Dr. Monica Holley
Dr. Holley received her PhD in microbiology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center under the mentorship of Dr. Tammy Kielian. Her thesis characterized the response of T cells to Staphylococcus aureus bacterial infections in the central nervous system, and identified that certain cell types are are vital for optimal bacterial clearance. Upon finishing her dissertation, she began a postdoctoral position in the renowned Alzheimer’s disease laboratory of Dr. Gary Landreth.
Under the funding of the Weston Brain Institute and Dr. Landreth’s guidance Dr. Holley has been able to demonstrate, in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease with 5 familial mutations, that a compound called bexarotene (an anti-cancer agent traditionally used to treat T-cell lymphoma) can attenuate neuron loss and improve cognition. These improvements in cognition correlated to reduced inflammation, and reduced amyloid precursor protein accumulation. Currently, Dr. Holley is investigating novel links between bexarotene treatment and improved neuronal health. Dr. Holley chose a postdoctoral position in Alzheimer’s disease because she wants to contribute directly to research that would have a profound impact on those diagnosed with the disease, their families, caregivers and the medical community as a whole.