Patrizia Casaccia on The Thought Project - Episode 54
Interview with Patrizia Casaccia
This week’s guest is Dr. Patrizia Casaccia, the Einstein professor of biology and biochemistry at The Graduate Center, founding director of the Neuroscience Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center, and the Co-director of a joint CUNY-Mount Sinai Glial Center. She received her medical degree with honors from the University of Rome, and a PhD degree in Neurobiology from State University of New York (SUNY) Health and Science Center Brooklyn. She trained at Cornell Weill Medical Center in New York and at the Skirball Institute for Molecular Medicine at NYU. Casaccia’s lab is working to uncover how factors like stress, the bacteria inside our intestinal tract, environment and other influencers can trigger or contribute to the progression of neurological diseases. Her team, for example, has identified links between obesity and the progression of multiple sclerosis; natural disaster and infant mental health; and exposure to stress and reduced proliferation of the cells that create the protective sheath around our nerves. Dr. Casaccia recently was awarded $9.17 million Research Program Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (National Institute of Health), The award is known as NINDS 35 grant that will be applied to the research of mechanisms regulating the function of glial cells in healthy brains and how these cell’s dysfunction contributes to the development of neurological diseases and mental disorders.