Dr. Rita Cacace holds a PhD in biomedical sciences and studies Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Her work focuses on understanding the functional consequences of rare genetic variants to the disease etiopathogenesis. Her research is based on the genetic discoveries obtained throughout her PhD and postdoctoral studies.
Dr. Cacace has a broad range of expertise from genetics to functional biology and disease models. Particularly in data mining of whole-genome and whole exome sequencing data for disease genes identification. As well as design and analysis of high-throughput gene-based sequencing assays.
Dr. Cacace’s in vitro expertise includes, but is not limited to, expression studies on both RNA and protein level; design and development of in vitro assays (cloning techniques, overexpression studies, immunocytochemistry, etc.); handling and manipulation of both cancer cell lines and human-induces pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), CRISPR-based genome editing and directed differentiation of iPSC into cortical neurons. Dr. Cacace gained expertise also in in-vivo disease models, obtaining a certified FELASA-C certificate from the University of Antwerp. Dr. Cacace is currently developing in-vitro iPSC-derived disease models as tools to identify novel therapeutic targets in neurodegenerative brain diseases.