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Dr Marija Fjodorova

Dr Marija Fjodorova

Research Associate, Neuroscience & Mental Health Research Institute

School of Medicine

Email:
fjodorovam@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)2920 688244
Location:
3.41 - Desk 1, Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ

I am a Research Associate in Professor Meng Li's group.

My ultimate goal is to understand molecular basis of neuron dysfunction in neurodegeneration and psychiatric disorders and translate these findings into innovative therapeutic interventions. The main focus of my work is on the developmental biology and mature function of human neurons, specifically medium spiny neurons, dopamine neurons and cortical neurons. I aim to unravel molecular mechanisms behind neural fate induction and subsequent terminal differentiation in healthy and diseased neurons via an integrated experimental approach involving in-vitro stem cell differentiation and contemporary genetic manipulation.

November 2013 - present:

Research Associate in Professor Meng Li's group. The main focus of my work is on the developmental biology of human neurons, specifically medium spiny neurons, dopamine neurons and cortical neurons. The aim is to unravel molecular mechanisms behind neural fate induction and subsequent terminal differentiation in healthy and diseased neurons via an integrated experimental approach involving in-vitro stem cell differentiation and contemporary genetic manipulation.

October 2009 - September 2013:

Wellcome Trust PhD in Integrative Neuroscience under the supervision of Professor Stephen Dunnett titled “Characterisation of embryonic ventral mesencephalon grafts in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease”. The main aim of the project was to investigate the impact of the donor age and transplantation site on dopamine neuron subtypes in the grafts. This work added further knowledge regarding the survival of rat embryonic dopaminergic grafts in terms of the populations of cells involved and their distribution within the graft. Also, this research provided hallmarks for the improved yield of functionally important dopaminergic neurons that will contribute to better cell replacement therapy in Parkinson's disease patients.

September 2006 - June 2009:

BEng (Hons) Medical Engineering (1st Class), University of Bradford.

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2013

2012

The main focus of my work is on the developmental biology of human neurons, specifically medium spiny neurons, dopamine neurons and cortical neurons. The aim is to unravel molecular mechanisms behind neural fate induction and subsequent terminal differentiation in healthy and diseased neurons via an integrated experimental approach involving in-vitro stem cell differentiation and contemporary genetic manipulation. Novel strategies that drive pluripotent stem cells into clinically relevant neurons are devised and evaluated for their efficacy and functionality in-vivo in collaboration with Cardiff University's Brain Repair Group.

I. I generated knock out and overexpressing human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines to study the role of CTIP2 transcription factor in the development and functional maturation of striatal neurons and found that CTIP2-deficient hESC-derived MSNs exhibit Huntington’s disease-like neuronal defects.

II. I optimised differentiation protocols for hESCs and produced transplantable and functioning medium spiny and dopamine neurons that were successfully tested in-vivo in collaboration with Cardiff University’s Brain Repair Group.

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