Jacob Ayers, PhD
Dr. Ayers earned his undergraduate degree in microbiology from the University of New Hampshire. He then completed his graduate work at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, studying prion diseases under the mentorship of Dr. Jason Bartz. At Creighton, he investigated the mechanisms that govern prion strain targeting by examining the in vivo properties of several hamster-adapted prion strains. Dr. Ayers then joined the laboratory of Dr. David Borchelt in the University of Florida’s Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease (CTRND) and began studying the potential prion properties of the familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) linked protein, superoxide-dismutase 1 (SOD1). These studies led to a number of novel findings that described the prion characteristics inherent in the SOD1 protein and revealed a unique mouse model and injection paradigm that results in a spreading symptomology that mirrors that observed in ALS patients. He then joined the faculty in the CTRND as a Research Assistant Professor and continued his studies in ALS along with investigating the induction and spread of alpha-synuclein in transgenic mouse models.
Dr. Ayers joined the IND in 2018. His work focuses on the discovery of therapeutic interventions to treat and prevent the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.