Linda Francistiova

Project 10



Host institution: BioTalentum Ltd 


Project Supervisor: Prof Andras Dinnyes



I am a molecular biologist graduated from the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. I did my master’s project at the Institute of Neuroimmunology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences which collaborates with a biotechnology company AXON Neuroscience. This company is focused on tau-based immunotherapies for Alzheimer’s disease and tau diagnostic platforms. Thus, the topic of my thesis was focused on interactions between tau protein and brain’s immune cells – microglia. We were studying the ability of these cells to eliminate pathological forms of tau protein and the role of the therapeutic antibody in this process. After that, I spent two months at the Adult Stem Cell Section of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH, Maryland, USA, where I took part in experiments focused on studying the regenerative potential of mesenchymal stem cells in an adult brain. There I got my first exposure to the idea of working with stem cells.

Currently, my PurinesDX PhD project aims to study the P2X7 receptor’s function and effects of P2X7R antagonism on neuronal differentiation and connectivity in neuronal networks generated from Alzheimer’s disease patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells.


Why are you doing a PhD?

Since I really enjoyed the experience of research in the area of neurodegenerative diseases I wanted to continue expanding my knowledge and skill set on a professional level. After involvement with Alzheimer’s disease research and stem cell biology, I decided that the combination of these two topics would fit my interests the best. PurinesDX allows me to achieve this aim. Additionally, it allows me to collaborate with the world-leading experts in the field, share knowledge with other talented research fellows of the project as well as to visit outstanding research institutions and develop new skills.


Other interests?

I am fascinated by the new avenues in the fields of regenerative medicine and Artificial Intelligence. I believe that both of these domains will markedly enhance humankind if they are paralleled with improved environmental protection and conservation. While I will most probably remain an enthusiastic side observer in the Artificial Intelligence developments, I hope to be able to personally contribute to the area of regenerative medicine later in my scientific carrier.