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LuciaThe Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation is incredibly fortunate to have a group of ambitious and dedicated leaders on the front lines of Charcot-Marie-Tooth research. These inspiring researchers will be presenting their latest studies and what’s on the horizon in CMT research at the Patient-Centered Charcot-Marie-Tooth Summit.

We would like to introduce you to Dr. Lucia Notterpek, an HNF Scientific Advisory Board member. She received her B.A. in Anatomy-Physiology from the University of California at Berkeley. She obtained her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of California at Los Angeles working with Dr. Leonard H. Rome. Her postdoctoral training was under the guidance of Dr. Eric Shooter at Stanford University. Currently, Dr. Notterpek is Professor and Chair in the Department of Neuroscience at the McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida.

Dr. Notterpek investigates how the loss of glial insulation around axons, called myelin, contributes to the pathogenesis of hereditary and age-related neural disorders. She studies diseases that are specifically linked with defects in myelin including peripheral neuropathies, such as CMT and multiple sclerosis.

A major effort of Dr. Notterpek’s lab focuses on approaches to maintain healthy myelin during lifespan and/or restore it in disease paradigms. The laboratory is equipped with models and reagents, including small molecule therapeutics and genetic models to attain these goals.

Other areas of active investigation include the optimization of lipid nanoparticles as therapy delivery vehicles for neural disorders.

Dr. Notterpek is the recipient of the 2004 Jordi Folch-Pi Memorial Award from the American Society of Neurochemistry, awarded to a young scientist for research excellence. She has authored and co-authored over 65 publications, reviews, and book chapters.

She is actively involved in the educational and research missions of the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. Her research efforts have been supported by the NIH, the National Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Facial Pain Foundation, and the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation.

Let’s learn more about Dr. Notterpek:

HNF: Why did you choose to participate in the Summit?

Dr. Notterpek:

I want to share my knowledge and experience from working in basic translational laboratory research with the CMT patient population. Educating the public about the importance as well as the limitations of basic laboratory research is of high significance.

HNF: How has CMT affected your life?

Dr. Notterpek:

I do not have CMT in my family, but I know people with the disease. Learning about the burden of the disease on the patients and their families had a major impact on my career decision, which has been committed to research on CMT for over 20 years.

HNF: What do you hope attendees take away from the Summit?

Dr. Notterpek:

We will all gain new knowledge from different perspectives on issues related to CMT. I hope we will be even more energized in working together across the patient, the caretaker, and research communities in our efforts to alleviate the burden of CMT.

HNF: Anything else you’d like to share with the community?

Dr. Notterpek:

I highly value my interactions with the patient population. Learning about the specifics of the disease from patients impacts my thinking in experimental design as well as in data interpretation.

We thank Dr. Notterpek for her commitment and dedication to making a difference for the entire CMT community!