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Dr Catia Andreassi
Appointment
  • Senior Research Associate
  • MRC/UCL Lab for Molecular Cell Bio
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
Research Summary

My research work focuses on understanding the role of mRNA metabolism in brain development and disease. Initially, I studied the patho-physiology of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a motor neuron disease. In SMA, mutations of SMN, a ubiquitously expressed protein involved in several aspects of RNA metabolism, cause a neuronal-specific phenotype. In 2005 I joined the Riccio lab at UCL where I have been leading a project aimed at investigating the role of Nerve Growth Factor in mRNA localization in axons of developing sympathetic neurons. The project relies on the use of sophisticated cell culture models, such as compartmentalized chambers, and highly specialized molecular biology techniques, such as SAGE and RACE. Using this approach, I have been able to identify a localization element responsible for NGF-dependent localization of the IMPA1 mRNA. I am now working on a follow-up project founded on a novel and revolutionary mechanism that controls local translation in axons. My most recent data show that the 3’UTRs of neuronal transcripts undergo post-transcriptional remodelling and suggest an alternative mechanism for regulation of local protein synthesis.

Academic Background
2000 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Pathology Universita degli Studi di Roma
1995 LAU Laurea – Biological Sciences Universita degli Studi di Pisa
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