Miguel Minaya, PhD


Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

My long-term goal is to leverage stem cell models along with human tissues to understand the converging and diverging molecular mechanisms that drive disease where the tau protein aggregates. In preliminary studies, I have used stem cell-derived neurons from multiple disease-causing mutations in MAPT to identify a common molecular signature of disease that is replicated in mouse models and human tauopathy brains. This molecular signature points to genes involved in calcium dysregulation, synaptic dysfunction and altered proteostasis. However, tauopathies are likely the result of complex contributions between multiple cell types and interactions between them. Thus, moving forward, I will continue to leverage transcriptomic and other multi-OMIC techniques (e.g. lipidomics, metabolomics, and proteomics) in neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia. I will then use computational techniques to identified FDA-approved drugs that target the molecular signatures of disease and that can be repurposed to treat tauopathies.