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Appelt, Denah

Denah M. Appelt, PhD

Denah M. Appelt, PhD

Professor of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology
Department of Bio-Medical Sciences

Ph: 215-871-6164
FX: 215-871-6889
E-mail: DenahA@pcom.edu



Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Hahnemann University
PhD, Drexel University College of Medicine
BS, Juniata College


Dr. Appelt is a professor of Neuroscience in the department of Bio-Medical Sciences. Dr. Appelt has served as the director for Basic and Clinical Neuroscience course in the DO curriculum and the director of the Neuroscience course in the Biomedical master program. Dr. Appelt lectures on neuroanatomy and participates in neuroanatomy labs in the DO SPOM course, Physician Assistance, and Psychology program. In addition, Dr. Appelt is the director for the dual degree DO/PhD. program in Cellular and Molecular Biology designed to develop physician-scientist.

Dr. Appelt has done extensive research in the field of aging and is recognized for her work on Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Appelt is the director of PCOM’s Biological Imaging Facility and is investigating pathogen involvement as a trigger for developing Alzheimer’s disease. She is particular interesting in understanding the effects Chlamydia pneumoniae and HSV exert on the central nervous system that result in the neuropathology observed in Alzheimer’s disease. Her laboratory uses high resolution electron microscopy, confocal microscopy and epifluorescent microscopy to study cellular structures.


American Society for Cell Biology-Glenn Foundation Award for Outstanding Research in Aging (1996)

Professor of the Year 2008 – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Kappa Sigma Phi Award for Osteopathic education (2003)

Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award (2013)

Selected Publications

Appelt, D.M., and Balin, B.J.: Analysis of Paired Helical Filaments Found in Alzheimer Disease Using Freeze-Drying/Rotary Shadowing. J. Struct. Biol. 111: 85-95, (1993).

Appelt, D.M., and Kopen, G.C., Boyne, L.J. , and Balin, B.J.: Localization of Transglutaminase in Hippocampal Neurons: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease. J. Histochem. & Cytochem. 44: 1421-1427, 1996.

Appelt, D.M., and Balin, B.J.: The Association of Tissue Transglutaminase with Human Recombinant Tau Results in the Formation of Insoluble Filamentous Structures. Brain Res. 745:21-31, 1997.

Balin, B.J., Gerard, H.C., Arking, E.J., Appelt, D.M., Branigan, P.J., Abrams, J.T., Whittum-Hudson, J.A.,and Hudson, A.P.: Identification and Localization of Chlamydia pneumoniae in the Alzheimer's Brain. Med. Micro. & Immunol. 187:23-42: 1998.

Arking, E.J., Appelt, D.M., Abrams, J.T., Kolbe, S.J.,Hudson, A.P., and Balin, B.J.: Ultrastructural variation of Chlamydia pneumoniae in the Alzheimer's brain. Pathogenesis. 1(3):201-211, 1999.

Balin, B.J., Loewy, A.R. and Appelt, D.M.:Analysis of Transglutaminase-catalyzed Isopeptide Bonds in Paired Helical Filaments and Neurofibrillary Tangles From Alzheimer’s Disease. In:Amyloid and other protein deposition: methods and models. (Methods in Enzymology 309:172-186, 1999; Academic Press, Orlando, Fl; edited by Ronald Wetzel, Ph.D.).

Balin, B.J. and Appelt, D.M.:Transglutaminase-catalyzed Formation of Alzheimer-like Insoluble Complexes From Recombinant Tau. In:Alzheimer’s Disease: Methods and Protocols. (In Methods in Molecular Medicine, pp 395-403, The Humana Press, Inc., Totowa, NJ; edited by Dr. Nigel M. Hooper, 2000).

Little, C.S., MacIntyre, A., Hammond, C., Venuti, E., Bromke, B.J., Balin, B.J., Appelt, D.M.: Ultrastructural Analysis of Beta-Amyloid production in Monocytes, Epithelial, and Endothelial Cells Infected with Chlamydia pneumoniae Isolated from Alzheimer Brains. EXPO:Microscopy and Microanalysis. Volume 6 Supplement1 (411) 2000.

Hudson, A.P., Gerard, H.C., Whittum-Hudson, J.A., Appelt, D.M., Balin, B.J.: Chlamydia pneumoniae, APOEgenotype, and Alzheimer’s Disease. In:Chlamydia pneumoniae and Chronic Diseases, pp 121-136, 2000; Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany; edited by Johanna L’Age-Stehr).

