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Neuroscientist to speak at ASU on advances in Alzheimer's drug development

Ryan Watts
September 08, 2014

New discoveries that may increase the effectiveness of Alzheimer’s treatments will be the topic at a Discovery Series presentation set to take place at 10 a.m., Sept. 10 at ASU's Biodesign Institute. 

Genentech neuroscientist Ryan Watts will discuss his work on a process that enables Alzheimer’s drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier, a challenge that has confounded researchers and pharmaceutical companies for decades.

“We focus on a single molecule and how it may be playing a role in disease in the human brain,” says Watts, the director and senior scientist of Genentech’s Department of Neuroscience, in a video, How to Get Into the Brain

Watts and his colleague, Mark Dennis, Genentech principal scientist of antibody engineering, used receptor-mediated transcytosis to enable their therapeutic antibody to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain and the central nervous system. Pursuit of this research paves the way for other new drugs aimed at Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and many more brain illnesses that are currently intractable. 

The seminar, Crossing Barriers in Alzheimer’s Drug Development, is free and open to the public. No reservations are necessary and seats are limited. The event will take place at the Biodesign Institute Auditorium at 727 E. Tyler St., Tempe, Arizona 85287. 

This seminar is part of the Biodesign Discovery Series.

Can’t attend? Watch the seminar live or on demand after Sept. 15.