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Roberta Marongiu, Ph.D.

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Roberta Marongiu, Ph.D. Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Roberta Marongiu is assistant professor of neuroscience in neurological surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine. She also holds a secondary appointment in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Marongiu received her BSc and MSc summa cum laude in human genetics from the University of Cagliari, Italy, and PhD in medical genetics and neuroscience from the Sapienza University of Rome and University of California San Diego. She then completed her postdoctoral studies in neuroscience with focus on viral-vector mediated gene therapies for Parkinson’s disease at Weill Cornell Medical College in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Kaplitt.

Her research contributions as a geneticist and neuroscientist to Parkinson’s disease include the identification of the first Pink1 pathogenic mutations and evidence of a direct link between mitochondria, autophagy, and the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Marongiu’s recent work focused on the genetic causes of Parkinson’s disease and the development of new adeno-associated virus vector (AAV)-mediated brain gene therapies for the disease. She is currently studying the role of the P11 gene (S100A10) and LRRK2 in dopaminergic-mediated striatal motor activity and Levodopa-induced dyskinesias.

As a young new investigator, using novel genetic, viral, and animal model approaches, Dr. Marongiu focuses her lab research on the identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying the role of sex and menopause on brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.  (See Dr. Marongiu Interviewed About Her Work on Menopause-Parkinson's Link and Dr. Marongiu Awarded NIH NIA Grant to Study Menopause Effects on Development of Alzheimer's.)

Dr. Marongiu is also the co-founder and president of stoPD, a bi-coastal non-profit organization with the mission of giving people with Parkinson’s disease the tools and support they need to achieve a higher quality of life. Dr. Marongiu has been featured in several news reports, including this one on CBS Sunday Morning: