Laura-Oana Albulescu

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

I obtained my B.S in Biochemistry from the University of Bucharest, and then went on to become a graduate student in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology at Cornell University, in the US. During this time, I studied pre-mRNA splicing in yeast. After obtaining my PhD, I was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, for two years, where I studied trinucleotide expansion diseases.

 My work focuses on developing novel therapies to treat snakebite envenoming from a pathology perspective. In this regard, I am taking two approaches: one that aims at developing treatments against haemotoxicity and one that targets neurotoxic envenoming. 

Thus, for neurotoxic elapid snakes, I am investigating recombinant mimics of the acetylcholine receptor which can be used as decoys to bind venom toxins and prevent paralysis.

In the case of hemotoxic envenoming which results in haemorrhage and coagulopathy, I am investigating small molecule inhibitors across a wide range of viper venoms, to target different classes of enzymatic toxins.

Selected publications

  • J. J. Calvete, N. R. Casewell, U. Hernández-Guzmán, S. Quesada-Bernat, L. Sanz, D. R. Rokyta, D. Storey, L.-O. Albulescu, W. Wüster, C. F. Smith, G. W. Schuett, W. Booth, Venom Complexity in a Pitviper Produced by Facultative Parthenogenesis, Sci. Rep. 8, 11539 (2018).

    S. Ainsworth, D. Petras, M. Engmark, R. D. Süssmuth, G. Whiteley, L.-O. O. Albulescu, T. D. Kazandjian, S. C. Wagstaff, P. Rowley, W. Wüster, P. C. Dorrestein, A. S. Arias, J. M. Gutiérrez, R. A. Harrison, N. R. Casewell, J. J. Calvete, The medical threat of mamba envenoming in sub-Saharan Africa revealed by genus-wide analysis of venom composition, toxicity and antivenomics profiling of available antivenoms, J. Proteomics 172, 173–189 (2018).

    M. Groh, L. O. Albulescu, A. Cristini, N. Gromak, Senataxin: Genome Guardian at the Interface of Transcription and Neurodegeneration, J. Mol. Biol. 429, 3181–3195 (2017).

    L. O. Albulescu, N. Sabet, M. Gudipati, N. Stepankiw, Z. J. Bergman, T. C. Huffaker, J. A. Pleiss, A quantitative, high-throughput reverse genetic screen reveals novel connections between pre-mRNA splicing and 5′ and 3′ end transcript determinants, PLoS Genet. (2012), doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002530.

    L. Zhang, T. Xu, C. Maeder, L. O. Bud, J. Shanks, J. Nix, C. Guthrie, J. A. Pleiss, R. Zhao, Structural evidence for consecutive Hel308-like modules in the spliceosomal ATPase Brr2, Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. (2009), doi:10.1038/nsmb.1625.