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Sandra M. Barral Rodriguez, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Neurogenetics (in Neurology, the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain) at CUMC
Sandra M. Barral Rodriguez, PhD

My research is primarily in the area of mapping genes contributing to the susceptibility for Alzheimer disease and other human neurodegenerative disorders.

Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated of 4.5 million Americans, and the national direct and indirect annual cost of caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are at least $100 billion according to estimates used by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute of Aging. Although the etiology of Alzheimer disease remains to be fully understood, there is compelling evidence that genetic risk factors play a major role in the development of the disease. It is well accepted that, along with age, family history is the most prominent risk factor for the development of the disease. Inheritance of the apolipoprotein ε-4 allele is a risk factor, including both sporadic and late-onset familial forms of the disease. Variation in four genes has already been shown to cause rare forms of early-onset AD (the Amyloid Precursor Protein Gene, Presenilin 1 and Presenilin 2). Nevertheless, epidemiological studies suggest that additional genetic or environmental factors could play essential roles in the disease.

The identification of additional genetic risk factors contributing to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s will lead to improved genetic medicine, so that screening and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease as well as enhanced therapeutic and preventive tools can eventually be developed. Through application of different gene mapping statistical methods, linkage and association strategies in genome-wide and candidate gene approaches, we are able to identify genetic risk factors influencing Alzheimer’s disease.

Departmental Appointments

  • Department of Neurology

Centers/Institutes/Programs

  • Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center
  • Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain

NIH Grants

  • GENETIC STUDIES OF ALZHEIMER S DISEASE IN CARIBBEAN HISPANICS (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2015 - Aug 31 2020

    IDENTIFICATION OF SUSCEPTIBILITY GENES FOR ESSENTIAL TREMOR (Federal Gov)

    May 1 2015 - May 31 2020

    GENETIC VARIATION UNDERLYING TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI) AND LATE ONSET ALZHEIMER S DISEASE (LOAD) (Federal Gov)

    Sep 15 2016 - Sep 14 2019

    LONG LIFE FAMILY STUDY: COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY (Federal Gov)

    May 1 2014 - May 31 2019

    CONSORTIUM FOR ALZHEIMER S SEQUENCE ANALYSIS (CASA) U19 PENN (Federal Gov)

    Jun 15 2014 - May 31 2018

    CONSORTIUM FOR ALZHEIMER S SEQUENCE ANALYSIS (CASA) PROJECT 2 (Federal Gov)

    Jun 15 2014 - May 31 2018

    COORDINATING CENTER FOR GENETICS AND GENOMICS OF ALZHEIMER S DISEASE (CGAD) (Federal Gov)

    Apr 15 2016 - Feb 28 2017

    ALZHEIMER S DISEASE GENETICS CONSORTIUM (Federal Gov)

    Jun 15 2015 - Mar 31 2016

    EPIGENOMICS OF ALZHEIMER S DISEASE (Federal Gov)

    Sep 15 2009 - Aug 31 2015

    ALZHEIMER S DISEASE GENETICS CONSORTIUM (Federal Gov)

    Apr 1 2009 - Mar 31 2014

    EXPANDING A NATIONAL RESOURCE FOR GENETIC RESEARCH IN BEHAVIORAL & HEALTH SCIENCES (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2010 - Aug 31 2013

    ALZHEIMER''S DISEASE GENETICS CONSORTIUM (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2011 - Mar 31 2012