Saturday , January 16 2021

Mexican contributes to vaccine design for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Mexico City A group of researchers from the University of Texas in Galveston, USA, are working on the design of therapeutic vaccines that can be used to treat neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

For this scientific team belongs to Mexican Marcos Jair Guerrero Muñoz, who in an interview explains that his role in the project was the generation and purification of conformational monoclonal antibodies for use in preclinical studies.

Guerrero Muñoz holds a bachelor's degree in Chemical Biology from the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL), where he also studied a master's degree in molecular biology and a doctorate in morphology with a neuroscience orientation.

"Since my PhD studies, I was interested in neurodegenerative diseases, and in the end there was the opportunity to do cancer research for John Hopkins Hospital, but I chose to work at the Department of Neurology at the University of Texas in Galveston."

On the function of the vaccine, the Mexican scientist describes that they have as therapeutic target the amyloid oligomers of proteins related to neuronal death. Due to unknown causes, certain proteins change their three-dimensional structure to adopt toxic forms that cause neuronal death in diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. "The antibodies that make up these vaccines recognize these toxic structures and bind to them, which makes it easier for them to be removed by the immune system."

As part of the project, the University of Texas has patented antibodies where Dr. Guerrero Muñoz worked. The study has completed the preclinical studies, ie in vitro tests and in vivo tests have been performed with murine models; The next step is to administer it to people under all the protocols imposed by the authorities.

"When I left the university, my mentor began to come into contact with some pharmacists to make humanization of the antibodies to later perform other tests."

Currently, Dr. Guerrero Muñoz, an academic researcher at the UANL Faculty of Chemical Sciences.

"The vaccine is considered to be administered in the early stages of neurodegenerative diseases to prevent its progress and harm to the patient's quality of life. We will demonstrate that it is functional even though the disease has some progress. Without linking, it is a glimpse to move on in the study so that it becomes a preventive method. "

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