SAN FRANCISCO, 8/19/16 - The Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia congratulates Swathi Devireddy, Ph.D., recipient of the 2016 Bluefield Postdoctoral Fellowship for her proposal, “Elucidation of mechanisms that support the lysosomal delivery of progranulin.”

Dr. Devireddy received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry, microbiology and chemistry from S.V. University in India. She obtained a doctoral degree in cellular neurobiology from Purdue University.

In 2016, Dr. Devireddy joined the lab of CFR Investigator Dr. Shawn Ferguson at Yale University for postdoctoral studies. Her research project focuses on elucidating mechanisms involved in the delivery of progranulin to lysosomes. Lysosomes are small, membrane-bound compartments within cells that function in waste removal and act as signaling hubs for coordinating cellular housekeeping. The reduction of progranulin observed in mutation carriers is believed to compromise lysosomal function and ultimately lead to FTD, thus increasing the delivery of progranulin to lysosomes may be beneficial.

Dr. Devireddy’s project aims to directly investigate how progranulin’s delivery is regulated. She will analyze how certain proteins, such as prosaposin, sortilin, and TDP-43, influence the movement of progranulin to lysosomes. These studies will support the development of therapies in progranulin-deficient FTD.

Dr. Pearlman, President of the Bluefield Project to Cure FTD, said, “Dr. Devireddy’s research will increase our understanding of how progranulin is instructed to the lysosome and may identify new targets for drug development. We look forward to seeing what this exciting work uncovers.”

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.