Marina Iridoy Zulet defends her doctoral dissertation on Thursday, 12 November

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Marina Iridoy Zulet defends her doctoral dissertation on Thursday, 12 November

Marina Iridoy Zulet, a neurologist trained at the Hospital Complex of Navarre (CHN) and a predoctoral researcher in the Navarrabiomed associated research group Neuromuscular Disease and Motor Neuron Disease, will read her doctoral dissertation in the School of Health Sciences lecture hall at the Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA) at 12 noon on Thursday, 12 November. Marina Iridoy currently forms part of the neurology team at Zumarraga Hospital.

Her dissertation, “ProtALS Study: Proteomic analysis of postmortem tissue of subjects with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The search for biomarkers and therapeutic targets,” was developed at Navarrabiomed under the direction of Ivonne Jericó Pascual, a specialist doctor in the CHN Neurology Service and a Navarrabiomed associate researcher, and Joaquín Fernández Irigoyen, the coordinator of the Proteomics Platform and a researcher in the Navarrabiomed Clinical Neuroproteomics Unit – Navarre Health Research Institute (IdiSNA). Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, attendance is limited, but a videoconference of the defense will be available.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Diagnosed patients have a life expectancy of three to five years. Its prevalence in Navarre is 6.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year. Unfortunately, no biomarkers of the disease have been identified to allow for early diagnosis. After the first symptoms appear, diagnosis can sometimes take up to 12 months. Treatments to effectively cure the disorder are also currently unavailable.

In her dissertation, Marina Iridoy performed exhaustive proteomic analysis of postmortem neurological tissue of people with ALS. The goal was to obtain a panel of possible biomarkers of the disorder that could then be analyzed in the blood serum of patients with a clinical diagnosis of ALS in order to validate them as possible biomarkers of the disease.

The study results were published for a meeting of the European project Network to Cure ALS (ENCALS) and in the journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

This project began in 2015 thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising campaign led by the Association of Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Family Members in Navarre (ANELA) with the aim of increasing our knowledge of the disorder.