Rope-like filaments common to rogue brain proteins | “The Science Show”

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Rodriguez Jose

Professor Jose Rodriguez was recently interviewed by science journalist Robyn Williams about his infectious rope-like prion proteins research.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp’s popular “The Science Show” is considered by many people to be the world’s best science broadcast program. Rodriguez’s six-minute interview was a segment on Williams’ one-hour radio show titled “The seaweed revolution and keeping brains fit” which aired on August 1, 2020. The interview and transcript can be accessed here

A true Bruin, Rodriguez received his B.S. in biophysics and his Ph.D. in molecular biology at UCLA. Prior to joining the UCLA faculty in 2016, he was a postdoctoral scholar in the group of Professor David Eisenberg. Rodriguez holds the Howard Reiss Development Chair in the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. His group develops and applies techniques in bio-imaging to solve cellular and molecular structures. To learn more about Rodriguez’s research, visit his group’s website.

Professor Steven Clarke was also interviewed on the show. 

From “The Science Show” website:

Rodriguez Calina Image

Recombinant prions Image: Calina Glynn

Rope-like filaments common to rogue brain proteins

On “The Science Show” with Robyn Williams

When some perfectly normal proteins change shape in the brain, they present a surface allowing more proteins to latch on to. The process continues and eventually the brain is clogged with masses of proteins which cause problems such as Alzheimer’s. These masses of proteins are often seen as rope-like filaments and might consist of proteins such as prion or tau. Jose Rodriguez is investigating these protein assemblages and how it is they are infectious.


Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,