13 months ago

2018 Fall/Winter Highlights of Hope

  • Text
  • Andel
  • Institute
  • Highlights
  • Scientists
  • Suwyn
  • Michigan
  • Metabolism
  • Duncan
  • Cancers
  • Swaney



STRENGTH THROUGH DIVERSITY VAI’S WOMEN SCIENTISTS ACCELERATE PROGRESS FOR THE FUTURE Rigorous science, boundless creativity and diversity of thought are critical elements of a successful research enterprise. VAI is committed to fostering an environment that encourages excellence and is proud of its growing team of women faculty. Together with their collaborators in the U.S. and abroad, VAI scientists are discovering new ways to solve some of today’s greatest health challenges. DR. LENA BRUNDIN Depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide, and more than 800,000 lose their lives to suicide each year. As a psychiatrist and a scientist, Dr. Lena Brundin searches for better ways to diagnose and treat these serious public health concerns by studying inflammation of the nervous system and translating her findings into new approaches to diagnosis, monitoring and treatment. DR. VIVIANE LABRIE Parkinson’s disease has long been considered to be a movementrelated disorder triggered by changes in the brain. Now, growing evidence shows that other parts of the body, including the gut, may play a major role in its onset and could provide new opportunities for prevention and treatment. Dr. Viviane Labrie is working to develop these new therapeutic strategies by studying the complex web of factors that give rise to Parkinson’s in hopes of finding innovative ways to slow or stop its progression — something no current treatment can do. DR. JUAN DU In biology, the structure of a molecule is directly linked to its role in the body. Using the Institute’s high-powered cryo-electron microscope (cryo-EM), Dr. Juan Du is working to understand the brain’s intricate communication system by visualizing its smallest components, which she hopes will inform the development of new therapies for neurological diseases. DR. XIAOHONG LI Once cancer spreads to the bone, it becomes much more difficult to treat and much more painful for the patient. Dr. Xiaohong Li studies how and why certain cancers — such as those in the breast, lung and prostate — are more likely to migrate to the skeleton in hopes of finding new ways to stop this process and to treat these aggressive cancers. VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE | 3

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