Dr. Andrew Bateman
Professor - Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine
I study communication between cells and its relationship to disease. Progranulin is a protein that is secreted by cells and instructs nearby cells to divide and to move. It also inhibits cell death caused by challenges such as starvation or chemotherapeutic drugs. There are many important roles for this molecule.
It is over expressed in many cancers and renders cancer cells much more aggressive. Blocking progranulin may be a route to cancer therapy.
Progranulin keeps nerve cells alive. Losing only one half of the brain’s progranulin levels by mutation causes frontotemporal dementia, a devastating degenerative brain disease. I wish to understand how progranulin protects the brain.
Progranulin reduces inflammation. Its levels increase rapidly in injured tissues. We have shown that progranulin helps the wound repair process. This may help diabetics and others with chronic wounds that fail to heal properly
1. Mechanism of progranulin action in brain-relevance to dementia and neurodegenerative disease.