PhD Project ESR12

Systematic assessment of cell and metabolic impacts of Microtubule Targeting Agents (MTA) in neurodegeneration and neuron models.


Prof. Marta Cascante, University of Barcelona
Prof. Graziella Cappelletti, University of Milan (secondment)




Biotechnology (UB)
Molecular and Cellular Biology (UNIMI)


The aim of the project is the characterization of the metabolic reprogramming associated with MTA therapy and neurodegeneration to minimize its metabolic side-effects


The Early Stage Researcher (ESR) will study the impact of known MTA on the metabolic reprogramming associated with neurodegeneration and on transcriptional networks, with a special focus on metabolic networks at genome scale level. The experimental data will be integrated in Genome Scale Metabolic Models (GSMMs) generated by ESR13 to identify putative metabolic targets to reduce the side-effects of the MTA therapy. Then, the selected metabolic targets will be subjected to functional alteration (through gene silencing/overexpression or chemical inhibition) to assess their role in minimizing the metabolic side-effects of the MTA treatment. Finally, the ESR will test the effect of the combinations of MTA and selected metabolic adjuvants on the cell viability and metabolism in neurons.
The ESR will be enrolled by the Universitat de Barcelona ( under the supervision of Prof. Marta Cascante and will be awarded with a Double Doctorate degree with the Università degli Studi di Milano ( under the supervision of Prof. Graziella Cappelletti.
The research will involve secondments to the University of Milan to explore the effect of the selected drugs in cytoskeleton and cell physiology and to San Raffaele Hospital, Milan ( to perform data integration and pathway analysis.

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