Pamela Maher, PhD

Dr. Pamela Maher2017 Presentation Title – The Berry Flavonoid Fisetin is Protective in Multiple Animal Models of Age-Associated Neurological Disorder 

Pamela Maher is at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. She has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from McGill University and a PhD in biochemistry from the University of British Columbia. She did her postdoctoral work with Jon Singer at the University of California, San Diego. After helping to establish a research program at the Whittier Institute in La Jolla with Nobel Laureate Roger Guillemin, she held a faculty position at Scripps Research Institute before joining the Salk Institute in 2004.

As a postdoctoral fellow, she was instrumental in the development of the technology used for the detection of phosphorylated proteins involved in cell signaling pathways, opening up a whole new field of cell biology. She then used these methods to discover several novel mechanisms for the transfer of information within cells.

Dr. Maher has also published extensively in the area of growth factors in the nervous system, and on the basis of this work identified several natural products that mimic the effects of protein growth factors in the nervous system. Since protein growth factors are of limited use for the treatment of brain diseases because they cannot get into the brain, the identification of small molecules that readily enter the brain and mimic the effects of protein growth factors provides a new therapeutic avenue for the treatment of nervous system diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Her recent work has focused on identifying additional natural products that are effective against brain diseases, improving the natural products already identified using medicinal chemistry and characterizing their molecular targets so as to provide additional approaches to the treatment of brain diseases. She has over 125 peer-reviewed publications and is currently supported by both public and private funding agencies.