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Mattéa Finelli

BSc, MSc (Montpelier); MSc (Imperial); DPhil (Oxf)
After receiving a Master’s degree in Bioengineering from SupAgro (Montpellier, France, 2004-2007) and in Biomedical Research from Imperial College (London, 2006-2007), I completed my DPhil at the University of Oxford (2007-2010) under the supervision of  Professor Dame Kay Davies. I then worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City before returning to Oxford in 2013 and joining Dr Peter Oliver’s laboratory in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.
Research summary:
My main research interest is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative disorders. During my DPhil, I dissected the mechanisms underlying death of specific neurons in two mouse models of movement disorders. In particular, I studied the novel oxidative resistance (Oxr1) gene and its role in neuronal survival and its protective effect against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress arises from the accumulation of toxic byproducts generated by the oxygen metabolism and can initiate a cascade of events that leads to lipid, protein and DNA damage and subsequently to cell death. Oxidative stress is an etiological feature of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Given the importance of oxidative stress in so many neurological diseases, it is crucial to understand how oxidative stress arises and how it can be reduced in neurons. In this context, I am currently investigating the role of a family of proteins related to Oxr1, all possessing a highly conserved TLDc domain with a potential neuroprotective function.