The role of formins in synaptotoxic damage and cognitive decline induced by amyloid beta
Maria Elena Pero is an Assistant Professor in Veterinary Physiology and Lecturer in Veterinary Neurophysiology at the Università di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy. She holds an M.D. in Veterinary Medicine and a PhD in Comparative Morphology and Physiology. She was a visiting scientist at the Taub Institute of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the Aging Brain at Columbia University where she conducted research to elucidate the mechanisms by which physiological levels of amyloid beta peptide (Aβ1-42), the peptide that abnormally accumulates in the brains of AD patients, positively modulates synaptic plasticity. During her stay at the Italian Academy, she will focus on the pathological role played by neurotoxic levels of Aβ1-42 on synaptic plasticity through formin-mediated regulation of the neuronal cytoskeleton using cellular and animal models of Alzheimer’s disease.