Postdoctoral Research Scientist
My research focuses on the study of defective mitophagy in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Clearance of damaged mitochondria is an important process that prevents oxidative stress and consequently increased susceptibility of dopaminergic neurons to degeneration. Recent findings elucidated that a class of deubiquitylating enzymes, DUBs, antagonises mitophagy making them as a promising target to restore mitochondrial quality control in PD. The main purpose of my project is to test selectively inhibitors of the deubiquitinase USP30 as a therapeutically treatment of PD using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells lines derived from healthy individuals and PD patients.
I studied Molecular Biology at the University of Parma (Italy) and then I moved to Spain where I completed a PhD in Biomedicine at the University of Barcelona. My thesis work focused on discovering the mechanisms underlying the striatal degeneration in Huntington’s disease (HD). Especially, my main goal was the study of alteration in mitochondrial dynamics and mitochondrial calcium mishandling as possible causes of the striatal vulnerability in HD. In August 2016 I joined the Wade-Martins laboratory as a postdoctoral research scientist.