Harvard researcher shares Alzheimer’s insights at Science Pub-Hawai‘i Nov. 18

November 04, 2013

HONOLULU — An estimated 5.2 million Americans currently suffer with Alzheimer’s Disease, including nearly 30,000 in Hawaiʻi, with one in three seniors who dies expressing symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease at the end of life. There continues to be no cure and no effective treatments for the disease.

Lori Chibnik
Lori Chibnik

Understanding the genetics and genomics of Alzheimer’s is critical to early detection, discovery of targets for treatments and development of better treatments and a possible cure. Lori Chibnik, Ph.D., MPH, engages in that work daily, as a biostatistician and faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

At Hawai‘i Pacific University’s Science Pub-Hawai‘i, she’ll provide an update on the latest findings and most promising areas of study developing today in the quest to end this deadly disease. “Genetics and Genomics of Alzheimer’s Disease: What We Know and What We Still Need to Learn” is scheduled on Monday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m.

Her research involves working with clinical, environmental, pathologic, genetic and epigenetic data from a cohort of almost 3,000 individuals from around the U.S. who have been followed for up to 19 years. She is modeling the interconnection between the many types of data in order to find indicators and pathways before the onset of Alzheimer’s. Early detection is the key to treat the disease.

“At around 60 to 65 years of age, your risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease increases, with a third of adults over the age of 85 expressing clinical symptoms of Alzheimer’s,” she said. “The percentage of the American population over the age of 65 is also expected to more than double over the next two decades.”

Chibnik earned her Ph.D. in Biostatistics from Boston University, where she also has a Master in Public Health in International Health & Epidemiology/Biostatistics from its School of Public Health. Previously, she volunteered in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Moldova, where she taught health education and started a girls’ camp. Her appearance is being sponsored by Hawaiʻi Pacific University’s Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee and Kappa Mu Epsilon honor society.

Presented by HPU, Science Pub-Hawai‘i is held on the waterfront outdoor stage at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant at Aloha Tower Marketplace, the third Monday of each month. It is an informal showcase of research and scholarship for people who like to learn and discuss timely topics. The event is free, and though no RSVP is required, Science Pub friends are encouraged to let others know they’re coming via Facebook, Bring friends and your questions about the world around us and consider arriving early to enjoy Gordon Biersch’s acclaimed food and drink. Learn more at