It’s not all about proteins: Lipid alterations in Neurodegeneration
Estela Area Gomez, PhD.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology. Motor Neuron Center/H. Houston Merritt Center. Director of Lipidomics Core Laboratory. Columbia University.
"I received my Ph.D. from the University of University Autonoma of Madrid (Spain), after which I transitioned into the field of mitochondrial research and neurodegeneration as a post-doctoral research scientist at the Merritt Center in the Neurology Department at Columbia University. In 2014, I joined the faculty of the Neurology department at Columbia University as an Assistant Professor.
My laboratory has three major research goals:
(i) To understand the role of mitochondria-associated ER membranes (MAM) in the overall lipid homeostasis in neurons;
(ii) To understand whether perturbations in mitochondria-associated ER membranes (MAM) and lipid signaling underlie synaptic dysfunction, and/or neuronal death in various disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; and
(iii) To identify lipid biomarkers that either segregate with or predict clinical outcome of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Down syndrome.
To tackle these fundamental questions, my lab employs multidisciplinary approaches, which range from molecular and cell biology, protein and lipid biochemistry (including state-of-the-art ‘lipidomics’-based approaches) to mouse genetics and behavioral assessments of genetically-modified mice."