Cristina d’Abramo, PhD

Assistant Professor, The Litwin-Zucker Center for Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Disorders,
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Phone: (516) 562-3494

About the Investigator

Dr. d’Abramo’s interest on Alzheimer’s disease started 15 years in the Laboratory of Experimental Medicine (Pathology) at the University of Genova. In those early years, the lab was focusing on aging cell biology and, collaborating with Dr. Massimo Tabaton, on the relationship between oxidative stress, activation of kinases (e.g. PKC) and the metabolism of APP.

During her PhD training at the University of Genova, Dr. d’Abramo had the privilege to join Dr. Peter Davies’ laboratory at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine as a visiting scientist, getting to learn more about the role of tau pathology in Alzheimer’s disease.

After defending her PhD thesis in Genova, Dr d’Abramo was offered a Postdoctoral position by Dr. Davies in the Alzheimer’s disease and Memory Disorder Center at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. First as a Postdoctoral trainee and later as an Institute Scientist, Cristina had the chance to gain considerable experience in working with models of tau pathology together with a continuous training in cell and molecular biology. Moreover, learning how to produce and handle tau monoclonal antibodies gave Dr. d’Abramo the opportunity to contribute to immunotherapy experiments and development of new tau assays, which turned into peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. d’Abramo has many open projects with different academic institutions and industry, and she maintains active collaboration with her parent institution in Genova as well.

Research Focus

The whole tau field has worked in the attempt to reduce tau phosphorylation and aggregation occurring in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Dr. d’Abramo is currently studying the biology of tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease, its possible propagation between cells and the possibility of targeting aberrant tau with antibodies as a perspective treatment of Alzheimer’s.

Lab Members

Francesca Vitale, PharmD
Postdoctoral fellow


The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY
Degree: Post-doctoral
Field of Study: Alzheimer’s disease

University of Genova, Italy
Degree: PhD
Field of Study: Neurochemistry and Neurobiology

University of Genova, School of Medicine, Genova, Italy
Degree: Residency
Field of Study: Clinical Pathology

University of Genova, Genova, Italy
Degree: MS
Field of Study: Biological Sciences

Awards & Honors

2017 National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Health R56 award, to test tau passive immunization using recombinant antibodies
2017 Innovation Award, Advancing Women in Science and Medicine, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, NY
2015 Declion Pharmaceuticals grant to test tau active immunization

  1. Biundo F, d’Abramo C, Tambini MD, Zhang H, Del Prete D, Vitale F, Giliberto L, Arancio O, D’Adamio L. “Abolishing Tau cleavage by caspases at Aspartate421 causes memory/synaptic plasticity deficits and pre-pathological Tau alterations.” Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Aug 8;7(8):e1198. doi: 10.1038/tp.2017.165.
  2. d’Abramo C, Acker CM, Schachter JB, Terracina G, Wang X, Forest SK, Davies P. “Detecting tau in serum of transgenic animal models after tau immunotherapy treatment.” Neurobiol Aging. 2016 Jan;37:58-65. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2015.09.017. Epub 2015 Oct 21.
  3. d’Abramo C, Acker CM, Jimenez H, Davies P. “Passive Immunization in JNPL3 Transgenic Mice Using an Array of Phospho-Tau Specific Antibodies.” PLoS One. 2015 Aug 13;10(8):e0135774. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135774. eCollection 2015.
  4. d’Abramo C, Acker CM, Jimenez HT, Davies P. “Tau passive immunotherapy in mutant P301L mice: antibody affinity versus specificity.” PLoS One. 2013 Apr 29;8(4):e62402. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062402. Print 2013.
  5. Acker CM, Forest SK, Zinkowski R, Davies P, d’Abramo C. “Sensitive quantitative assays for tau and phospho-tau in transgenic mouse models.” Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Jan;34(1):338-50. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.05.010. Epub 2012 Jun 21.
  6. Forest SK, Acker CM, d’Abramo C, Davies P. “Methods for measuring tau pathology in transgenic mouse models.” J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;33(2):463-71. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-121354.
  7. Giliberto L, d’Abramo C, Acker CM, Davies P, D’Adamio L. “Transgenic expression of the amyloid-beta precursor protein-intracellular domain does not induce Alzheimer’s Disease-like traits in vivo.” PLoS One. 2010 Jul 16;5(7):e11609. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011609.
  8. d’Abramo C, Zingg JM, Pizzuti A, Argellati F, Pronzato MA, Ricciarelli R. “In vitro effect of PPAR-gamma2 Pro12Ala polymorphism on the deposition of Alzheimer’s amyloid-beta peptides.” Brain Res. 2007 Oct 10;1173:1-5. Epub 2007 Aug 9.
  9. d’Abramo C, Ricciarelli R, Pronzato MA, Davies P. “Troglitazone, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma agonist, decreases tau phosphorylation in CHOtau4R cells.” J Neurochem. 2006 Aug;98(4):1068-77. Epub 2006 Jun 19.
  10. d’Abramo C, Massone S, Zingg JM, Pizzuti A, Marambaud P, Dalla Piccola B, Azzi A, Marinari UM, Pronzato MA, Ricciarelli R. “Role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma in amyloid precursor protein processing and amyloid beta-mediated cell death.” Biochem J. 2005 Nov 1;391(Pt 3):693-8

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