Magdalini Polymenidou

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Understanding the molecular mechanisms of ALS and FTD to inspire targeted therapies

We are a diverse team of neuroscientists, molecular biologists, biochemists, RNA biologists and bioinformaticians, joined by our common interest in the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration. At the PolyLab, we study amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which are heterogenous and fatal neurodegenerative diseases. ALS and FTD are characterized by the accumulation of RNA-binding proteins, such as TDP-43 and FUS, as well as non-canonically translated dipeptide repeat proteins. The molecular mechanisms that trigger aggregation of ALS/FTD-linked proteins, the basis of disease heterogeneity and the mechanisms of neurotoxicity remain elusive. The aim of our research is to address these important questions using a multidisciplinary approach, working at the molecular, cellular and organismal level. Our vision is to gain deep mechanistic understanding of ALS and FTD to inspire rational design of target-based therapies for these devastating diseases.

CV

Since
Oct. 2019:

Associate Professor for Biomedicine, Department of Quantitative Biomedicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland

2013–2019:

SNSF Assistant Professor, Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2008–2013: Postdoctoral Fellow with Don W. Cleveland, University of California in San Diego, CA, USA
2006–2008: Postdoctoral Fellow with Adriano Aguzzi, University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland
2007: Visiting Scientist, Prion Blood Testing Group, Novartis Diagnostics, Emeryville, CA, USA  
2001–2006: PhD in Molecular Biology/ Neuroscience with Adriano Aguzzi, University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland
1996-2001: BSc/MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece