and Cellular Models of Alzheimer’s Disease: Progress, Promise, and Future Approaches

The Neuroscientist

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an incurable neurodegenerative disease affecting over 45 million people worldwide. Transgenic mouse models have made remarkable contributions toward clarifying the pathophysiological mechanisms behind the clinical manifestations of AD.

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Novel Alzheimer Disease Risk Loci and Pathways in African American Individuals Using the African Genome Resources Panel

JAMA Neurology

Compared with non-Hispanic White individuals, African American individuals from the same community are approximately twice as likely to develop Alzheimer disease. Despite this disparity, the largest Alzheimer disease genome-wide association studies to date have been conducted in non-Hispanic White individuals.

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Model organism development and evaluation for late-onset Alzheimer's disease: MODEL-AD

Alzheimer's Association

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a major cause of dementia, disability, and death in the elderly. Despite recent advances in our understanding of the basic biological mechanisms underlying AD, we do not know how to prevent it, nor do we have an approved disease-modifying intervention.

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