After graduating with Bachelor and Master’s degree in Neuroscience at Utrecht University, Asia defended her PhD at the Vrij University in Amsterdam, modeling early molecular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease by manipulating gene expression levels both in vitro and in vivo.
She then moved to Boston area to join the Isacson lab at McLean hospital to learn about patient derived iPSCs, and developed live cell imaging techniques to look at organelle dysfunction in PD patient derived neurons, alleviating their phenotypes using antisense oligonucleotide gene therapy tools.
Asia joined the Khurana Lab Movement Disorders Division and the faculty of the Neurology Department BWH 3 years ago, to focus on translational research using human stem cell models as developmental platforms for gene and neuroimmune therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. In collaboration with the Yu lab at BCH she is currently validating and de-risking ASO gene therapy for a rare neurodegenerative genetic disorder DRPLA, which she will talk about today. She is also leading a unique project in collaboration with the Cox and the Weiner labs, ARCND, on the impact of microbiome on neuroinflammation and PD development.