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Nora Bengoa-Vergniory

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Research Summary

My research focusses on alpha-synuclein aggregation during the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Even though it is known that alpha-synuclein aggregation is a key feature of Parkinson’s disease progression there are still many unanswered questions. Where does the toxic aggregation begin? How does it spread? Which cells respond to it? How can we prevent these processes? In order to study the aggregation process and consequences and answer these questions we benefit from access to genetic models, patient-derived induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, human tissue and alpha-synuclein PLA-based assays, which will help us provide novel insights of the role alpha-synuclein oligomers play in the disease and so, could be used to identify new treatments for Parkinson’s disease.


In March 2015 I joined the Wade-Martins laboratory and have since worked on the role of alpha-synuclein aggregation in Parkinson’s disease. After graduating I started and Masters in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine, in which I studied the differentiation of human embryonic carcinoma stem cells. This led me to develop an interest in the use of stem cells as models for human neuronal differentiation. In 2014 I completed a PhD at the University of the Basque Country which focused on the study of the role of Wnt signaling during early neuronal differentiation in human stem cell models.