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Seminar – Carla Nasca

31 March 2023 / 14:00

Venue: Centre Broca Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Carla Nasca
New York University (NYU) School of Medicine
Departments of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, New York

Invited by Marie-Pierre Moisan (NutriNeuro)


Exosomes and Mitochondrial Metabolism: Novel Epigenetic Mechanisms of Neuroplasticity in Stress and Psychiatric Disorders


At NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Nasca lab is working on an innovative framework of epigenetic mechanisms of neuroplasticity in stress responses and psychiatric disorders with a new angle on mitochondrial metabolism. Key to this framework is the pivotal mitochondrial metabolite L-acetylcarnitine (LAC), which she discovered as a novel epigenetic modulator of hippocampal plasticity and a therapeutic target for clinical phenotypes of depression associated with childhood trauma.  Using the novel exosome technology, her group further showed that modulating mitochondrial metabolism of LAC is predictive of changes in other important aspects of human physiology, such as insulin resistance. We hope this new knowledge can ultimately lead to neurosciencebased personalized medicine strategies for stress-related diseases, including depression.


Dr. Nasca is Head of the laboratory of Epigenetics & System Neuroscience and Assistant Professor at NYU School of Medicine in New York in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. She joined NYU after directing her own research group at Rockefeller University where she previously trained in Neuroscience with Bruce McEwen. She also received training in Translational Neuroscience. Dr. Nasca received numerous federal and foundation research grants, including a R01 grant and the High Priority research grant from National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Falk Transformative Research Award. She also is a recipient of the Blavatnik Award for Innovative Research.

Key publications

*Nasca C, Bigio B, Zelli D, Okamoto M, Soya H, Ni J, Greengard P, Neve R, Lee F, McEwen B (2017). Role of the astroglial glutamate exchanger xCT in ventral hippocampus in resilience to stress. Neuron 2:402-413

McEwen BS, Bowles N, Gray JD, Hill MN, Hunter R, Karatsoreos IN, Nasca C (2015). Mechanisms of stress in the brain. Nature Neuroscience 10:1353-63 PMCID: PMC4933289

*Nasca C, Menard C, Hodes G, Bigio B, Pena C, Lorsch Z, Merad M, Meaney MJ, Nestler EJ, McEwen BS, Russo SJ (2019). Multidimensional Predictors of Susceptibility and Resilience to Social Defeat Stress. Biological Psychiatry 86:483-491 PMCID: PMC6730655

*Nasca C, Dobbin J, Bigio B, Watson K, Lee FS, Murrough J, McEwen B, Rasgon N (2020). Insulin receptor substrate in brain-enriched exosomes in subjects with major depression: on the path of creation of biosignatures of central insulin resistance. Nature Molecular Psychiatry 26:5140-5149 PMCID: PMC7787430

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31 March 2023
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