SAN FRANCISCO, 9/9/14 - The Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia congratulates Vidhu Mathur, Ph.D., recipient of the 2014 Bluefield Postdoctoral Fellowship for her proposal, “Molecular characterization of ganciclovir-induced modulation of microgliosis.”

Dr. Mathur received her undergraduate degree in microbiology from the University of Delhi in India and completed a doctorate in molecular biology in Dr. Susan Liebman’s lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In 2012, Dr. Mathur joined the lab of CFR Investigator Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray at Stanford University, where she is analyzing how reduced progranulin affects the function of microglia. Microglia are the resident immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS). They constantly survey the CNS and remove debris, dead cells and infectious agents to protect the brain. Previous work by CFR investigators and others demonstrated that microglia lacking progranulin are unusually active and more pro-inflammatory than microglia that contain progranulin. Dr. Mathur will systematically characterize microglia lacking progranulin in order to better understand how they contribute to FTD’s disease process. She will also explore use of the FDA-approved antiviral drug, ganciclovir, as a treatment to normalize progranulin-deficient microglia. Ganciclovir was recently shown by the Wyss-Coray lab to modulate microglia in a mouse model for multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Pearlman, President of the Bluefield Project to Cure FTD, said, “Dr. Mathur’s research is poised to significantly advance our understanding of how progranulin deficiency alters immune cells. In addition, her work may have translational applications for potential therapeutics. We look forward to watching her research unfold.”

The Bluefield Postdoctoral Fellowship provides two years of salary support and is awarded annually to a postdoctoral fellow in a CFR member lab who is conducting basic, translational or clinical research on frontotemporal dementia.