For 20 years, Professor Kate Schroder has studied our innate immune response to microbial attack. A Director at the Centre for Inflammation and Disease Research at UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Kate is also a QBI affiliate.

In 2016, UQ and Trinity College Dublin launched a biotech start-up, Inflazome, founded on Intellectual Property of inflammasome inhibitors as new anti-inflammatory drugs developed by Kate and her collaborators. Roche acquired Inflazome in a landmark deal, signalling the potential value of its treatments.

Kate is now building on this research in collaboration with QBI researchers, to assess the inflammasome as a potential therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease.

Inflammasomes sense microbes and launch antimicrobial defence mechanisms. Inflammasomes also recognise other structures, like amyloid-beta (the main component of amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients), which can lead to unhealthy inflammation.

Recent studies have identified key functions for inflammasomes in the development of chronic diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. Here, amyloid-beta provokes inflammasome activity, which drives the onset of disease hallmarks and cognitive decline in mice.

Kate and her team are now generating important preclinical data to support future human clinical trials of inflammasome inhibitors to treat Alzheimer's disease.

If you would like to help progress this research, please donate to QBI. To learn more about how inflammasome triggers inflammation in the brain, see this article.

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