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Methods Collections > Using C. elegans to monitor proteostasis imbalances  

Carmen Nussbaum-Krammer

Affiliation: Heidelberg University

Dr. Carmen Nussbaum-Krammer is a project group leader at the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University (ZMBH) and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), where her group is associated with the laboratory of Prof. Bernd Bukau. She performed her thesis work on prions in the laboratories of Prof. Ina Vorberg and Prof. Hermann Schätzl at the Technical University of Munich. She found that the yeast prion domain Sup35NM could propagate as a prion in neuroblastoma cells, despite the lack of the chaperone Hsp104, which is essential for prion propagation in yeast. This work provided proof of principle that mammalian cells can support cytosolic prion propagation. After obtaining her PhD, she joined the laboratory of Prof. Richard Morimoto at Northwestern University, Evanston (USA), to establish a genetic prion model using Caenorhabditis elegans. She could show that the Sup35NM prion domain exhibits prion-like properties when expressed in the multicellular organism C. elegans and adapts to different requirements for propagation that involve the autophagy-lysosome pathway to transmit cytosolic aggregation-prone proteins between tissues. Dr. Nussbaum-Krammer’s main research interest is to understand the mechanisms underlying the propagation and toxicity of misfolded proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

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