The inner workings of the Quintana lab

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The wheels are running!

Wow! what a busy time this past year has been!

Many (good) things and (good) news to explain! New members, new papers, exciting science… here you are a picture of the lab just before summer break!

quintanalab 2017

First of all, we are glad to announce three! new additions to the lab: Kelsey, Fabien and Patrizia. (disclaimer: they have already been with us for some months, but hey, I told you we have been really busy!)

Kelsey Montgomery has re-joined the lab as a part-time research technician/MSc student (Bioinformatics). She graduated (BSc. Genetics) from the University of Georgia (2013) and worked at Seattle Genetics (2013-2015) before joining the Quintana lab in Seattle (2015). We are excited to have her with us again on the other side of the pond!

Fabien Menardy (aka Fab) has joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow and is our resident optogenetics/in vivo electrophysiology expert. Fabien graduated (PhD Neurosciences) from the University of Paris Sud (2012) under the supervision of Dr. Catherine del Negro, where he worked on elucidating neural responses involved in zebra finch vocal communication signaling. After obtaining his PhD, he joined the lab of Dr. Daniela Popa and Dr. Clément Lena, at the École Normal Supérieure, Institut de Biologie (Paris), as a postdoctoral researcher (2013-2016) where he focused on understanding the role of the cerebellum in Parkinson’s Disease. He is now interested in understanding the electrophysiological alterations (and their implications in circuit signal processing) in neurons with mitochondrial dysfunction. 

Patrizia Bianchi joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow and is an expert in mitochondrial dynamics. Patrizia graduated (PhD Biomedicine) from the Universitat de Barcelona (2016) under the supervision of Dr. Aurora Pujol (IDIBELL), where she worked on elucidated the alterations in mitochondrial dynamics in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. She is now focusing on characterizing the underlying deficits in mitochondrial dynamics in animal models of Leigh Syndrome.

We are glad to have such talented scientists in the lab!

Last, but not least, and even though there will be other posts providing brief summaries, we are glad to have had two articles recently accepted! Hooray!

Here you are the links, for those interested:

Striatal GPR88 modulates foraging efficiency (Journal of Neuroscience)

Loss of mitochondrial Ndufs4 in striatal medium spiny neurons mediates progressive motor impairment in a mouse model of Leigh Syndrome (Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience). OPEN ACCESS

Will keep you updated!!

 

The lab keeps growing!

Some good news in the lab!

We are extremely happy to welcome our new technician,  Andrea Urpí. andrea

Andrea graduated in 2014 (Biochemistry) from the Universitat  de Barcelona (UB) and obtained a Masters in Clinical Analyses  from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona – UPF in 2015.

Andrea is joining the lab as a research technician but she is also testing to waters to see  which scientific career she pursues… Needless to say, we are pretty sure that it will be a successful one!

We are really excited to have her in the lab!

Welcome!!

Research: Altered protein modifications in mitochondrial disease

Our latest paper is out!

In collaboration with the Frizzell lab at the University of South Carolina we have published the article titled:

Succination is increased on select proteins in the brainstem of the Ndufs4 knockout mouse, a model of Leigh syndrome.” 

in the journal Molecular and Cellular Proteomics.

In this paper, we have been able to identify that the metabolic deficits mediated by mitochondrial dysfunction (we used our Leigh Syndrome mice for this study) lead to permanent modifications in discrete proteins in affected neurons.

These modifications (called succination) have been shown to impair the activity of proteins in other studies, therefore we believe these mitochondrial proteins will also lose function in our model. Interestingly, our study shows that these modifications are only observed in cells residing in areas affected by the pathology, further enhancing the idea that they may mediate the selective damage observed in mitochondrial disease.

The main proteins observed to be altered, VDAC1 and VDAC2, are key factors controlling transport of ions and molecules inside the mitochondria, so these results open a new and interesting line of research in the lab in the overarching goal of finding a cure for mito disease.

 

 

 

Pati and Pablo join the Quintana lab

As we already briefly mentioned in the last post, the lab is extremely happy to welcome our first graduate students, Patricia (Pati) Prada and Pablo Machuca.

Pati graduated in 2014 (Genetics) from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) and obtained a joint Masters in Biological Antropology  from the Universitat de Barcelona – UAB (our alma mater, by the way) in 2015.

Pablo also graduated in 2014 (Biochemistry) from the Universidad de Granada and in 2015 he obtained a Masters in Advanced Biotechnology from the Universidad de Málaga.

Both Pati and Pablo are pursuing a graduate program in Neurosciences and we are super-mega-sure they have a bright and succesful career in science ahead!

We are really excited to have them in the lab!

Cheers!

 

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Alex teaching some lab moves 🙂

A busy couple of months!

It’s been a while since the last post, and for a good reason!

It has been a really hectic couple of months…

But first things first…

During these months the lab space has taken shape, there is still some construction going on, but the main lab space is done. You can take a look at the benches before (and after) adding all the equipment.

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Importantly, our lab name plate is here! it is so cool to have it already in place, now we are even more excited to do science!

lab tag

 

The second remarkable event for the lab (other than the summer break) has been attending, in September, to the EMBO  workshop “Mitochondrial DNA and degeneration” held in Sitges, Barcelona.

It was a great meeting with plenty of exciting and eye-opening talks that showed us the cutting-edge science in mitochondrial research. Plus, we met many excellent mitochondrial scientists and potential collaborations!

FOTO GRUPO 1 psd (2)

Can you find Waldo (a.k.a the Quintana lab members?)

And last, but not least, we are really excited to introduce our new lab members 🙂 We welcome our first graduate students, Pati and Pablo, but this really deserves its own post!

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The lab gets bigger but we all share our drive to make excellent science in mitochondrial disease research!