Fernando Cruz Alsina, PhD
Office/Lab Address: 223 Carl Building
Duke University Medical Center, Box 3175
213 Research Drive, Durham, NC 27710
Research Interest: Neural Stem Cell biology, cortical development and RNA regulation.
Neural stem cells (NSCs) generate a remarkable diversity of neurons and glial cells during development of the cerebral cortex and defects in progenitor proliferation and differentiation are a major cause of neurodevelopmental disorders such as microcephaly, autism, seizures and intellectual disability. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are involved in post-transcriptional regulation and mRNA metabolism and have recently emerged as critical regulators of NSCs during cortical development.
In April 2017, I joined Dr. Debra Silver´s lab where I plan to study the role of RBP in neurogenesis during cortical development and the regulation of RNA and signaling in neural progenitors. I will use multidisciplinary approaches that include In Utero Electroporation, progenitor primary cultures, brain slices, transgenic mice, biochemical assays and transcriptomic/translational profiles.
Background: I am from Argentina and I did my graduate training in Dr. Gustavo Paratcha´s lab in the Institute of Cellular Biology and Neuroscience “Prof. E. De Robertis” (IBCN) in the University of Buenos Aires (UBA – CONICET), Argentina. My PhD thesis focused on the negative regulation of neurotrophic factor receptor signaling in developing neurons.
Personal Interests: In my free time I really enjoy hiking, playing soccer, going out with friends and family, traveling around, reading and watching series and movies.
Publications List (if applicable):
Fontanet PA, Ríos AS, Alsina FC, Paratcha G, Ledda, F (2016). Pea3 transcription factors, Etv4 and Etv5, are required for proper hippocampal dendrite development and plasticity. Cerebral Cortex, 1-14.
Irala D, Bonafina, A, Fontanet PA, Alsina FC, Paratcha G, Ledda, F (2016). GDNF/GRFα1 complex promotes development of hippocampal dendritic arbors and spines via NCAM. Development, 143(22):4224-4235.
Alsina FC, Hita FJ, Fontanet PA, Irala D, Hedman H, Ledda, F, Paratcha G (2016). Lrig1 is a cell-intrinsic modulator of hippocampal dendrite complexity and BDNF signaling. EMBO reports, 17 (4). 601-616.
Fontanet PA, Irala D, Alsina FC, Paratcha G, Ledda F. (2013). Pea3 transcription factor family members, Etv4 and Etv5, mediate retrograde signaling and axonal growth of DRG sensory neurons in response to NGF. J Neuroscience 33(40):15940-51.
Alsina FC, Ledda F, Paratcha G. (2012). New insights into the control of neurotrophic growth factor receptor signaling: Implications for nervous system development and repair. J. Neurochem. 123 (5): 652-661.
Alsina FC, Irala D, Fontanet PA, Hita FJ, Ledda F, Paratcha G. (2012) Sprouty4 is a negative modulator of TrkA signaling and neuronal differentiation induced by NGF. PLoS ONE 7(2): e32087.