Department of Cell Systems and Anatomy
Bess Frost, PhD
Bartell Zachry Distinguished Professor for Research in Neurodegenerative Disorders
The research focus of Dr. Frost’s laboratory revolves around the basic neurobiology connecting toxic forms of tau to neuronal death and dysfunction. Dr. Frost’s contributions to neurodegenerative disease research have recently earned her an O’Donnell Award in Medicine from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas as well as a Standout Achievement Award from CurePSP. The Frost laboratory has discovered that the detrimental effects of pathogenic tau on nuclear and genomic architecture activate retrotransposons and alter RNA trafficking. Through this work, they have identified multiple new targets for therapeutic development, as well as compounds that interfere with these processes and suppress tau-induced neurotoxicity. Based on these findings, Dr. Frost and her team have recently initiated a Phase IIa clinical trial, ART-AD, in which they are testing the brain penetrance, target engagement, and effects on neurodegeneration and inflammation of the reverse transcriptase inhibitor 3TC in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to her scientific efforts, Dr. Frost is a member of the Tau Consortium and serves on the scientific advisory board of CurePSP. Dr. Frost leads the UT Health Aging Brain Working Group, which aims to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical research.
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