Structure and function of the SRD5A enzyme family: new targets for schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders
Beatrice Vallone, PhD, is a Professor of Biochemistry at La Sapienza Università di Roma and currently a Visiting Professor in the Dept. of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics of Columbia University. Dr. Vallone investigates the structure of proteins to understand their role in human physiology and pathology, in order to set the basis for innovative therapies.
Highlights of her career include having determined the structure of neuroglobin, a protein that plays a crucial role in neuronal protection, and having made substantial contribution to the field of protein engineering for creating blood substitutes and producing new antibiotics.
As a fellow of the Italian Academy she will study testosterone alpha dehydrogenases, a family of membrane-embedded enzymes involved in the production of neurosteroids and in steroid activation. These are promising targets in psychiatry and oncology and an understanding of their structure will help in the design of novel drugs for severely debilitating pathologies.