The department of neurology and psychiatry will host separate Grand Rounds sessions from 8-9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in two locations.
The Neurology session,"From Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetase Mutations to Peripheral Neuropathies: A Flying Perspective," will be presented by Albena Jordanova, Ph.D. in Lecture Hall 1 in Schwitalla Hall. (Entrance is only through the Learning Resource Center).
Jordanova, of Bulgaria, is a professor in molecular neuroscience at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and professor in human molecular genetics at the Sofia Medical University, Bulgaria. Her Ph.D. research was focused on molecular characterization of spinal muscular atrophy and cystic fibrosis in the Bulgarian population.
She did postdocs at the Sofia Medical University in the National Genetics Laboratory of Bulgaria, and at the University of Antwerp in the Department of Christine Van Broeckhoven, studying inherited peripheral neuropathies. Since 2011, she has been a group leader at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Belgium.
Her research focuses on the identification and characterization of genes and pathways implicated in neurological disorders, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, using genetic and functional genomics approaches in human and Drosophila. Her special interest is biosampling and studying patients from inbred populations (e.g. the European Roma/Gypsies) as a way to discover novel genetic entities, to perform genotype-phenotype correlations and to unravel the genetic architecture of complex neurological conditions.
Jordanova is a pioneer in exploring the molecular mechanisms of peripheral neurodegeneration caused by defects in aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. She is a holder of the Research Excellence Award of the Sofia Medical University and the "Woman in Science" award of the Bulgarian Ministry of Science and Education
The Psychiatry session, "Sex, Lies and Treatment Compliance," will be given by Melanie McKean, D.O., Ph.D. in Classroom A in Monteleone Hall. (Entrance is from the Chaddock parking lot in the rear of the building.)
McKean is an instructor of psychiatry in the department of neurology and psychiatry at Saint Louis University. She completed a combined internal medicine/psychiatry residency program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Ill.
Prior to her training at Rush, she received a bachelor of science in biology at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., followed by dual medical-graduate training at Oklahoma State University-Center for Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Tulsa, Okla. Her Ph.D. dissertation was titled "Differential Gene Expression in Women with and without Endometriosis."
McKean's clinical and research interests include women's health and psychiatry, with a preventative medicine focus. She will be developing a women's health program at SLU to provide multidisciplinary care to women in all phases of life, including preconception counseling, antepartum and postpartum mental health care, as well as treatment of reproductive dysfunction, chronic pelvic pain, and pelvic floor dysfunction and associated psychiatric comorbidities.