Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Lab Phone: 617-726-7478
Oksana Berezovska leads the Neurobilogy of Alzheimer’s disease research laboratory that studies cellular and molecular events leading to neuropathological changes in Alzheimer’s disease, with a particular focus on the synapse. The ratio of amyloid beta peptides that end in amino acid 42 as compared to amino acid 40 can be measured in the cerebrospinal fluid. An increase in the Abeta 42/40 ratio has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Oksana Berezovska focuses on the analysis of the interactions between Amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the enzyme that cleaves it, gamma-secretase, and studies mechanisms by which various genetic and pharmacological factors modulate Abeta production and/or regulate the precision of APP cleavage by gamma-secretase that leads to a change in the A beta 42/40 ratio.
The lab uses state-of-the-art molecular imaging approaches (e.g., FRET, Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy) to monitor the conformational changes of a single molecule, or molecular complexes, in different subcellular compartments in intact and/or live cells, both in vitro and in vivo. Novel fluorescence microscopy approaches (e.g., Bi-molecular Fluorescence Complementation, photoactivatable GFP) are complemented by conventional cell biology, and biochemistry approaches, to study molecular mechanisms of AD and to identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
Oksana Berezovska received her B.Sc in Cell Biology from Kiev University in Ukraine in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in 1990. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada studying stroke from 1993-1995 and then at Massachusetts General Hospital 1996-1999 in Alzheimer’s research. She is currently an Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School and Assistant in Neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital.