Maria Spillantini, PhD

Cambridge University

Born in Arezzo, Italy, Maria Grazia Spillantini, PhD, received a Laurea in biological sciences from Florence University and a PhD in molecular biology from Cambridge University. In 1996, she moved to the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Cambridge University, where she was first a lecturer, then a reader, and now professor of molecular neurology. She is interested in tauopathies and alpha-synucleinopathies. With her collaborators, she identified alpha-synuclein as the component of the filaments that form the Lewy bodies in Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and the glial inclusions in multiple system atrophy and described one of the first mutations in the MAPT gene causing frontotemporal dementia. She has received several awards, including the Potamkin Prize and the Jay Van Andel Award for achievements in Parkinson’s disease. She is a fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, Clare Hall (Cambridge), and Knight Officer of the Star of Italy.