Dr. Lauren Friedman
Dr. Friedman received a B.S. in Biopsychology from Tufts University and earned her PhD in Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. During her PhD, Dr. Friedman studied molecular mechanisms involved in the development and degeneration of brain circuits in models of autism and Parkinson’s disease.
Under the guidance of Dr. Yu , Dr. Friedman has investigated potential therapeutics that are able to reduce the build-up of tau protein through stimulation of autophagy (breakdown of unnecessary or dysfunctional cells or proteins) in cell and rodent models. Her previous studies have shown that treatment with trehalose, a naturally-occurring sugar produced in plants and invertebrates, can activate autophagy and reduce tau aggregation in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. Her group aims to uncover signaling pathways that are activated by trehalose and promote clearance of tau aggregates by stimulating autophagy as a new target for drug discovery. Dr. Friedman hopes to continue her career in Alzheimer’s disease therapeutic development and aims to develop tools that enable the study of the effects of impaired autophagy in transgenic mice with high levels of tau aggregates.