Maria Claudia Caiazza
My research in the Wade-Martins lab focuses on unveiling the molecular and cellular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Nowadays, no disease-modifying drugs are available against PD and the pathological mechanisms underlying it are still largely unknown. This leads to the need to develop and employ disease relevant models where to study the progress of the disease. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) derived neurons have grown in popularity in the study of neurologic diseases as they recapitulate many aspects of the pathology at the cellular level. Moreover, they are suitable platforms for rapid screening of candidate therapeutic compounds before starting preclinical testing.
For these reasons, the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (OPDC; www.opdc.ox.ac.uk) has developed set of more than 200 iPSC lines from patients with genetic and idiopathic forms of PD and from healthy controls. I will differentiate iPSC from patients and controls into dopamine neurons to study the pathological processes underlying PD.
I obtained my BSc in Biotechnology in 2016 and my MSc in Neuroscience 2018 from the University of Pisa. Parallel to this I also studied Biological Sciences at Scuola Normale Superiore where I completed my studies in 2018. In Pisa I worked in the Di Primio lab. My research there focused on the discovery of the molecular mechanisms underlying Tau pathology.