Ledia-HernándezShe obtained the Biology degree and PhD in Neuroscience from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid (UCM), Spain. She was awarded with a Fulbright Fellowship to carry out her postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA. She also got funding from the Parkinson Disease Foundation (PDF) and the National Parkinson´s Foundation (NPF) to continue her research. After this 5 year period abroad, she came back to Spain to join Dr. Obeso´s Lab.

Her main research line has been focused on characterizing the different striatal neuronal populations in a model of early Parkinson disease (PD). The goal was to assess the role of dopamine on the striatal activity at the cellular and network level during the learning, acquisition and performance of a behavioral task that will become a habit. Previous work also addressed the effect of dopamine replacement therapy with levodopa (LDOPA) widely used in this condition, and its undesired secondary effects known as dyskinesias.

The main focus and project for the future will be to study the special susceptibility of the Substantia Nigra pars compacta, a subset of neurons specifically affected in this disease. There has been a lot of work in Parkinson disease research, but a little more attention needs to be put on the causes of the disease with the aim of developing effective treatments to stop disease progression.

Relevant publications 

  • Hernandez, L.F. Firing dynamics and LFP oscillatory patterns in the dopamine-depleted striatum during maze learning. Basal Ganglia. 3 (4): 213–219. (2014). 
  • Hernandez, L.F., Kubota, Y., Dan, H., Howe, M.W., LEMAIRE, N., Graybiel, AM. Selective effects of dopamine depletion on neuronal subpopulations in the sensorimotor striatum during procedural learning. The Journal of Neuroscience, March 13, 33(11):4782– 4795 (2013).
  • Lemaire, N.*, Hernandez, L.F.*, Dan, H., Kubota, Y, Howe, M.W., Graybiel, A.M. Effects of dopamine depletion on LFP oscillations in striatum are task- and learning-dependent and selectively reversed by L-DOPA. PNAS (2012 Oct 30;109(44):18126-31. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1216403109. Epub 2012 Oct 16.). (*co-author)
  • Cantuti-Castelvetri, I., Hernandez,L.F., Keller-McGandy, C.E., Saka, E., Bouzou, B., Kett, L.R., Nillni, E., Young, A.B., Standaert, D., Graybiel, A.M. Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia is Associated with Increased Thyrotropin Releasing   Hormone in the Dorsal Striatum of Hemi-Parkinsonian Rats. PloS One. 2010 Nov. 10, 5(11): e13861
  • Crittenden, J.R.,Cantuti-Castelvetri, I., Keller-McGandy, C.E., Hernandez, L.F., Saka, E., Bouzou, B., Kett, L.R., Young, A.B., Graybiel, A.M. Dysregulation of the striatum-enriched genes CalDAG-GEF1 and CalDAG-GEF2 predicts the severity of motor side-effects induced by anti-Parkinsonian therapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA.2009 Feb 24;106(8):2892-6. Epub 2009 Jan 26.