Meet the Scientist - Mara Tornincasa (Axxam)

Meet the Scientist - Mara Tornincasa (Axxam)

 

Mara Tornincasa, Ph.D.
Scientist, Compound Profiling Unit
Hit Tailoring Solutions
Axxam SpA
Openzone – Via Meucci 3
Bresso, Italy

 


Can you explain your research within PHAGO in 2 sentences?

My research for Phago is focalized on drug discovery program to test and identify small molecules active on target TREM2. My goal is to understand if they could act on TREM2 as agonists or positive allosteric modulators.

What do your friends and family think what you are doing in the lab?
My friends think that my job is very rewarding while my family thinks I'm always stressed.

What are you really doing? (What’s your favourite task to do in the lab?)
I’m working on an innovative project. Actually, my favourite task is to optimize new protocols to improve the performance of compounds testing. The aim is to identify the best molecules based on the structure and the activity of compounds.

Why are you interested in Alzheimer’s Disease?
My interest is strong for neurodegenerative disease as Alzheimer based on my previous experience in neurodegenerative field and for my scientific training.

What is the major challenge in Alzheimer research for you?
Specific challenges faced by those with younger-onset Alzheimer's.

Trem2 or CD33?
Trem2

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee

Why does your research matter to the average citizen/man on the street?

Alzheimer is a neurodegenerative disorder with a strong impact on the society and there are some cases with early onset.

The must-follow science twitter account?
I don’t have a twitter account

The must-read article on Alzheimer research?

"TREM2 in Alzheimer’s Disease: Microglial Survival and Energy Metabolism.”  (Front Aging Neurosci. 2018 Nov 23;10:395)


What else do you like to read (except research articles)?

I like to read novels and comedies.

Your most surprising research finding?
My most surprising research was the identification of a gene involved in neurodegeneration, in particular in cerebellar ataxia.

What is your personal highlight in PHAGO up to now?
Identification of a specific TREM2 agonist by screening of Prestwick library.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside the lab?
I like to hear music, go to concert and go to gym.

Best recent TV series/movie/novel depicting scientists?
It’s not recent TV series...Grey’s Anatomy.

Prof. Harald Neumann
Prof. Harald Neumann
Prof. Jochen Walter
Prof. Jochen Walter
Prof. Guy Brown
Prof. Guy Brown
Dr Oliver Cousins
Dr Oliver Cousins
Tamara Raschka
Tamara Raschka
Mara Tornincasa
Mara Tornincasa
Paola Picardi
Paola Picardi
Dr Mona Mathews
Dr Mona Mathews
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This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 115976. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA companies.

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This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 115976. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA companies.