A great mystery in neuroscience is why most neurodegenerative disorders do not lead to the widespread loss of all neurons, but rather to the loss of select groups of neurons. To understand this selective vulnerability, it is necessary to compare cell-specific differences between vulnerable and non-vulnerable neurons. To date, this has been hampered by the lack of robust techniques for faithfully profiling cells in complex tissues such as the mammalian brain. Cellular heterogeneity has also confounded the study of the mechanism of action of drugs used to treat common neurodegenerative or psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.
To overcome this problem, I have worked with colleagues in the Heintz and Greengard labs at the Rockefeller University to develop a new 'TRAP' methodology that uses genetically-targeted ribosome tagging to purify mRNAs from individual cell types in complex tissues. The TRAP methodology has revealed that even closely related neuronal populations have very distinct mRNA translational profiles. My current research focus in the Greengard lab is to use the TRAP methodology to study the molecular basis of neuroleptic and anti-Parkinsonian drug action.
Ph.D. in biology from the Johns Hopkins University, 2003
B.A. in molecular biology from Princeton University, 1998
NIH/NIDA Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), 2006
Rockefeller University Women & Science Award, 2004
Myriam Heiman, Anne Schaefer, Shiaoching Gong, Jayms D. Peterson, Michelle Day, Keri E. Ramsey, Mayte Suárez-Fariñas, Cordelia Schwartz, Dietrich A. Stephan, D. James Surmeier, Paul Greengard, and Nathaniel Heintz. A translational profiling approach for the molecular characterization of CNS cell types. Cell (2008) 135:738-48 (PDF)
Joseph P. Doyle, Joseph D. Dougherty, Myriam Heiman, Eric F. Schmidt, Tanya R. Stevens, Guojun Ma, Sujata Bupp, Prerana Shrestha, Rajiv D. Shah, Martin L. Doughty, Shiaoching Gong, Paul Greengard, and Nathaniel Heintz. Application of a translational profiling approach for the comparative analysis of CNS cell types. Cell (2008) 135:749-62 (PDF)
Myriam Bonilla and Kyle W. Cunningham. Mitogen-activated protein kinase stimulation of Ca2+ signaling is required for survival of endoplasmic reticulum stress in yeast. Mol Biol Cell (2003) 14:4296-305 (PDF)
Myriam Bonilla, Kristin K. Nastase, and Kyle W. Cunningham. Essential role of calcineurin in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress. EMBO J (2002) 21:2343-53 (PDF)
Emanuela Santini, Cristina Alcacer, Silvia Cacciatore, Myriam Heiman, Denis Hervé, Paul Greengard, Jean-Antoine Girault, Emmanuel Valjent, and Gilberto Fisone. L-DOPA activates ERK signaling and phosphorylates histone H3 in the striatonigral medium spiny neurons of hemiparkinsonian mice. Journal of Neurochemistry (2009) 108:621-33 (PDF)
Emanuela Santini, Myriam Heiman, Paul Greengard, Emmanuel Valjent, and Gilberto Fisone. Inhibition of mTOR signaling in Parkinson's disease prevents L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. Science Signaling (2009) 2:1-10 (PDF)
Marc Flajolet, Gen He, Myriam Heiman, Angie Lin, Angus C. Nairn, and Paul Greengard. Regulation of Alzheimer's disease amyloid-beta formation by casein kinase I. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2007) 104:4159-64 (PDF)
Stephen J. King, Myriam Bonilla, Michael E. Rodgers, and Trina A. Schroer. Subunit organization in cytoplasmic dynein subcomplexes. Protein Sci (2002) 11:1239-50 (PDF)
Emily G. Locke, Myriam Bonilla, Linda Liang, Yoko Takita, and Kyle W. Cunningham. A homolog of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels stimulated by depletion of secretory Ca2+ in yeast. Mol Cell Biol (2000) 20:6686-94 (PDF)
Myriam Bonilla and Kyle W. Cunningham. Calcium release and influx in yeast: TRPC and VGCC rule another kingdom. Sci STKE (2002) 2002:1-3 (PDF)