What is the problem you're trying to solve?
We are trying to come up with specific and accurate tests for early diagnosis and treatment of protein misfolding diseases including neurodegenerative and vascular diseases.
How is what you're doing different than other attempts to solve this problem?
We focus on the identification and detection of pathologically relevant biomarkers in patients and pre-symptomatic individuals. We believe those pathologically related misfolded species are the root cause of various misfolding diseases and will give us the best clues about disease progression before clinical symptom onset.
Why are you passionate about what you're working on?
Protein misfolding diseases are slow progressive and are very difficult to treat let alone reverse course through therapeutics, especially when the patients are already showing clinical symptoms, which is when the majority of patients are being diagnosed currently. The only way that the medical community can make a meaningful impact in this class of devastating diseases is through early detection and early intervention. We feel the work that we are doing can help with this huge unmet medical need.
What achievement are you most proud of?
We have been able to develop a blood-based diagnosis for diseases caused by misfolding of the protein transthyretin. Transthyretin is one of the most abundant proteins in human body and it’s misfolding is linked to various diseases. With the diagnosis tool now within reach, we are ready to explore its utilities with the goal of early diagnosis and treatment of a number of transthyretin associated diseases.