Working under a 5-year, $2.23 million grant awarded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Jay McLaughlin, Associate Member, Pharmacology and Neuroscience at Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies will study how the HIV virus produces related neuropathology and mood disorders.
The prevalence of mood disorders in people with HIV is high, and patients tend to experience progressive neurodegeneration as they live with the virus. These pathologies complicate patient care and increase HIV-related morbidity and mortality. “We hypothesize that the mood disorders associated with HIV infections are mediated by the neuronal dysfunction and neurodegeneration induced by the HIV-accessory protein, Tat,” stated Dr. McLaughlin. “We hope the findings will begin to clarify how these effects occur. More importantly, we hope to establish Tat protein as a target for new treatments that block or reduce HIV-related neuropathology and mood disorders.”
Dr. McLaughlin joined Torrey Pines Institute of Molecular Studies in Port St. Lucie as an Associate Member in February 2009. Prior to joining the faculty of Torrey Pines, he was an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in Boston where he began research collaboration with the Torrey Pines Institute.