I joined the Neuroscience graduate program in 2014 as part of a combined PhD program between UTMB and the University of Palermo. This competitive program allowed me to obtain a European PhD in 2017 from the University of Palermo and soon I will receive a second PhD from UTMB.
Before I started my PhD in Neuroscience at UTMB, I completed my master’s degree in Pharmacy at Palermo, followed by a training period in biophysics at the National Research Council in the same city. As my dream since high school was to pursue an academic career and to study in the USA, I applied for the international PhD in Neuroscience offered by the University of Palermo in collaboration with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. To be part of this special program is giving me the possibility to be a student at a great University, UTMB, with high standards of education and high quality of research.
The primary goal of my PhD dissertation is to characterize the role of the mitochondrial chaperone Hsp60 in Alzheimer's disease (AD), as a potential therapeutic approach against amyloid beta toxicity, one of the earliest hallmarks of AD. AD is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder leading to dementia that affects millions of individuals worldwide. Currently, there is no disease-modifying therapy available for AD, and my research project will contribute to the finding of potential candidates for the design of future therapeutic approaches for AD. Thanks to the guidance and the support of my mentor Dr. Giulio Taglialatela, I have had the great opportunity to learn several techniques, from biomolecular to electrophysiological, that will give me an excellent chance to be a very competitive candidate for my future career in Academia.