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Featured Scientist: Dec. 2015

Jordi Magrané Jordi Magrané

By David Woods, PhD.

A Barcelona fan with goals in mind for FA

Barcelona born Jordi Magrané says that his interest in mechanisms of neurodegeneration and the role of mitochondria in neurodegenerative disease led him at first into research on Alzheimer’s and ALS.

But since working with Friedreich’s Ataxia , he has found a greater sense of collaboration and less competitiveness than in the other areas of research he has tried. Research in Friedreich’s Ataxia is an area, he says, in which he’s felt really comfortable. And he credits FARA for much of that. His interest in abnormal mitochondrial axonal transport is especially applicable in FA.

Jordi, who is an assistant professor of neuroscience in Cornell’s Brain and Mind Research Institute, has dedicated his efforts towards developing novel microscopy-based live imaging assays to assess the role of mitochondrial dynamics in diseases like Friedreich’s Ataxia.

His research work has attracted support from a number of institutions, including grants from FARA. Jordi has served as a reviewer for several science journals… and is the author or co-author of some 25 articles, as well as giving multiple presentations at conferences and workshops.

But when he is outside of the scientific community, Jordi spends time at his Roosevelt Island home swimming, and also cooking, which, he says are the only hobbies that relax him; in fact, he says, as a relatively recent US resident, he has organized barbecues and is ‘always at the grill.’

But as well as that, he enjoys the theater, music and movies and is also an avid reader, mainly of science texts. Reading not just science, Jordi lists Nick Hornby, Jonathan Franzen and Miranda July as his favorite authors. “And every time I enter a bookstore, I end up buying something,” he says.

Jordi is a proud Catalonian, although not necessarily a separatist for that region of Spain; but of course, as a native of Barcelona, he’s also a big soccer fan and tries to watch his home team, which is a symbol of Catalan culture, as often as he can. Like its players, Jordi has goals in mind.

In his case, it’s helping to find a cure for FA

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