Linda Jo Van Eldik, PhD
Director, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging
University of Kentucky
Linda Jo Van Eldik, Ph.D., is director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and the National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Center, co-director of the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, and professor of neuroscience at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. Her background includes a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Duke University, postdoctoral research in virology and cell biology at Rockefeller University in New York and faculty membership at Vanderbilt University and at Northwestern University in Chicago.
Dr. Van Eldik has received a number of honors during her career, including a Zenith Award from the Alzheimer’s Association and a NIA MERIT award. She previously served on the Alzheimer’s Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Council and currently serves on the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation Scientific Review Board, the Weston Brain Institute Scientific Advisory Committee and American Federation for Aging Research National Scientific Advisory Council.
Dr. Van Eldik’s research program focuses on dysregulated brain inflammation, and she is investigating why neurodegenerative disorders exhibit overactive and chronic neuroinflammation that can lead to disruption of normal communication among brain cells and cause nerve cell damage. Her research is identifying potential points of intervention and developing new small molecule drug candidates to slow the progression of cognitive impairment and neurodegeneration. In collaborative efforts at the biology-chemistry interface, she has shepherded a set of small molecule compounds from design and synthesis, through IND-enabling preclinical development, with three drug candidates in phase 1 human clinical trials.