Dr. Yang’s primary research interest is to elucidate the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at the molecular, cellular, and system levels using human AD brains and cellular and mouse models of AD, and to explore novel therapeutic targets for AD. The research is focused on two integrated aspects:
1) identification of impairments in the autophagic-lysosomal pathway in relation to abnormal degradation and accumulation/storage of proteins and lipids in models of AD; and
2) translational research focusing on remediating the autophagic-lysosomal system in AD models as a potential therapeutic strategy for AD.
Dr. Yang received his medical education at the Shantou University Medical College, his M.S. in Neuroscience from the Sun Yat-Sen University Zhongshan School of Medicine in China, his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Australian National University, and postdoctoral training at the University of Western Australia and the University of Toronto’s Center for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases. He has been with NKI as a Research Scientist since 2001. Dr. Yang was a co-recipient of two research awards from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, China, and received two Ph.D. scholarships from the Australian National University as well as an Investigator Initiated Research Grant from the Alzheimer’s Association. He has served as a reviewer for a number of international journals including Autophagy, Journal of Neuroscience, Brain, Aging Cell, Human Molecular Genetics, Journal of Neurochemistry, Neurobiology of Aging, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, PLoS ONE, Ageing Research Reviews, and Medicinal Research Reviews, and as an Ad Hoc reviewer for grant applications to the Alzheimer’s Association (USA) and the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and the Northwest Territories (Canada).
Nixon RA, Yang DS, Lee JH (2008) Neurodegenerative lysosomal disorders – a continuum from development to late age. Autophagy 4:590-9.
Nixon RA, Yang DS (2011) Autophagy failure in Alzheimer’s disease – Locating the primary defect. Neurobiol. Dis. 43:38-45.
Yang DS, Stavrides P, Mohan PS, Kaushik S, Kumar A, Ohno M, Schmidt SD, Wesson D, Bandyopadhyay U, Jiang Y, Pawlik M, Peterhoff CM, Yang AJ, Wilson DA, St. George-Hyslop P, Westaway D, Mathews PM, Levy E, Cuervo AM, Nixon RA (2011) Reversal of autophagy dysfunction in the TgCRND8 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease ameliorates amyloid pathologies and memory deficits. Brain 134:258-77.
Yang DS, Stavrides P, Saito M, Kumar A, Rodriguez-Navarro JA, Pawlik M, Huo C, Walkley SU, Cuervo AM, Nixon RA (2014) Defective macroautophagic turnover of brain lipids in the TgCRND8 Alzheimer mouse model: prevention by correcting lysosomal proteolytic deficits. Brain 137:3300-3318.