Location: Barshop Institute 2011



Elizabeth Fernandez, PhD

Assistant Professor/Research

Personal Statement:

Aging is the main risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination. My studies are focused to test the role of impaired detoxification of biogenic aldehydes and reactive oxygen species in the Gpx1/Aldh1a1 double KO model of Parkinson’s disease and whether the use of aldehyde trapping agents and N-acetylcysteine, separately and/or together will revert the effects, and could provide a new therapeutic approach to intervention in Parkinson’s disease.

The objectives in these studies are to examine the role of two genes, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1a1 (Aldh1a1) and the glutamate peroxidase 1 (Gpx1), each of whose expression is notably reduced in the nigrostriatal pathway in Parkinson’s disease, and the effects of the aldehyde trapping agent-hydralazine- and or the glutathione precursor N-acetylcysteine in preventing or attenuating the progression of Parkinson’s disease.


1984BSNutrition and DieteticsUniversidad Central de Venezuela
Caracas , Venezuela
1988MSBiology/BiochemistryInstituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas
1996PhDCellular & Molecular Pharmacology and PhysiologyUniversity of Nevada
Reno , NV
Postdoctoral FellowshipPharmacologyThe University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
San Antonio , TX