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“The close collaboration between scientists and clinicians has been the primary motivation for joining the Tisch MSRCNY. The daily interaction with patients is a constant reminder that our ultimate goal is translating scientific discoveries into novel therapeutic interventions that will prevent MS progression.”
- Dr. Anna Iacoangeli, Assistant Research Scientist
Dr. Iacoangeli joined the Tisch Multiple Sclerosis Research Center scientific team in 2017. Prior to her appointment at the Center, she served as a Research Assistant Professor at SUNY Downstate Health Science University in Brooklyn. Dr. Iacoangeli’s research interests have focused on understanding the molecular functions of a subtype of regulatory non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in neuronal processes and mechanisms. She published that dysregulation of these RNAs at synapses resulted in cognitive impairment. In her clinical research at SUNY Downstate, Dr. Iacoangeli identified a novel RNA-based biomarker for invasive breast cancer diagnosis and prognosis.
At the Tisch MS Research Center, Dr. Iacoangeli’s research emphasis is on investigating cerebellar dysfunction in multiple sclerosis. Clinical cerebellar manifestations experienced by MS patients, consisting of tremor, motor coordination deficits, and slurred speech, result in a significant impairment. Dr. Iacoangeli’s research team has developed a novel mouse model to study cerebellar dysfunction in MS. Her current results suggest that the underlying mechanisms of cerebellar manifestations in MS are based on alteration of neurotransmission at the synapses. Understanding the causes of cerebellar dysfunction will translate into effective and tailored treatment strategies for MS patients. Dr. Iacoangeli and her team have presented these findings at the American Academy of Neurology and at the Society for Neuroscience annual meetings. Furthermore, Dr. Iacoangeli is studying how regulatory ncRNAs contribute to the biochemical and cellular mechanisms leading to MS onset and progression. In a differential strand-specific RNA sequencing analysis she observed a marked difference in the expression levels of the noncoding vault RNAs (vtRNAs) in blood samples of MS patients. The vtRNAs are part of the vault complex and their molecular functions are still obscure. Dr. Iacoangeli aims to establish relevant ncRNAs as therapeutic candidates for the treatment of MS.
Dr. Iacoangeli received her Ph.D. in Applied Genetics and her Master in Biological Sciences from the Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology “Charles Darwin”, at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
Dr. Iacoangeli works with research assistants Julia Granato (BA from Vassar College '19) and Tara Edwards (BA from Vassar College '20).