Candice Van Skike, Ph.D.
The goal of Dr. Van Skike’s research is to identify the mechanisms that contribute to cerebrovascular dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease and aging. Recent work in both humans and animal models have demonstrated that deficits in cerebral blood flow emerge prior to the onset of cognitive dysfunction, suggesting that altered cerebral blood flow may present an opportunity for early detection and intervention in a disease that currently has no cure. The research in the Galvan lab has identified that the mTOR pathway contributes to brain vascular dysfunction and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease and aging; therefore inhibitors of the mTOR pathway may have potential as a therapeutic intervention.
Dr. Van Skike specializes in the use of in vivo techniques, including intravital two-photon microscopy and laser Doppler flowmetry, to measure cerebral blood flow, vasodilatory capacity, and blood-brain barrier integrity in mouse models of AD. Additionally, her research utilizes immunofluorescent confocal microscopy and cell culture to identify the mTOR-dependent mechanisms involved in cerebral blood flow dysfunction. She is also highly trained in rodent behavioral testing, including spatial learning and memory tasks, hippocampal dependent contextual memory, recognition memory, anxiety, and assays of motor function.