Emily Wu awarded Melvin and Phyllis McCardle Clause Scholarship

| Written by Susan Gammon
Emily Wu headshot

A scholarship program enabled by the Clause family’s generous donations to the Institute has been awarded to Jiaqian (Emily) Wu, a graduate student in the lab of Nicholas Cosford, Ph.D., co-director and professor of the Cancer Molecular Therapeutics Program.

“This award is special to me because it’s more than a scholarship—it’s inspiring and encouraging for early-stage scholars,” says Wu. “My research goal is to discover innovative treatments of Alzheimer’s disease and enhance our understanding of the disease. Receiving this honor from a family who was affected by this devastating disease makes me even more motivated to advance my research. I sincerely appreciate the support.”

The McCardle Clause Scholarship was established in honor of Phyllis McCardle Clause who passed away after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease in 2008, in San Diego, California. The award supports graduate student education in neurodegeneration and aging within the Graduate Program for Biomedical Sciences.

Wu’s research focuses on a brain-specific enzyme called STEP, whose levels are increased in the human prefrontal cortex of AD patients. Genetic and pharmacological evidence from mouse studies suggest that targeting STEP, a signaling molecule involved in the initial synaptic dysfunction that occurs prior to the loss of neurons, may provide an early treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease.

“We are using a bold approach to screen for potential drugs that modulate STEP,” says Wu. “The strategy holds great potential in overcoming the historical challenges of drug potency, selectivity and blood-brain barrier penetration efficacy for Alzheimer’s disease.”

“More approaches to stemming Alzheimer’s disease are desperately needed. I’m hopeful that our research will contribute to the field and help people suffering this disease.”

Related Posts