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Dr. Yona Levites

Assistant Professor
Neuroscience, University of Florida

Brief Biography:

1992 - 95 Teaching Assistant, Unit of Undergraduate Student’s Support, Technion, Haifa, Israel 1995 Analytical quality tests for food oils, Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Technion, Haifa, Israel 1995 - 96 Assistant to the Chief of Health Education Dept., Medicinal Corps, IDF 1996 - 98 Assistant to the Chief of Feeding Systems Dept., Food Branch, Maintenance Corps, IDF 1998 -00 Technical assistant in Nephrology Dept., Technion. Preparing of primary cells culture 1998 - 02 Graduate student in Eve Topf and USA NPF Centers of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Disorders, Pharmacology Dept. and Biotechnology Unit, Technion. 2002 - 05 Research Fellow, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fl 2006 - 07 Instructor, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine 2008 - 2010 Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic College of medicine, Jacksonville, FL 2010 - Assistant Professor, Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Academic positions:

Assistant Professor, Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, University of Florida

Research interests:

My research involves generation of anti-amyloid beta peptide single-chain variable fragments and administrating them to Alzheimer's disease animal models via Adeno-Associated virus mediated gene transfer. I have cloned light and heavy chain units from several anti-Abeta antibodies available in the laboratory and constructed a single chain Fv. Using a novel technique of AAV-mediated gene delivery into neonatal brain I express these scFv in transgenic mice in attempt to attenuate amyloid deposition. Additionally, I am working on development of anti-generic amyloid single-chain fragments directed specifically against fibrillar Amyloid beta. For several years we have been attempting to dissect potential mechanisms involved in Abeta vaccination strategies for the therapy of AD using transgenic mouse models. Recently we provided a framework to evaluate proposed mechanisms of Abeta attenuation mediated by peripheral administration of an anti-Abeta monoclonal antibody (mAb) effective in passive immunization paradigm. The data suggests that the mAbs are either indirectly enhancing clearance of Abeta or targeting a low abundance aggregation intermediate. Another path of research that I am pursuing is testing a new strategy to develop animal models that more closely resemble Alzheimer’s disease processes in the human brain. I will test the utility of a novel mechanism to deliver individual beta-amyloid protein fragments as well as other non-Abeta amyloidogenic peptides to rodent brain and determine whether these models develop a brain pathology that closely resembles Alzheimer’s.

What I think of the idea behind WebmedCentral:

I support the idea of open access science data