University of Zurich, Switzerland
Magdalini Polymenidou studied Pharmaceutical Sciences for a BSc and MSc at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, from 1996 to 2001. She conducted her PhD research on prion diseases at the University Hospital of Zurich in Switzerland (2001-2006). In her thesis work, she studied the efficacy of experimental prion immunotherapies, and defined a novel molecular classification for human prion diseases. She stayed as a postdoctoral fellow in Zurich until 2008, with an interim appointment in 2007 as a visiting scientist with Novartis at Emeryville, CA, USA. Since 2008 she has been studying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. During her postdoctoral studies at the University of California in San Diego, CA, USA (2008-2013) she exploited genome-wide approaches to understand the function of TDP-43 and FUS, two RNA-binding proteins that are associated with the diseases ALS and FTD. Her work established the diverse roles of the two proteins in RNA processing within the nervous system, and determined TDP-43 and FUS RNA targets that are altered in disease. Since September 2013, she is an SNSF Assistant Professor, with a double appointment between the Faculty of Science and the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.