Marcel Alavi Alavi Khorassani Moghadam, PhD
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Address||10 Koret Way|
San Francisco CA 94143
|Foundation Fighting Blindness||2014||Travel Award - RD2014|
|Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany||2010||PhD with the highest honors, summa cum laude|
|GlaxoSmithKline||2009||Travel Award - ARVO 2009|
|European Retinal Research Training Network RETNET||2007||Fellowship|
|GlaxoSmithKline||2007||Travel Award - ARVO 2007|
My research interest is inherited blinding diseases with particular focus on mitochondria and their contribution to pathology. My enthusiasm for science arose as research assistant in Rudi Grosschedl’s lab trying to determine which amino acids of beta-catenin are acetylated. In Jürgen Soll’s lab, which I joined for my Diploma thesis, I became interested in organelle biology purifying a chloroplast protein import complex. Looking for a more translational aspect of my research I studied Dominant Optic Atrophy (DOA) for my PhD in Bernd Wissinger’s lab, where I phenotypically and molecular-biologically characterized a DOA mouse model. I was rewarded a RetNet Fellowship (Marie Curie European Retinal Research Training Network Fellowship), which I used for a 3-month sabbatical in Per Ekstöm’s lab, where I discovered increased HDAC activity in retinas of rd1 mice, a model for early retinal degeneration. I was awarded my PhD with summa cum laude and moved on to join Uwe Wolfrum’s lab for my postdoctoral training, where I studied different mouse models for Usher-Syndrome, retinal degeneration combined with deafness. I supervised a graduate student, who developed a new therapeutical approach for Usher-Syndrome using Zinc-finger nucleases. Here, I gained also profound teaching experience. After working for one year for Miltenyi Biotec deepening my project management skills, I joined Doug Gould’s lab to continue my postdoctoral training. I worked on different aspects of ER stress and its implications in retinal degeneration. I characterized a new animal model and I established and evaluated tools that allow in vivo monitoring of ER stress in the eye. I also tested new therapies for retinal degeneration.
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