Within the ERC 2018 call of the Horizon 2020 program, Dr. Natalia Rodríguez-Muela, research scientist at the CIB-CSIC, has been awarded with a prestigious ERC Starting Grant funded with 1,5 million €.
Natalia Rodríguez-Muela got her Ph.D. in Neurosciences at Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CSIC) on the subject “Role of autophagy in degenerative models of the nervous system”, under the supervision of Dr. Patricia Boya, head of the CIB group Roles of autophagy in health and disease. After her PhD, Dr. Rodríguez-Muela spent a successful 5-year postdoctoral period in the laboratory of Prof. Lee L. Rubin at Harvard University (Cambridge, USA), working in motor neuron disease (MND) modeling utilizing human pluripotent stem cells. Recently, she was awarded with a Juan de la Cierva Reintegration Fellowship (MINECO) and reincorporated in the laboratory of Dr. Boya at the CIB-CSIC in 2017.
The awarded ERC Starting Grant project entitled "Molecular mechanisms underlying selective neuronal death in motor neuron diseases" will be focused in the study of this group of devastating pathologies which include spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The mechanisms behind selective motor neuron death in these pathologies remain unknown and the aim of the work is to understand their molecular basis opening new directions of research into neurodegeneration and providing information for the design of therapeutics targeting specific neuronal types or phases of MNDs.
Out of 3170 applications, 403 grants have been awarded, with nearly 40% of Starting grantees being women.
ERC Starting Grant Press release (link)