Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
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Eugenia Goya

Chronobiology and neurodegeneration, using C. elegans as a model organism.

Dr Eugenia Goya

Postdoctoral Researcher - Doitsidou lab

  • Hugh Robson Building
  • 15 George Square
  • Edinburgh EH8 9XD

Contact details

Personal profile

  • 2019-present: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 2018-2019: EMBO Long-Term Fellow, University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • 2017: Postdoctoral researcher, University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • 2016: PhD in Neuroscience, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina.
  • 2010: M. Sc. in Biotechnology (with honours), Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina
  • 2007: Diploma in Science and Technology (with honours), Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina.

Research

My long-term goal is to address fundamental open questions in the intersection of the field of chronobiology and neurodegeneration, using C. elegans as a model organism. The cross talk between circadian rhythms and neurodegeneration is an incipient and promising area of research, since malfunction of the endogenous clock is considered to contribute to neurodegeneration, representing a novel risk factor for diseases like PD and AD.

During my undergraduate and PhD research in Argentina, I focused on the molecular basis of circadian biology in C. elegans, which has a yet unidentified but functional molecular clock. Much of the understanding of the worm’s circadian clock has been limited to the description of output behaviours, based on variable and non-robust readouts not applicable for high-throughput screening studies. The main achievement of my PhD was to fill this gap, enabling new chronobiology studies in C. elegans, through the novel application of a non-invasive and highly sensitive luciferase-based reporter approach to study gene expression.

After obtaining my PhD in 2016, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Doitsidou at the University of Edinburgh, as a postdoctoral researcher, in order to gain training in neuroscience, and in particular in neurodegeneration.

Working with C. elegans models of Parkinson’s disease, my current work focuses on understanding the role of gut microbiota in modulating α-synuclein aggregation, one of the hallmarks of this disease. My work has made new contributions to the upcoming field of gut-brain interactions in neurodegenerative disease, by identifying a Bacillus subtilis strain able to both prevent and reverse α-synuclein inclusions and improve locomotor fitness in worms. This is a commercially available probiotic strain which is also a common resident of human gut, We are currently trying to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which the bacteria induces the protective effect in worms and its potential to modify PD-related symptomatology in other models.

Relevant publications

Goya ME, Xue F, Sampedro-Torres-Quevedo C, Arnaouteli S, Riquelme Dominguez L, Romanowski A, Brydon J, Ball K, Stanley-Wall NR, Doitsidou M. "Probiotic Bacillus subtilis Protects against α-Synuclein Aggregation in C. elegans". Cell Reports January 14, 2020; Vol 30(2), Pages 367-380, doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.12.078. Featured in Parkinson’s UK, Herald Scotland, Daily Mail UK, Neuroscience News and iNews, among others.

Goya ME, Romanowski A, Caldart CS, Bénard CY, Golombek DA. "Circadian rhythms identified in Caenorhabditis elegans by in vivo long-term monitoring of a bioluminescent reporter". PNAS November 29, 2016; Vol 113(48), E7837–E7845, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1605769113. Featured in La Nación (Argentinean National Newspaper).

Romanowski A, Garavaglia MJ, Goya ME, Ghiringhelli PD, Golombek DA. “Potential Conservation of Circadian Clock Proteins in the phylum Nematoda as Revealed by Bioinformatic Searches”. PLoS ONE 2014 Nov 14; 9(11):e112871; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112871.

Romanowski A, Goya ME, Migliori ML, Simonetta SH, Golombek, DA. “Circadian regulation of abiotic stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans.” In: Haryana N. and Punj S. (eds), Abiotic Stress: New Research. Nova Science Publishers. Hauppauge, New York. 2012. ISBN 978-1-61942-197-4.