Dr. Moreno studies functional molecular mechanisms of ageing in the neural niche

​Numerous studies support that dietary restriction (DR) provides the most effective method against ageing and accompanying morbidity. Importantly, DR offers protective effects against a spectrum of age-related diseases that impose a significant dent in the quality of life and health span of elder populations. Recent studies have shown that regenerative capacity of stem cell niches are maintained by such dietary interventions. My research focuses on the molecular manipulation of these niches to maintain health span by targeting potential mechanisms of action discovered through DR-like interventions. Furthermore because many of DR effects appear to be mediated by nutrient sensing brain structures, I focus in local hypothalamic stem cell populations and how their state maintains peripheral homeostasis via autonomic and neuroendocrine responses. 

Dr. Moreno completed his PhD in Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he studied the role of Creb-binding protein (CBP) in molecular mechanisms of dietary restriction, obesity, and neurodegeneration. During his PhD he was the recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein training grant (T32), as well as an F31 fellowship from the National Institute of Aging. He also obtained a travel scholarship to attend the Aging and Diseases of Aging Keystone Symposium. After his PhD he joined the psychiatry department as a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Prof. Samuel Gandy, where he completed studies on Alzheimer's disease (AD) looking at protein interactions in the gamma secretase complex. Furthermore, in collaboration with the New York Stem Cell Foundation he used iPSCs from AD patients to study the effects of insulin signalling in AD as a model of insulin brain resistance. 

Collaborations

​During my PhD I participated in two collaborative projects: along with Prof. William Coetzee from NYU I studied proteomic complexes of KATP channels in the hypothalamus, and secondly with Prof. Michelle Ehrlich I completed studies on the effects of dietary restriction in a mouse model of Huntington's Disease. After my PhD, I developed a project for the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mount Sinai in collaboration with Prof. Christoph Buettner and Prof. Scott Noggle from the New York Stem Cell Foundation. In addition, other collaborators such as Prof. Ottavio Arancio from Columbia University have participated in the development of this project. These latter studies involved the use of iPSC-differentiated neurons to model AD pathology and brain insulin signaling. 

Key Publications

Role of Hypothalamic Creb-Binding Protein in Obesity and Molecular Reprogramming of Metabolic Substrates. Plos One

Protection by Dietary Restriction in the YAC128 mouse model of Huntington's Disease: Relation to Genes Regulating Histone Acetylation and HTT. Neurobiology of Disease

Physiologically Generated Presenilin 1 Lacking Exon 8 Fails to Rescue Brain PS1-/- Phenotype and Forms Complexes with Wildtype PS1 and Nicastrin. Scientific Reports

Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying Lifespan and Age-Related Effects of Dietary Restriction and the Ketogenic Diet. Molecular Cellular Endocrinology

Regulation of Peripheral Metabolism by Substrate Partitioning in the Brain. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics

Funding

I was a T32 Neuroscience Training Grant Trainee during the first year of my PhD. Subsequently I was funded for the remaining of my PhD by the Ruth L. Kirschstein National research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellows from the National Institute of Aging.