Dr Virginie Lam
- Neurodegenerative disorders
Having secured a highly competitive National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Research Fellowship in 2019, Virginie will spend four years looking for potential causes of Alzheimer’s disease originating beyond the brain. Her focus is the effect of peripheral factors, such as dietary intake of particular fats, on the development of the disease.
Virginie works in a multi-disciplinary research team under the mentorship of CHIRI Director Professor John Mamo and Associate Professor Ryu Takechi, who share a common goal – to reduce the global and growing burden of dementia, a disease more than 50 million people are living with worldwide. Virginie is hopeful her paradigm-shifting research project will identify some major and modifiable risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease.
After graduating with First Class Honours in 2009, Virginie completed her PhD in 2016 and has gained significant preclinical and clinical expertise investigating the role of micro-nutrients in regulating brain capillaries and cognitive performance. Her studies demonstrated for the first time that elevated levels of some micro-nutrients may paradoxically be as detrimental to brain capillaries and memory as deficiencies are. Of particular interest to Virginie are the cerebrovascular-modulating effects of vitamin D and brain function.
Another avenue of Virginie’s research is dedicated to considering the interactive effects of vascular-modulating nutrients with lifestyle and pharmacological interventions that can restore vascular damage, improve cognitive health and halt the onset and progression of vascular-based neurodegenerative diseases.
Research interests – vascular dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; neurodegenerative diseases; cerebrovascular disorders; Vitamin D; ageing; nutrition; Blood-Brain Barrier; cognitive function/decline.