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K-State Today

March 21, 2022

Shannon Macauley to present Anatomy and Physiology Seminar

Submitted by Gail Eyestone

Shannon Macauley, assistant professor in the departments of physiology and pharmacology and internal medicine at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, will present, "Glycemic Variability, Sleep, and Alzheimer's Disease" at the next Anatomy and Physiology Seminar at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, via Zoom.

Macauley earned her Bachelor of Arts in biology and psychology from Middlebury College and worked in translational neuroscience at Genzyme Corporation prior to graduate school. She completed her doctorate in neuroscience at Washington University with Mark Sands, exploring the role of glial activation in Batten Disease and the use of combination therapies for treating lysosomal storage diseases. For her postdoctoral training, she worked with David Holtzman at Washington University where she explored the relationship between type-2-diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease using rodent models. She discovered that alterations in glucose metabolism cause neuronal hyperexcitability to promote amyloid-beta release and the formation of amyloid plaques. Macauley was recruited to Wake Forest in 2017 where her lab continues to explore the relationship between metabolism, excitability and Alzheimer’s disease as it relates to sleep.

The goal of Macauley’s research is to understand how alterations in metabolism, sleep, neuroinflammation and vascular function impact healthy brain function and put the brain at risk for developing neurodegenerative disease. Ultimately, the goal is to leverage these findings as therapeutic targets for treating central nervous system diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and lysosomal storage diseases. Macauley is actively pursuing the repurposing of several FDA-approved medications to improve Alzheimer’s-related pathology and behavioral deficits in preclinical studies.