My research is focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of age-related neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, the early pathways involving mitochondrial stress play a crucial role in neurodegeneration and can potentially be targeted for early diagnosis and treatment.
One intriguing candidate in this context is the evolutionarily conserved mitochondrial prohibitin (PHB) complex. This complex is a key regulator of aging and metabolism and has been associated with neurodegenerative diseases. However, its specific role in neurodegeneration remains poorly understood. Therefore, our objective is to address this fundamental question while bridging the gap between academic research and industrial applications in the search for therapeutic approaches and early markers of neurodegeneration.
To achieve our goals, we employ an interdisciplinary approach that combines the genetic power of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which possesses a well-defined and precise nervous system, with metabolomics and transcriptomics techniques.
By defining the role of the mitochondrial prohibitin complex in neurodegeneration, our research aims to provide a comprehensive characterization of the genes and molecular pathways involved in neuronal deterioration during aging. Moreover, we seek to identify early molecular markers of mitochondrial stress, which could be valuable for the early detection of neurodegenerative disorders. The insights gained from these studies will significantly contribute to our understanding of age-related neurodegeneration and have important implications for human health, particularly in improving the quality of life for the elderly population.