Dr. med. Diego Sepulveda-Falla

Dr. Sepulveda-Falla is a medical doctor and researcher in Neuropathology with focus in molecular neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease. He is Colombian, during his medical training in the University of Antioquia in Medellín he started working collecting brains for the Brain Bank of the Neuroscience Group of Antioquia, lead by Dr. Francisco Lopera. This research group identified and follows up the largest population in the world for familiar Alzheimer’s disease carrying one single Presenilin 1 mutation (E280A). After graduating as physician and surgeon he moved to Germany to study the brains of this population under the supervision of Dr. Markus Glatzel at the Institute of Neuropathology of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. After obtaining his doctoral degree he stayed in this institute as a postdoc, eventually leading his own research group on his subject of interest.

During the last 14 years he has grown as a scientist pursuing this endeavour and learned about the complexity and heterogeneity of Alzheimer’s pathology. He identified mitochondrial dysfunction as a key feature in these Colombian patients and developed cellular and animal models for its study. He also identified that Tau pathology more than Abeta pathology is the main driver of disease onset in this population. Recently, he has joined the collective effort on the identification and characetrization of familial Alzheimer’s cases outstandingly protected against the disease, identifying two different modalities of protection. One involving a global effect of glial cells and one location-specific on the Entorhinal Cortex. He has collaborated successfully with well-known European and American scientists, and has obtained independent funding to continue his research from both, European and American organizations.