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Yanina Ivashko-Pachima

Yanina Ivashko-Pachima is a research scientist at Tel Aviv University.

During my graduate studies, I have gained solid knowledge and substantial practical experience in molecular biology and biochemistry, especially within the context of understanding neurodegenerative diseases at the molecular and cellular level. I revealed a cellular mechanism of action of activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP – vital for brain formation) and an eight-amino-acid peptide NAP (a smallest active ADNP fragment). Discovered an ADNP/NAP effect on the microtubules (MTs), which are the major components of the neuronal cytoskeleton. As such, MTs are determining axonal transport, neurite formation and are vital for neural regeneration. In particular, I revealed the involvement of key MT dynamics regulators – Tau and end-binding proteins (EBs), in ADNP/NAP activity, and discovered the direct effect of NAP on this critical protein crosstalk. My work proposed NAP as a drug candidate protecting against MT deficiency, which is, to the best of my knowledge, currently the only approach, protecting MTs by increasing MT dynamics, unlike others MT-stabilizing drugs. Since MT and Tau impairments underlie a verity of neurodegenerative conditions, my findings may pave the path for peptide drug treatment against devastating diseases.

Brain Protein Structure Dictates Brain Health And Pathology: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Nerve cells have long processes that connect one cell to the other, orchestrating nerve-cell networks and allowing the brain to function. A major brain protein called Tau is involved in facilitating dynamics and structure within the nerve cells. In dementia […]