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Luana Naia

Luana Naia

Postdoctoral researcher

About me

I joined Maria Ankarcrona group at Karolinska Institutet as a postdoctoral researcher in 2018. I received my PhD degree from the University of Coimbra, Portugal, where I developed research on the role of sirtuins (particularly SIRT1 and SIRT3) in mitochondrial function and dynamics in neurodegenerative models. After finishing my PhD in 2017, I was involved in a project in collaboration with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries that aimed to evaluate the potential neuroprotective role of molecules affecting mitochondria-endoplasmic reticulum signaling platform, which brought me to my current research group.

Research description

                             ´ Mitochondria are the clandestine rulers of our world`

My research is focus on mitochondrial function, dynamics and organelle interplay (mitochondria associated membranes) in neurodegeneration, particularly in Alzheimer’s disease. Our group has recently performed a comprehensive longitudinal transcriptomic and functional study of mitochondria from humanized App (amyloid precursor protein) knock-in mice that shows severe alterations on mitochondrial bioenergetics, trafficking and interaction with endoplasmic reticulum. Therefore, my current goals are to understand the molecular mechanisms that lead to deficits in axonal trafficking of mitochondria and how neuron-glia crosstalk can influence/modulate those deficits in this Alzheimer’s disease model.


2017 | PhD in Neurosciences from Faculty of Medicine, Univeristy of Coimbra (Portugal)

2011 | Master in Biotecnology for Health Sciences from University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (Portugal)

2008 | Bachelor in Genetics from University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (Portugal)

Academic honours, awards and prizes

2020 | Awarded with StartNeuro funding for postdoctoral researchers

2016 | Awarded with IBRO International Travel Grant Funding Program 

2012 | Best poster presentation in 2nd PF2MUC Symposium, University of Coimbra 

2011 | ‘Prémio UTAD’, graduated with better grade in 2009/2010 school year in School of Life Sciences and Environment, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro

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