Balin, B.J., and Appelt,D.M.: “Role of Infection in Alzheimer’s disease”: JAOA , 101(12)1-5, 2001 MacIntyre, A., Hammond, C.J., Little, C.S., Appelt, D.M., Balin, BJ.: Chlamydia pneumoniae infection alters the junctional complex proteins of human brain microvascular endothelial cells. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 217(2) 167-72, 2003

MacIntyre, A., Abramov, R., Hammond, C.J., Little, C.S., Appelt, D.M., Balin, B.J.: Chlamydia pneumoniae infection of human brain endothelial cells and monocytes promotes the transmigration of monocytes through an in vitro blood brain barrier. J Neurosci Res. Vol 71:(5) 2003

Balin, B.J., Hammond, C.J., Little, C.S., MacIntyre, A., and Appelt, D.M., Chlamydia Pneumoniae in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease, in Chlamydia pneumoniae Infection and Diseases, H. Friedman ed., Kluwer Academic Plenum, New York, NY, 2003.

Little, C. S., Hammond, C. J., MacIntyre, A., Balin, B. J., and Appelt, D. M.Chlamydia pneumoniae induces Alzheimer-like amyloid plaques in brains of BALB/c mice. Neurobiology of Aging Neurobiology of Aging. 25(4):419-29, 2004 April.

Prozialeck W, Lamar, PC and Appelt, DM , Differential Expression of E-Cadherin, N-Cadherin and Beta-Catenin in Proximal and Distal Segments of the Rat Nephron, Biomed Central:Phys4:10, 2004.

R.F. Itzhaki, M.A. Wozniak, D.M. Appelt, B.J. Balin Infiltration of the brain by pathogens causes Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of Aging, 2004 May-JUN:25(5):619-27.

Balin, B.J., Hammond, C.J., Little, C.S, MacIntyre, A., Appelt, D.M.: Chlamydia pneumoniae in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. In:Chlamydia pneumoniae Infection and Diseases. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, New York; Edited by Drs. M. Bendinelli, Y. Yamamoto, and H. Friedman, 2004, pp. 211-226.

Way, D.S., Albert, E.V., Hammond, C.J., Bell, M.G, Balin, B.J., & Appelt, D.M.,:Caspase Activity is Inhibited in Neuronal Cells Infected with Chlamydia pneumoniae: Implications for Apoptosis in Alzheimer’s Disease, 10th ICAD & Related Disorders;Alzheimer’s Disease New Advances, 2006; 295-299.

Hammond,C., Little, C.S,Longo, N, Procacci, C., Appelt,D., Balin, BJ: Antibiotic Alters Inflammationin the Mouse Brain During Persistent Chlamydia pneumoniae Infection 10th ICAD & Related Disorders;Alzheimer’s Disease New Advances 2006; 537-540.

Balin, B.J., Appelt, D.M., Little, C.S., Hammond, C.J., Whittum-Hudson, J.A., Hudson, A.P.: Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) pneumoniae in Alzheimer’s disease. In: Microbial Infections of the Neurologic System. Springer Publishers; Edited by Andreas Seyfang, H. Friedman, and M. Bendinelli, 2007.

Brian J. Balin, C. Scott Little, Christine J. Hammond, Denah M. Appelt, Judith A. Whittum-Hudson, Hervé C. Gérard, and Alan P. Hudson,. Chlamydophila pneumoniae and the etiology of late-onset alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2008; 13(4):371-380. PMID: 18487846

Appelt,D, Roupas,M, Way,D, Bell,MG, Albert,E Christine J. Hammond, and Brian J. Balin: Inhibition of Apoptosis in Neuronal cells Infected with Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) pneumoniae (BMC Neurosci. 2008 Jan 24;9(1):13)

Brian J. Balin, C. Scott Little, Christine J. Hammond, Denah M. Appelt, Judith A. Whittum-Hudson, Hervé C. Gérard, and Alan P. Hudson, Chlamydophila pneumoniae and the etiology of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, J. of Alzheimer Disease13 ,371-380 2008

Galluzzi KE, Appelt DM, Balin BJ. Modern care for patients with Alzheimer disease: rationale for early intervention. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2010 Sep;110(9 Suppl 8):S37-42.PMID: 20926742

Balin, B.J., Hammond, C.J., Little, C.S., Appelt, D.M., Hingley, S.T.: Evidence for an Infectious Etiology in Alzheimer’s disease. In: Advanced Understanding of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Raymond Chuen-Chung Chang (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-529-7, Intech, Rijeka, Croatia, 2011

Thacker, J.D., Balin, B.J., Appelt, D.M., Sassi-Gaha, S., Purohit, M., Rest, R.F., Artlett, C.M.: Host-response to injury and infection and development of a first-in-class, broad-spectrum, anti-infective drug. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemo., epub Jan. 30, 2012.

