Alexandra C. Newton, Ph.D.

Professor of Pharmacology, 

University of California, San Diego

Dr. Newton studies the molecular mechanisms underlying how cells process information in health and in disease.   Cellular homeostasis depends on precise control of the balance between “go” and “stop” signals controlled by protein kinases and protein phosphatases, enzymes with opposing functions.  Deregulation of this balance leads to pathophysiological states, driving either pro-survival diseases such as cancer or degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease.  The Newton lab focuses, in particular, on the structure, function, and regulation of protein kinase C and how aberrant function contributes to the pathophysiologies of cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease.  Understanding the molecular basis for how protein kinase C is deregulated in these diseases has potential for novel therapeutic strategies.  Dr. Alexandra Newton received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University and her postdoctoral training in Daniel E. Koshland's laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.   

Funded Research

Project Description Researchers Funding
Alzheimer’s disease-associated mutations in PKCα: analysis of aberrant signaling output
The goal of this project is to analyze how Alzheimers Disease (AD)-associated mutations in a key signaling molecule, protein kinase C α (PKCα), alter its function. PKCα plays a pivotal role in tuning the signaling output of cells and, as such, is frequently mutated in human cancers. The Alzheimer’s Genome Project led by Tanzi and colleagues has identified unique mutations in PKCα that co-segregate with AD in families with the disease.