Dr. Venderova, who joined KGI in August 2015, is a neuropharmacologist with an expertise in neurodegenerative disorders. The goal of her research lab is to map genetic pathways involved in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease in order to define new drug targets to halt the progression of the neurodegenerative process. Specifically, the focus of her current work is to delineate how two causative Parkinson’s disease genes, LRRK2 and VPS35, interact to regulate autophagy – a fundamental cellular process implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, cancer and immune disorders. She has authored a number of highly cited publications, contributed to several textbooks, and received multiple awards in recognition of her research. Her neurogenetics and neuropharmacology lab is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
After graduating from the pharmacy school and obtaining a PhD in Toxicology, Dr. Venderova received funding from the Parkinson Society Canada, and pursued two postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Ottawa and at the University of Toronto/Toronto Western Research Institute. As part of her postdoctoral training, she has generated a new transgenic model of Parkinson’s disease, and helped identify a role of several signaling molecules in neuronal survival and neurodegeneration. She joined KGI after being a faculty at the University of the Pacific’s school of pharmacy, where she was named the Teacher of the Year. She is a member of the Phi Delta Chi professional pharmacy fraternity, and of the Phi Lambda Sigma pharmacy leadership society.