Lia D'Alessandro

IMG_8986.jpg

Lia graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in biology and dance and was awarded the Leo M. Leva Memorial Prize by the Swarthmore College Biology department.  During her undergraduate career, she spent 3 years in the Carone lab building a love of epigenetic research through investigating a region of non-coding DNA entitled Human Satellite 2.  Upon graduation, she spent over a year employed by Dr. Douglas Wallace at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia working in the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine.  Lia’s project focused on a neurological disorder entitled MEPAN syndrome and investigated how MECR dysfunction alters mitochondrial FASII in producing the disease phenotypes in a CRISPR mouse line.  On top of her project, she maintained a 4,000 mouse colony fueling the work of the Wallace lab staff scientists in addition to domestic and international collaborators.  With a desire for further investigating neurological disorders, Lia is ecstatic to join the Stevens and Deverman labs upon her move from PA to MA!  During her time here, she will work alongside Dr. Saša Jereb in combining viral and genetic techniques to develop AAV capsids for microglia with the aim of understanding microglia contribution to neurodegenerative diseases.  She looks forward to strengthening her biochemistry skills and knowledge in neuroimmunology, in addition to collaborating and learning from a large array of talented scientists!