Dr Nisha Rafiq gave a seminar entitled "Axonal swelling and cytoskeletal dysfunctions in Alzheimer’s disease" friday 15th january at 14h30 via AMUskype. - watch the replay on AMUpod.
Dr Rafiq received her Bachelor degree in Life Sciences from the National University of Singapore, specialising in molecular and cell biology, biophysics and biochemistry.
She received her PhD in 2017 from the National University of Singapore and the King's College London, under the primary supervision of Professor Alexander D Bershadsky (NUS, Weizmann) and the secondary supervision of Professors Gareth E Jones (KCL) and Paul T Matsudaira (NUS). During her PhD, she worked on mechanosignaling-based events regulating integrin-based adhesions (focal adhesions and podosomes). In particular, she worked on how KANK family proteins mediate the crosstalk between microtubules and actomyosin contractility. In addition, she also worked on how membrane remodeling proteins influence the force generation at podosome-type adhesions.
Since 2018 she has been a postdoctoral associate at Yale School of Medicine in the laboratory of Prof Pietro De Camilli, where she works on the molecular mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In particular, she focuses on the impact of lysosome-positive axonal swellings on the underlying cytoskeletal network in AD-like neurons. Her findings have a direct implication on tau-mediated neurodegeneration.
Overall, Dr Rafiq's main interest is to study the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases from the perspective of mechanobiology, in particular by better understanding how cytoskeletal dysfunctions affect Alzheimer's pathogenesis and, on this basis, laying the foundations for new ways to slow or stop the progression of the disease.
Selected bibliography :
- Rafiq NM, Lyons L, Gowrishankar S, De Camilli P, Ferguson S. JIP3 links lysosome transport to regulation of multiple components of the axonal cytoskeleton. bioRxiv. (2020).
- Gowrishankar S, Lyons L, Rafiq NM, De Camilli P, Ferguson S. Overlapping roles of JIP3 and JIP4 in promoting axonal transport of lysosomes in human iPSC-derived neurons. bioRxiv. (2020).
- Rafiq NBM, Nishimura Y, Plotnikov SV, Thiagarajan V, Zhang Z, Natarajan M, Shi S, Viasnoff V, Jones GE, Kanchanawong P, Jones GE, Bershadsky AD. A mechano-signalling network linking microtubules, myosin-IIA filaments and integrin-based adhesions. Nature Materials. (2019). Recommended by F1000prime (twice) Article highlight on preLights
- Rafiq NBM, Grenci G, Lim CK, Kozlov ME, Jones GE, Viasnoff V, Bershadsky AD. Forces and constraints controlling podosome assembly and disassembly. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. (2019)
- Rafiq NB, Lieu ZZ, Jiang TT, Yu CH, Matsudaira PT, Jones GE, Bershadsky AD. Podosome assembly is controlled by the GTPase ARF1 and its nucleotide exchange factor ARNO. J Cell Biol. (2017) Article highlight on JCB Spotlight
- Yu CH, Rafiq NB, Cao F, Zhou Y, Krishnasamy A, Biswas KH, Ravasio A, Chen Z, Wang YH, Kawauchi K, Jones GE, Sheetz MP. Integrin-beta3 clusters recruit clathrin-mediated endocytic machinery in the absence of traction force. Nat Commun. (2015)
- Yu CH, Rafiq NB, Krishnasamy A, Hartman KL, Jones GE, Bershadsky AD, Sheetz MP. Integrin-matrix clusters form podosome-like adhesions in the absence of traction forces. Cell Reports. (2013) Recommended by F1000prime
- Khan M, Wiradharma N, Beniah G, Rafiq NM, Liu SQ, Au J, Yang YY. Branched disulfidebased cationic polymers for efficient gene transfection. Curr Pharm Des. (2010)