Dr. M. Alba Abad Fernandez

Alba studied Biology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) and completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain). During her PhD she studied the role of Neuronal Pentraxin 1, a protein known to be involved in apoptotic cell death, in Alzheimer’s disease.

In the JP lab she is interested in understanding the molecular basis for accurate chromosome segregation, essential for faithful segregation of the genetic material during cell division. Currently she is using an interdisciplinary approach combining protein biochemistry, biophysics, X-ray crystallography, CryoEM and cell biology to characterise key mitotic regulators like the Chromosomal Passenger Complex (CPC).

Alba is also an enthusiast of science communication and public engagement with science. Thus, in 2018 after being awarded the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology Prize for Outstanding Public Engagement, she decided to combine her expertise in outreach together with her love for Nepal to launch Engage Nepal with Science in collaboration with the Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology (Nepal). Her aim is to spread her passion for science while inspiring and sparking curiosity in Nepalese communities. She is a member of the Press Gang of the School of Biological Sciences (University of Edinburgh) to bridge the gap between the researchers in the School, the media and the general public. Alba is also the Director of the SRUK Scottish constituency aiming to create a social network of researchers in the UK, promote science literacy and strengthen collaborations between Spain and the UK.

 

Publications

18. Medina-Pritchard B, Lazou V, Zou J, Byron O, Abad MA, Rappsilber J, Heun P and Jeyaprakash AA. (2020) Structural Basis for Centromere Maintenance by Drosophila CENP-A chaperone Cal1. EMBO J. DOI: 10.15252/embj.2019103234

17. Abad MA, Ruppert JG*, Buzuk L*, Wear M, Zou J, Webb KM, Kelly DA, Voigt P, Rappsilber J, Earnshaw WC and Jeyaprakash AA. (2019) Borealin-Nucleosome Interaction Secures Chromosome Association of the Chromosomal Passenger Complex. J. Cell Biol. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201905040 (* equal contribution) 

16. Capalbo L, Mela I, Abad MA, Jeyaprakash AA, Edwarson JM and D'Avino PPRoure V (2019) Purification of Recombinant ESCRT-III Proteins and Their Use in Atomic Force Microscopy and In Vitro Binding and Phophorylation Assays. Methods Mol BiolDOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9492-2_15

15. Cruz M, Abad MA, van Ijcken W, Galjart N, Jeyaprakash AA, Maiato H and Ferrás C. (2018) Mitotic progression, arrest, exit or death is determined by centromere integrity and independent of de novo transcription. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.36898

14. Spiller F*, Medina-Pritchard M*, Abad MA*, Wear MA, Molina O, Earnshaw WC and Jeyaprakash AA. Molecular Basis for Cdk1 Regulated Timing of Mis18 Complex Assembly and CENP-A Deposition. EMBO RepDOI: 10.15252/embr.201643564 (*equal contribution)

13. Molina O, Vargiu G, Abad MA, Zhiteneva A, Jeyaprakash AA, Masumoto H, Kouprina N, Larionov V and Earnshaw WC. Epigenetic Engineering Reveals  a Balance Between Histone Modifications and Transcription in Kinetochore Maintenance. Nat CommunDOI: 10.1038/ncomms13334

12. Capalbo L, Mela I, Abad MA, Jeyaprakash AA, Edwardson JM and D’Avino PP. The ESCRT-III Component CHMP4C is Regulated Via a Relay Mechanism During Abscission. Open BiolDOI: 10.1098/rsob.160248

11. Abad MA, Zou J, Medina-Pritchard M, Nigg EA, Rappsilber J, Santamaria A and Jeyaprakash AA. (2016) Ska3 Ensures Timely Mitotic Progression by Interacting Directly with Microtubules and Ska1 Microtubule Binding Domain. Sci RepDOI: 10.1038/srep34042

10. Papini D, Langemeyer L, Abad MA, Kerr A, Samejima I, Eyers PA, Jeyaprakash AA, Higgins JMG, Barr FA and Earnshaw WC. (2015) TD60 Links RalA GTPase Function to the CPC in Mitosis. Nat Commun. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8678

9. Figueiro-Silva J, Gruart A, Clayton KB, Podlesniy P, Abad MA, Gasull X, Delgado-García JM, Trullas R. (2015) Neuronal pentraxin 1 negatively regulates excitatory synapse density and synaptic plasticity. J Neurosci. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2548-14.2015

8. Abad MA*, Medina B*, Santamaria A*, Zou J, Plasberg-Hill C, Madhumalar A, Jayachandran U, Redli PM, Rappsilber J, Nigg EA and Jeyaprakash AA. (2014) Structural Basis for Microtubule Recognition by the Human Kinetochore Ska complex. Nat CommunDOI: 10.1038/ncomms3964 (*equal contribution)

7. Zapata A, Pontis S, Schepers RJ, Wang R, Oh E, Stein A, Bäckman CM, Worley P, Enguita M, Abad MA, Trullas R, Shippenberg TS. (2012) Alleviation of neuropathic pain hypersensitivity by inhibiting neuronal pentraxin 1 in the rostral ventromedial medulla. J Neurosci. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2730-12.2012

6. López-Doménech G, Serrat R, Mirra S, D'Aniello S, Somorjai I, Abad A, Vitureira N, García-Arumí E, Alonso MT, Rodriguez-Prados M, Burgaya F, Andreu AL, García-Sancho J, Trullas R, Garcia-Fernàndez J, Soriano E. (2012) The Eutherian Armcx genes regulate mitochondrial trafficking in neurons and interact with Miro and Trak2. Nat Commun. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1829

5. Clayton KB, Podlesniy P, Figueiro-Silva J, López-Doménech G, Benitez L, Enguita M, Abad MA, Soriano E, Trullas R. (2012) NP1 regulates neuronal activity-dependent accumulation of BAX in mitochondria and mitochondrial dynamics. J Neurosci. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4604-11.2012

4. López-Hernández B, Posadas I, Podlesniy P, Abad MA, Trullas R, Ceña V. (2012) HIF-1α is neuroprotective during the early phases of mild hypoxia in rat cortical neurons. Exp Neurol. DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2011.11.040

3. Yeste-Velasco M, Folch J, Trullàs R, Abad MA, Enguita M, Pallàs M, Camins A. (2007) Glycogen synthase kinase-3 is involved in the regulation of the cell cycle in cerebellar granule cells. Neuropharmacology. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2007.05.012

2. Abad MA, Enguita M, DeGregorio-Rocasolano N, Ferrer I, Trullas R. (2006) Neuronal pentraxin 1 contributes to the neuronal damage evoked by amyloid-beta and is overexpressed in dystrophic neurites in Alzheimer's brain. J Neurosci. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0575-06.2006

1. Enguita M, DeGregorio-Rocasolano N, Abad A, Trullas R. (2005) Glycogen synthase kinase 3 activity mediates neuronal pentraxin 1 expression and cell death induced by potassium deprivation in cerebellar granule cells. Mol Pharmacol. DOI:10.1124/mol.104.007062