Maria Virtudes Sanchez Mico, PhD, started her academic journey with two bachelor's degrees, one in chemistry and the other in biochemistry, earned at the University of Seville in Spain. To satisfy her interest in pursuing a career in neuroscience, she joined the lab of Dr. Javier Vitorica and Dr. Marisa Vizuete at the IBiS, the Biomedicine Institute of Seville, to study the role of astrocytes in amyloid-beta oligomerization and fibrillation in vitro by using fluorescent kinetics and atomic force microscopy. After earning her master's degree, Dr. Sanchez Mico pursued a doctorate in neuroscience, where she studied the astroglial responses to amyloid-beta and hyperphosphorylated tau in cell cultures, transgenic mouse models, and postmortem tissue from patients with Alzheimer's disease. She also implemented an in vitro model of phagocytosis of dystrophic synapses that allowed for studying the impairment of astroglial phagocytosis in Alzheimer's disease pathology.
Dr. Sanchez Mico is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Brian Bacskai's lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where she employs state-of-the-art technology such as fluorescent biosensors and in vivo multiphoton microscopy. Her research focuses on the role of astroglial dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease in a continuation of her previous work, using an in vivo and in real-time system. Her long-term research interest focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying astroglial dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease to provide clues to potential therapeutic approaches.