Congratulations to Dr. Catherine Butler for being successful as a CIA in securing significant research funding

Dr Catherine Butler has been awarded $250,000 USD to investigate the role of bacterial vesicles in Alzheimer’s disease.

Catherine Butler

This generous grant is provided by the Infectious Diseases Society of America Foundation’s grant scheme aimed at investigating a microbial pathology for Alzheimer’s disease. There is a great deal of evidence to support the oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis as playing a role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression in a susceptible subpopulation of AD sufferers with active periodontal disease. We have previously shown outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) from P. gingivalis were detected in the brains of mice that had been repeatedly orally fed live P. gingivalis for longer than 12 weeks, and the brains of these mice displayed AD-like pathology. The requested funding will enable us to remove whole, live bacteria from the animal model and test the hypothesis that P. gingivalis OMVs alone can cause AD-like pathology, and that this is specific to P. gingivalis OMVs due to their unique combination of virulence factors. This will test the hypothesis that AD-like pathology is not necessarily caused by a bacterial infection of the brain but can result from P. gingivalis OMVs invading brain tissue from a focal infection elsewhere in the body. If we can prove our hypothesis, it will open new fields of research about how bacteria cause disease.