An estimated 5.4 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that figure is growing at an alarming rate. Researchers and health providers predict that by 2050, a person will be diagnosed with the disease every 33 seconds.
Justin Legleiter, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry in the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry at West Virginia University, will shed light on this insidious disease when he presents, “Cracking the Code on What Triggers Alzheimer’s.”
Legleiter’s talk, part of the Eberly Ideas Discussion Series, is on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m., at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, Room 2000, in Charleston, W.Va. The event is free and open to the public.
During the lecture and open forum, he will share how his work decodes neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer’s, that rob people of their memories, perceptions and cognitive skills. His research, demonstrating the possible connections between mechanical changes in cells to an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, could one day lead to therapeutic strategies for controlling or curing the disease.
“Last year Dr. Legleiter earned one of the Alzheimer’s Association’s prestigious New Investigator Research grants to help fund his research,” said Jane Marks, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, who is co-sponsoring the event with the Eberly College. “We are thrilled to be a partner in presenting this Eberly Ideas to help connect our community with not only the care and support resources of the Alzheimer’s Association but the research side of our Association as well.”
Legleiter, who joined WVU in 2008, earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Murray State University and a doctoral degree in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University. He has conducted postdoctoral work as a fellow in neurology/biophysics at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco. Legleiter has received the National Sciences Foundation Faculty Early Career Development and the Alzheimer’s Association New Investigator Research grants in support of his work.
“Dr. Legleiter is a leader among the talented and promising young scientistsin chemistry, biology, psychology, and the neuroscienceswho are working to understand a devastating set of diseases that rob people of their very identities,” said Michael Perone, Ph.D., professor of psychology and associate dean for faculty. “His Career Development Award from NSF recognizes his excellence in the integration of his research and his teaching which, of course, is a great benefit to our students at WVU,”
A unique forum that promotes the exchange of ideas and stimulating debate on current events, the Eberly Ideas Discussion Series offers alumni and friends an opportunity to learn more about the timely research of some of the college’s all-star faculty. The next event will be on April 23 at 7 p.m. on the WVU campus.
The Alzheimer’s Association, West Virginia Chapter, is the only voluntary health organization in West Virginia solely dedicated to providing education and support service to individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, to their families and caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association is also the largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer’s disease research in the world, leading the global fight against Alzheimer’s and dementia. The chapter serves all 55 counties in West Virginia and six counties in eastern Ohio, and one county in Western Virginia.
The Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center is located in Charleston, W.Va., at 3110 MacCorkle Ave. S.E.
To RSVP for this free event send an e-mail with the subject “Eberly Ideas,” to ECAS@mail.wvu.edu. Include the name/names of the people in your party in the body of the e-mail.
For more information about this event or the Eberly Ideas Discussion Series, contact Devon Copeland, development officer, at 304-293-6867 or Devon.Copeland@mail.wvu.edu.
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