The Rice Lab at OMRF will open in December 2023
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that affects memory, thinking and behavior in more than 6 million people across the U.S. One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease is the buildup of plaques that form when proteins called amyloid-beta peptides stick together in the brain. These peptides are fragments from a larger molecule called the Amyloid Precursor Protein.
Reducing the amounts of Amyloid Precursor Protein in the brain may be a potential target for treatment or prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. My lab works to understand the normal role of the Amyloid Precursor Protein so we can identify new approaches to manage it and better understand the potential benefits and consequences of its removal.
My laboratory studies the biology of the Amyloid Precursor Protein and its various fragments that break off during healthy aging and in Alzheimer’s disease. In particular, we seek to identify the interactions of the Amyloid Precursor Protein with other proteins and the impact of these interactions on cellular functions and brain health.
Watch my 2019 TEDxKULeuvenBrussels Lecture
Check out what inspired my research path in The Scientist magazine
The molecular mechanisms regulating the normal function of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) has largely remained elusive despite its central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. My lab recently identified the GABA type B receptor subunit 1a (GABABR1a) as a synaptic receptor for the shed APP ectodomain (sAPP) and revealed a physiological role for sAPP in regulating GABABR1a function to modulate synaptic transmission.
Current work of the lab is aimed at further dissecting the role of APP in specific cell types of the brain and determining the consequences of this signaling on multiple pathways including synaptic function, neuroinflammation and mitochondrial function. The lab aims to exploit this normal function of APP to counteract disease processes and develop novel strategies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
B.S. in zoology-biomedical sciences, University of Oklahoma, 2007
Ph.D. in Neurobiology, Harvard University, 2013
Postdoctoral training, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain and Disease Research, 2013-2019
Honors and Awards
Junior Faculty Award Winner, Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Disease International Conference, 2019
21st Century Woman of Innovations in Health, The Oklahoman, 2020
Faculty Leadership Fellow, OUHSC, 2020
Trainee, NIA Summer Training Course in Experimental Aging Research, 2021
College of Medicine Alumni Research Scholar, OUHSC, 2021
Academic All-State Honored Alumni, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Awards Banquet, 2023
Memberships and Other Activities
Invited Reviewer: Alzheimer’s Association International Research Grant Program, PLOS
Biology, Neuroscience, Geroscience, Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, 2017-present
Chair, Gordon Research Seminar: Neurobiology of Brain Disorders, 2018
Early Career Reviewer, Special Emphasis Panel on Molecular and Cellular Causal Aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease (ZRG1 MDCN P (56)), 2021
Reviewer, Special Emphasis Panel on Alzheimer's Disease and its Related Dementias (ZRG1 AN Z55), 2023
Will join OMRF scientific staff in December 2023
Kellogg CM, Pham K, Machalinski AH, Porter HL, Blankenship HE, Tooley KB, Stout MB, Rice HC, Sharpe AL, Beckstead MJ, Chucair-Elliott AJ, Ocañas SR, Freeman WM. Microglial MHC-I induction with aging and Alzheimer's is conserved in mouse models and humans. Geroscience, 2023 July, PMID: 37393197, PMCID: PMC10643718
Kellogg CM, Pham K, Machalinski AH, Porter HL, Blankenship HE, Tooley K, Stout MB, Rice HC, Sharpe AL, Beckstead MJ, Chucair-Elliott AJ, Ocañas SR, Freeman WM. Microglial MHC-I induction with aging and Alzheimer's is conserved in mouse models and humans. bioRxiv, 2023 June, PMID: 36945372, PMCID: PMC10028873
Logan S, Baier MP, Owen DB, Peasari J, Jones KL, Ranjit R, Yarbrough HP, Masingale AM, Bhandari S, Rice HC, Kinter MT, Sonntag WE. Cognitive heterogeneity reveals molecular signatures of age-related impairment. PNAS Nexus 2:pgad101, 2023 March, PMID: 37091543, PMCID: PMC10118303
Rice HC, Marcassa G, Chrysidou I, Horré K, Young-Pearse TL, Müller UC, Saito T, Saido TC, Vassar R, de Wit J, De Strooper B. (2020) Contribution of GABAergic interneurons to amyloid-β plaque pathology in an APP knock-in mouse model. Molecular Neurodegeneration. Jan 8;15(1):3.
Rice HC, de Malmazet D, Schreurs A, Frere S, Van Molle I, Volkov O, Creemers E, Vertkin I, Ranaivoson F, Nys J, Comoletti D, Savas JN, Remaut H, Balschun D, Wierda KD, Slutsky I, Farrow K, De Strooper B, de Wit J. (2019) Secreted Amyloid-β Precursor Protein Functions as a GABABR1a Ligand to Modulate Synaptic Transmission. Science. 363(6423). doi: 10.1126/science.aao4827