Postdoctoral Scientist in Motor Neuron Disease
I finished my major in Biology with honours from ESPOL Polytechnic University (Guayaquil, Ecuador) in 2014. I conducted my undergraduate research project in the Antartica investigating gene expression of metalloproteins in the Antarctic sea urchin as potential biomarkers of climate change and pollution. In 2015, I was awarded with a scholarship from the Ecuadorian National Government to conduct my MRes in Translational Neuroscience at UCL under the supervision of Prof. Adrian Isaacs. My MRes project was focus on the development of a biomarker for C9orf72 ALS/FTD. I was soon recruited as a Junior Lecturer/Researcher in the Faculty of Life Sciences at ESPOL where I collaborated with Christopher Palmer, MD-PhD (McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School) investigating the potential of the ketogenic diet as a treatment for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders. Following this, I conducted my DPhil research at the University of Oxford under the joint supervision of Prof. William James, Prof. Zoltán Molnár, and Prof. Kieran Clarke. My research investigated the alterations in energy metabolism of neuronal progenitors undergoing Zika virus infection for potential nutritional therapeutics.
My research interest is related to mitochondrial nutrient metabolism in the human brain in health and disease. My focus on the potential use of mitochondrial transplant for therapeutics is based on understanding the dynamics of mitochondrial nutrient processing across different brain cell types during ageing and in neurological/neuropsychiatric disorders.