Dr. Carmela Abraham
Carmela R. Abraham, Ph.D., devoted her entire career to the study of aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). She obtained her B.Sc. in Biology at Tel Aviv University and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Harvard University. She is Professor of Biochemistry and Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine.
Dr. Abraham’s research is both basic and translational. The basic research focuses on understanding the pathologic mechanisms leading to AD and to other neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Abraham studies ways to protect the nerve cells that die in these diseases and, thus, prevent brain dysfunction. Her group discovered that the Klotho protein, whose levels decrease with age, is neuroprotective, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory. In mouse models of AD, multiple sclerosis and ALS, increasing the levels of Klotho improved the outcomes of these diseases. Since higher Klotho levels are associated with better outcomes, Dr. Abraham is exploring various modalities to elevate the Klotho protein.
Based on her findings of 41 years of studying normal aging and AD, she is now focused on finding drugs that would either prevent or alleviate the symptoms of AD and other age-related diseases, such as cancer and kidney disease. She is a co-founder of Klogenix, formerly Klogene; the company was the recipient of a $1.5M NIH grant to advance this research. Dr. Abraham was the first Rappaport fellow at the Center for Neurologic diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the recipient of the Zenith and Temple awards from the Alzheimer’s Association. Carmela has directed and taught a course entitled Molecular Basis of Neurologic Diseases for over 25 years, and has mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Her research has been supported by the NIH, Alzheimer’s Association, Boston University Ignition Award, the Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium Award, the Cure AD Fund and Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.
Dr. Cidi Chen
Cidi Chen, Ph.D., is the Assistant Director of the Human Neuron Core at Boston Children’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute affiliate, where he leads the Human Neuron iPSC CRISPR genomic editing Service. Dr. Chen is an expert in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied the structure-function of a detoxification enzyme, Cytochrome P450.
Dr. Chen received post-doctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute and University of Minnesota. There he discovered the proteases responsible for initiating the neurological amyloid disease, Amyloidosis Finnish type, and worked on age-related macular degeneration. After joining Boston University School of Medicine, he became a Research Assistant Professor and later Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, where he studied normal brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to his Boston University research positions, Dr. Chen was an advisor and later a senior scientist at Klogene Therapeutics, where he led the development of novel therapeutic strategies to enhance levels of the anti-aging protein Klotho, using CRISPR technology, Zinc Finger Proteins, and non-coding RNA regulation. He is named inventor on three pending patents on endogenous Klotho upregulation. Since joining the Human Neuron Core, Dr. Chen has been working on developing and implementing CRISPR genomic editing protocols for patient-derived iPSCs.
Menachem Abraham, BSEE & MSEE, is a tech and biotech entrepreneur, a co-founder of Klogenix, and its CEO. In addition to his executive roles, he served as director on the Boards of over a dozen private and public companies in computer networking, telecom and biotech. Roles include co-founder of Klogenix, co-founder and CEO of Klogene Therapeutics, founder and CEO of Mintera Corp. (acquired by Oclaro), president of Lucent Technologies Enterprise Internetworking business unit, founder and CEO of Prominet (acquired by Lucent), and senior vice president and CTO of Chipcom Corporation (public on NASDAQ for five years before it was acquired by 3Com).
As an engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation in the early 1980s Abraham led the development, and later standardization by the IEEE, of the first Ethernet cable modem, long before the Internet became ubiquitous. He is named as inventor on four computer networking and communications patents.
Abraham holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering summa cum laude from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and is a graduate of the Stanford/AEA Executive Institute.
Dr. Makoto Kuro-o
Dr. Makoto Kuro-o, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor at the Center for Molecular Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Japan. He received his degrees from the University of Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Kuro-o has over 30 years of research and clinical experience in endocrinology, endocrine FGF, molecular biology of aging, nephrology and mineral metabolism. He discovered and named the Klotho gene and since then, over the last 24 years, has published extensively on it. Dr. Kuro-o’s pioneering research opened up a new and very promising path toward understanding longevity as well as preventing and treating diseases.
Dr. Ella Zeldich
Ella Zeldich, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). Her research interests are Alzheimer’s disease, aging, neuroprotection, and transcriptional regulation of the Klotho gene. One of her laboratory’s research areas is reduction of the accumulation of neurotoxic amyloid beta (Abeta), the main component of the amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer patients. Dr.Zeldich has also been studying the link between Klotho and myelin.
Prior to joining the department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, she spent nine years on Klotho research in Dr. Carmela Abraham’s lab at the BUSM department of biochemistry. During a period of three years Dr. Zeldich was also an advisor to Klogene Therapeutics where she worked on upregulation of Klotho.