Position title: Professor, Department of Medical Physics
Phone: (608) 262-9714
M.D. in Medicine, School of Medicine at Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ph.D. in Neurobiology, School of Medicine at Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Postdoctoral in Neurobiology, The Parkinson’s Institute/Somatix Therapy Corp., CA, USA
Postdoctoral in Neurobiology, School of Medicine at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Since my graduate studies in Argentina, my research has been focused on modeling Parkinson’s disease (PD) complexity in nonhuman primates (NHPs) and developing novel and safe therapeutic strategies. My collaborative UW team PD has developed the first NHP model of cardiac dysautonomia and studied the impact of acute vs chronic inflammation in alpha–synuclein in the Enteric Nervous System. We have created methods of intracerebral delivery of biologics combining real–time intraoperative MRI brain surgery technologies, convection enhanced delivery and novel cannula designs. We generate and utilize induced pluripotent stem cell lines from NHPs and genome editing for optimizing research platforms to understand mechanisms of neurodegeneration and evaluate new therapies. We have demonstrated in PD monkeys the feasibility of personalized medicine approaches using induced pluripotent stem cells for brain repair and shown that the autologous grafts but not allogenic improve parkinsonian motor, anxious and depressive behaviors. Lastly, my research on ethics of clinical translation has helped shape the standards for performing and reporting research in NHPs.
Research Key Words:
Neurodegenerative Disorders, Regenerative Medicine, Animal Models for Clinical Translation
As a Latino woman scientist, I strive to promote an inclusive, safe and supportive research environment, aiming to share these values with my mentees and colleagues. I am passionate about ethics of clinical translation, which I share with my students and is part of our regular discussions. In addition of investigating and writing about it, I have developed the research ethics course for the Medical Physics Training Program. I support my trainees’ participation in activities that will help them identify and transition into careers in the biomedical research workforce that match their skills, interests, and values. As faculty in NTP courses I plan to continue bringing energy and passion to help our students achieve their potential in an inclusive community.