Link to group website: Website
Dr. Anne-Laure Mahul-Mellier’s is a senior scientist working in the Lashuel Laboratory. Her research focuses on the cellular and molecular events associated with protein misfolding and aggregation (e.g: alpha-synuclein, Huntingtin and Tau) and their contribution to the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Toward this goal, she has developed a neuronal seeding model that reproduces the key events leading to the formation of inclusions that recapitulate the biochemical, structural, and organizational features of the pathological Lewy bodies (LB) found in Parkinson’s disease and other synucleinopathies. In addition, her work demonstrated that the process of LB formation, rather than simply alpha-synuclein fibril formation, is one of the major drivers of neurodegeneration through disruption of cellular functions such as mitochondria defects and synaptic dysfunctions. The neuronal seeding model represents a powerful platform for evaluating 1) the role of posttranslational modification in regulating protein aggregation and pathological inclusions formation in PD and 2) the cellular mechanisms that contribute to neuronal dysfunctions and degeneration. This model has opened up new avenues for drug discovery to screen and evaluate therapeutic targeting of alpha-synuclein aggregation and LB formation.