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Dr. Marongiu Wins Parkinson’s Disease Research Award

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Roberta Marongiu, Ph.D - Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Roberta Marongiu was awarded a research grant of $50,000 by the American Parkinson’s Disease Association to investigate the role of menopause in the risk of developing the movement disorder. The grant is valid for one year and is renewable for a second year.

Dr. Marongiu’s research will focus on menopause as a transition state in susceptibility to Parkinson’s disease. This is based on previous findings that men and post-menopausal women are more susceptible to Parkinson’s disease than pre-menopausal women. Recent studies suggest estrogen reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease; Dr. Marongiu postulates that women lose estrogen’s neuroprotective advantage during menopause.

This grant will use mice as a model to simulate the effects of menopause on the progression of Parkinson’s disease. By understanding the different factors by which Parkinson’s disease takes hold, Dr. Marongiu seeks to uncover and identify how the condition progresses. 

The American Parkinson’s Disease Association was founded in 1961 with a mission of providing educational programs, elevating public awareness and understanding of the disease, and supporting research toward a cure.

Dr. Marongiu obtained her Ph.D. in neurogenetics and neuroscience from the Sapienza University of Rome and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She trained as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Michael Kaplitt here at Weill Cornell Medicine and focused her research on identifying potential molecular targets for the development of gene therapy approaches for Parkinson’s. She has served as Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at in the Department of Neurological Surgery and the Brain and Mind Institute since 2016. 

More about Parkinson’s

More about Dr. Marongiu