Dr. William J. Netzer, PhD, Research Associate

William J. Netzer, PhD is a Research Associate at the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience and Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at The Rockefeller University.

Dr. Netzer received his PhD in 1997 from Cornell University's School of Medical Sciences and began post doctoral study in the laboratory of Nobel laureate, Dr. Paul Greengard at The Rockefeller University in 1999. In 2000, he discovered that gamma-secretase, one of the principal enzymes necessary for beta-amyloid production, believed to be the primary cause of Alzheimer's disease, is dependent on the energy related molecule, ATP (adenosine triphosphate). He took advantage of this finding and in 2003 discovered that the anti-cancer drug, Gleevec (which was an ATP blocker) inhibits production of beta-amyloid. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2010, Dr. Netzer helped discover a protein, referred to as gSAP (gamma-secretase activating protein). This discovery has provided an understanding of how to control beta-amyloid production in Alzheimer's disease. gSAP is currently a major pharmaceutical target for the discovery of a new class of drugs for treating Alzheimer's. Published in Nature.

He is the science editor for Preserving Your Memory magazine and is responsible for the www.ALZinfo.org website's scientific review of current news and content.

Recently Published on Caring.com

What is gSAP, and what role does it play in Alzheimer's? — Dec 18, 2010
Beta-amyloid is a protein fragment that is believed to underlie most of the debilitating symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. It is produced in brain cells when a protein known...
Are there links between depression and Alzheimer's? — Dec 18, 2010
Depression in the elderly is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. It is not known whether depression causes Alzheimer's in some people or whether it is an early manifesta...
What genes are associated with Alzheimer's? — Dec 18, 2010
Rare mutations in any of three genes are known to cause early onset forms of Alzheimer's (before the age of 60). The genes that can be affected are the ones that correspond...
Are highly educated people less likely to get Alzheimer's? — Dec 18, 2010
On average, people having more years of formal education tend to get less Alzheimer's or tend to develop it at a later age compared to less educated people.