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This profile was last updated on 7/30/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Pamela A. Maher

Wrong Dr. Pamela A. Maher?

Senior Scientist At the Cellular ...

Salk Institute
10010 N Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla , California 92037
United States

Company Description: The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fundamental discoveries in the life...   more
Background

Employment History

Education

  • Ph.D.
53 Total References
Web References
Able Me & Associates! - What's New!
www.ableme.com, 30 Aug 2011 [cached]
Pam Maher, Ph.D., senior scientist at the Salk Institute's Cellular Neurobiology Lab, initially ID'd fisetin as a neuro-protective flavonoid. She said, "In plants, flavonoids act as sunscreens and protective leaves and fruits from insects.
"Since the development of a basic ...
www.cnsfoundation.org, 17 Oct 2006 [cached]
"Since the development of a basic understanding of the biochemical pathways involved in memory formation, the holy grail of CNS research in the pharmaceutical industry is the identification of a safe, orally active drug that activates memory-associated pathways and enhances memory," says lead author Pamela Maher, Ph.D., a researcher in the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute.
Maher hit upon the beneficial effects of fisetin when she screened a collection of flavonoids, substances with anti-oxidant activities found in many plants, for their neuroprotective abilities in tissue culture models of neurodegenerative disease.
Maher found that some of those compounds, including fisetin, induced differentiation or maturation of neural cells.Maher explains, "That suggested to us that these compounds might be particularly beneficial, since they might not only protect neural cells from dying but might be able to promote new connections between nerve cells."
Interestingly the signaling pathway activated by fisetin in neural differentiation also played a role in memory formation, a process neuroscientists call "long-term potentiation" or LTP.LTP allows memories to be stored in the brain by strengthening connections between neurons."We wanted to find out whether we could detect any effects of fisetin on long-term potentiation and the formation of memories in animals," Maher recalls.
Since the hippocampus plays an important role in establishing new memories, Maher, and co-authors Tatsuhiro Akaishi and Kazuho Abe, both at Musashino University in Tokyo, Japan, extended the study and found that fisetin activates the same signaling pathway in rat hippocampal tissues and also induces LTP.
...
"The good news is that fisetin is readily available in strawberries but the bad news is that because of its natural product status there may be little financial interest in getting it into human clinical trials for diseases associated with memory loss such as Alzheimer's, where the treatment options are currently very limited," says Maher.
Besides strawberries, fisetin is found in tomatoes, onions, oranges, apples, peaches, grapes, kiwifruit and persimmons.
Highlights include the perspective by ...
www.future-science-group.com, 1 June 2012 [cached]
Highlights include the perspective by David Schubert and Pamela Maher of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (CA, USA) that considers a different approach to drug discovery in this disease area, highlighting the fact that there are currently "no drugs that halt the progression of any age-associated neurodegenerative disease.
Pamela Maher, Salk ...
www.sfrbm.org, 15 Nov 2012 [cached]
Pamela Maher, Salk Institute
IMAGE: Pamela Maher is a ...
www.eurekalert.org, 15 Nov 2010 [cached]
IMAGE: Pamela Maher is a researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Click here for more information.
...
In earlier studies, Pamela Maher, Ph.D., a senior staff scientist in the Salk Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, had found that fisetin exerted its neuroprotective and memory-enhancing effects through the activation of the Ras/ERK signaling pathway. "Because Ras/ERK is known to be less active in HD, we thought fisetin might prove useful in the condition," Maher says.
Maher and her team began their study by looking at a nerve cell line that could be made to express a mutant form of the huntingtin protein. Without treatment, about 50 percent of these cells will die within a few days. Adding fisetin, however, prevented cell death and appeared to achieve it by activating the Ras-ERK cascade.
The researchers then turned their attention to Drosophila. In collaboration with J. Lawrence Marsh, Ph.D., a professor of developmental and cell biology at the University of California, Irvine, Maher tested fisetin in fruit flies overexpressing mutant huntingtin in neurons in the brain. The affected flies don't live as long as normal flies and also have defective eye development. When they were fed fisetin, however, the HD flies maintained their life span and had fewer eye defects.
Finally, Maher and her team tested fisetin's effects in a mouse model of HD. HD mice develop motor defects early on and have much shorter life spans than normal control animals. When Maher and her team fed them fisetin, the onset of the motor defects was delayed, and their life span was extended by about 30 percent.
...
"Cells are damaged and dying before there are overt symptoms," Maher says. "If patients know they have the mutation, then they could potentially start treatment before they start showing symptoms, which might be more effective than waiting for the symptoms to appear, as many do now."
Maher's lab has developed a variety of fisetin derivatives that are more potent in cell-based assays than the fisetin used in the study, and she plans further tests to see which combination is most effective in HD and other neurodegenerative disorders.
In the meantime, does she recommend eating a lot of strawberries to gain fisetin's benefits?
"It probably couldn't hurt," she says.
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In addition to Maher and Marsh, Richard Dargusch of the Salk Institute and Laszlo Bodai, Paul Gerard and Judy Purcell of the University of California, Irvine, contributed to the study.
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