- Email: MIGUEL.MINAYA@WUSTL.EDU
My research primarily focuses on coupling stem cell modeling with genomic approaches to determine whether there is a common molecular mechanism that links the existence of certain MAPT mutations to the surge in tauopathies observed when they are present. To this end, I study transcriptomic profiles of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)-neurons, -astrocytes and -microglia carrying disease-related mutations and compare them to isogenic controls created using CRISPR/Cas9 protocols. However, the extent to which these findings can be translated into clinical applications may be limited due to the main use of iPSCs from donors of European ancestry. Thus, my goal is to develop a collection of stem cell models of tauopathies obtained from diverse human populations and to identify common molecular signatures of disease and novel therapeutic targets. My objective is to define druggable molecular signatures of MAPT mutations using stem cell models from African (Nigeria), Asian (Japan), and South American (Brazil) populations. I hypothesize that MAPT mutations occurring in diverse genetic backgrounds will produce common and unique molecular signatures of disease.