Magdalini Polymenidou, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Magdalini Polymenidou is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, with a double appointment between the Faculty of Science and the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich. Her lab is investigating the molecular pathways triggering neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), with focus on the interplay between protein aggregation and RNA misregulation, characterizing both diseases. Originally trained as a pharmacist in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), she received her PhD in 2006 on prion diseases in the laboratory of Adriano Aguzzi at the University Hospital of Zurich (Switzerland). In 2008, she joined the group of Don Cleveland at the University of California in San Diego (USA) as a postdoctoral fellow, where she used genome-wide approaches to decipher the function of RNA-binding proteins associated with ALS and FTD. Among other honors, she has received the Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship, the K99 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health, the Career Development Award from the Human Frontier Science Program and the Georg-Friedrich Götz Prize from the University of Zurich. Magdalini is actively working for gender equality in academia and is currently the coordinator of the Gender Equality Committee of the Neuroscience Center Zurich.