Selected Presentations

1997-The Ultrastructural Analysis of Paired Helical Filaments found in Alzheimer’s Disease: Pathology Dept., Univ. of Pennsylvania

1997-The Involvement of Transglutaminase and Isopeptidase in Alzheimer’s Disease: Cephalon

1997-An Interplay of a Novel Isopeptidase and Transglutaminase in Deposits of Amyloid and Tangles Found in Alzheimers Disease: Wyeth Ayerst

1998-Emerging Pathogens Associated With Alzheimer’s disease: Eli Lilly

2001-Pathogen Entry through the Blood Brain Barrier: Consequences of Chlamydia Pneumonia Infection in Human Monocytes and Brain Endothelial Cells-AOA

2002- Induction of Alzheimer's Disease-like Pathology in the Brains of Young, Non-Transgenic, BALB/c Mice Following Infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae: A Model for Late Onset/Sporadic Alzheimer's Disease: Society for Neurosciences

2003-Chlamydia pneumoniae Infection: A Trigger for Alzheimer’s disease: Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

2005-Neuropathological entities of Alzheimer's Disease are triggered following infection of neuronal cells with Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) pneumoniae" Drexel University Medical School

2008- Think Tank on Dementia: Eastern Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society

2008- Current Hypotheses of Alzheimer’s Disease: Should We Be Looking Outside The Box?: AOA

2009-The Pathogen Hypothesis in Alzheimer’s Disease: MidWestern Osteopathic School

Volunteer & Leadership

Presidential Diversity Council 2013-present

Research committee, 2013-present

D.O. Admissions Committee, 1999-present

Faculty senate, chair, 2014-2015

Middle States accreditation self-study committee, section chair, 2012-2014

Faculty search committee, 2012-2013

Honors and Awards committee, 2010-2013

Institutional and Environmental Health and Safety committee, vice chair, 2009-2013

Chief Science Officer search committee, 2011-2012

Faculty Representative to Executive Faculty, 2009-2010

Appointment, Promotion and Tenure, 2003-2009

Faculty Senate, Secretary, 2007-2008

Challenging Views of Alzheimer’s Disease, PCOM Symposium Organizer, 2004


CCDA (7/1/2013 -6/30/2014) Co-PI: Bactericidal Implant Surfaces

Rose and Adolf Levis Foundation (1/01/2003-present) Co-PI; Chlamydia pneumoniae’s role in the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease

CCDA (7/1/2012 -6/30/2013) Co-PI; Infection with Chlamydia Pneumoniae alters calcium-associated gene regulations and processes in neuronal cells and monocytes: Implications for Alzheimer’s disease

CCDA (7/1/2012 -6/30/2013) Co-PI; Detection of Chlamydia pneumoniae in blood samples: A diagnostic screen for Alzheimer’s disease

CCDA (9/1/2011 -6/30/2012) PI; Analysis by Real-Time PCR of Autophagy and Apoptosis in Neuronal Cells Infected with Chlamydia Pneumoniae

Health Research Formula Fund :(1/01/ 2009- 12/31/2013) PI; Dissecting the apoptosis pathway affected by C. pneumoniae in Alzheimer's disease

CCDA (9/1/2008 -6/30/2009) PI; Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) pneumoniae (Cpn) promotes Aβ 1-42 amyloid processing in Neuronal Cells: A Pathogenic Trigger for Alzheimer’s disease

CCDA (10/1/2007 -9/30/2008) PI; Effects on the apoptotic markers following a Chlamydial infection in neurons and astrocytes: Implications for Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer Association 7/01/04 to 6/30/07) Co-investigator; Chlamydia pneumoniae infection of Mice triggers Alzheimer-like pathology

NIH R01ES006478-09A2 (7/2003-2008) Collaborator; Mechanisms of Cadmium Toxicity in Epithelial Cells NIH/NIAID - R01- AI44055-01A1 (06/01/99 - 05/31/04). Co-investigator; Chlamydia pneumoniae: a pathogen in Alzheimer’s disease?

NIH/R15: (5/01/01-06/30/03) Co-investigator; Immunosenescence and Chlamydia Pneumoniae” Foundation for Research into the Diseases of Aging (6/01/99-7/01/2003) Co-investigator; Investigation of Chlamydia pneumoniae in Diseases of the Aging

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases(6/01/99-7/01/2000)PI; Pathologic manifestations induced by Chlamydia Pneumonia infected glial cells in AD

Research Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae
  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
Last Updated: 2/23/15