"The present postdoctoral project to be carried out by Dr. Ana Jorge Finnigan at the Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, is integrated in the research programs carried out at Research group Biorecognition, leaded by Professor Aurora Martinez. The postdoctoral project integrates methods spanning the structural and functional characterization of complexes of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) with proteins and membranes, and the regulation of the activity and localization of TH by small ligands, both in cells and animal models. The activities are organized in an interdisciplinary set-up of expertise and methodology managed by the applicant lab and a network of collaborators. TH catalyzes the hydroxylation of L-Tyr to DOPA, the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of catecholamine neurotransmitters and hormones in brain and neuroendocrine tissues. Due to the high relevance of well-regulated catecholamine synthesis and protein-membrane interactions in human health and neurological disease, the project is expected to contribute with novel understanding of pathogenic mechanism affecting TH stability and regulation as well as with novel therapeutic approaches aiming correction of TH misfolding and mislocalization. The therapuetical tools developed through this project may even be of application to social burden diseases such as Parkinson's disease."
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