Ana Maria Cuervo

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Ana Maria Cuervo
Ana Maria Cuervo.jpg
Ana Maria Cuervo in 2008
Born (1966-07-14) July 14, 1966 (age 52)
NationalitySpanish and American
OccupationScientist, cell biologist
Known forChaperone-mediated autophagy research

Ana Maria Cuervo (born 14 July 1966) is a Spanish-American physician, researcher, and cell biologist. She is a Professor in Developmental and Molecular Biology, Anatomy and Structural Biology, and Medicine and co-director of the Institute for Aging Studies at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is best known for her research work on autophagy, the process by which cells recycle waste products, and its changes in aging and age-related diseases.


Cuervo was born in Barcelona, Spain on 14 July 1966. She studied medicine at the University of Valencia in 1986 and further pursued a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology under the mentorship of Erwin Knecht, a biochemist studying lysosomes and proteosome at the time.[1] In 1993, she published her first academic paper as a co-author on lysosomal degradation which challenged the assumption that it was non-specific.[2] Cuervo also worked with Fred “Paulo” Dice of Tufts University on lysosomes during the summer months as Spanish labs were closed during this time of year. Cuervo later accepted a full-time post-doctorate position at Dice's laboratory and focused on understanding the lysosomal degradation pathway. In 1996 and 2000, Cuervo and Dice published their findings on this pathway, identified the lysosomal membrane protein LAMP2A as the receptor for this form of autophagy and termed it chaperone-mediated autophagy.[3][4]

In October 2001, Cuervo accepted a faculty position at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in The Bronx, New York. She then began primarily focusing on chaperone-mediated autophagy and its role in aging and human disease. Her research lab focused on protein translocations across lysosomal membranes, identifying regulator proteins like glial fibrillary acidic protein.[5] In collaboration with neuroscientist David Sulzer of Columbia University Medical Center, she published evidence of altered chaperone-mediated autophagy in Parkinson's Disease.[6] Similar findings of disrupted autophagy was also reported when Huntington Disease was studied.[7] Cuervo's research team also identified LRRK2, a protein enzyme that becomes mutated in Parkinson's disease, disrupts the process of translocation across lysosomal membranes.[8][1]

She is also co-director of the Einstein Institute for Aging Research and a member of the Einstein Liver Research Center and Cancer Center. She is also the Robert and Renée Belfer Chair for the Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 2015 she was elected International Academic of the Royal Academy of Medicine of the Valencia Community and in 2017, member of the Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Fisicas y Naturales. In 2018, Cuervo was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[9] She has also served as a member of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Scientific Council, NIH Scientific Council of Councils, NIA Board of Scientific Counselors and in the Advisory Committee to the NIH Deputy Director.[10]

Cuervo is co-editor-in-chief of the Aging Cell journal and serves in the editorial board of Cell Metabolism and Molecular Cell.[11] She has been involved in more than 200 publications.[12] Dr. Cuervo has been included in the 2018 Highly Cited Researchers List (ranking of top 1% cited researchers).


Cuervo and her team have received numerous awards including the P. Benson Award, Keith Porter Fellow, Nathan Shock Memorial Award, Vincent Cristofalo Award in Aging, Bennett J. Cohen, Marshall Horwitz Prize and the Saul Korey Prize in Translational Medicine. She has delivered prominent lectures such as the Robert R. Konh, the NIH Director’s, the Roy Walford, the Feodor Lynen, the Margaret Pittman, the IUBMB, the David H. Murdoxk, the Gerry Aurbach and the SEBBM L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science, and the Harvey Lecture. She also received twice the LaDonne Schulman Teaching Award .[13] She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2019.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Cuervo speaks Spanish, and English. Cuervo's husband is Dr. Fernando Macian, an immunologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.[1]


  1. ^ a b c SCUDELLARI, MEGAN (1 November 2013). "Waste-Management Consultant". The Scientist Magazine®. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  2. ^ Aniento, F; Roche, E; Cuervo, AM; Knecht, E (15 May 1993). "Uptake and degradation of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase by rat liver lysosomes". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 268 (14): 10463–70. PMID 8486700.
  3. ^ Cuervo, A. M.; Dice, J. F. (1996-07-26). "A receptor for the selective uptake and degradation of proteins by lysosomes". Science. 273 (5274): 501–503. doi:10.1126/science.273.5274.501. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 8662539.
  4. ^ Cuervo, Ana Maria; Dice, J. Fred (6 October 2000). "Age-related Decline in Chaperone-mediated Autophagy". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 275 (40): 31505–31513. doi:10.1074/jbc.M002102200. ISSN 0021-9258. PMID 10806201.
  5. ^ Bandyopadhyay, U; Sridhar, S; Kaushik, S; Kiffin, R; Cuervo, AM (27 August 2010). "Identification of regulators of chaperone-mediated autophagy". Molecular Cell. 39 (4): 535–47. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2010.08.004. PMC 2945256. PMID 20797626.
  6. ^ Cuervo, AM; Stefanis, L; Fredenburg, R; Lansbury, PT; Sulzer, D (27 August 2004). "Impaired degradation of mutant alpha-synuclein by chaperone-mediated autophagy". Science. 305 (5688): 1292–5. doi:10.1126/science.1101738. PMID 15333840.
  7. ^ Martinez-Vicente, M; Talloczy, Z; Wong, E; Tang, G; Koga, H; Kaushik, S; de Vries, R; Arias, E; Harris, S; Sulzer, D; Cuervo, AM (May 2010). "Cargo recognition failure is responsible for inefficient autophagy in Huntington's disease". Nature Neuroscience. 13 (5): 567–76. doi:10.1038/nn.2528. PMC 2860687. PMID 20383138.
  8. ^ Orenstein, SJ; Kuo, SH; Tasset, I; Arias, E; Koga, H; Fernandez-Carasa, I; Cortes, E; Honig, LS; Dauer, W; Consiglio, A; Raya, A; Sulzer, D; Cuervo, AM (April 2013). "Interplay of LRRK2 with chaperone-mediated autophagy". Nature Neuroscience. 16 (4): 394–406. doi:10.1038/nn.3350. PMC 3609872. PMID 23455607.
  9. ^ "Ana Maria Cuervo, M.D., Ph.D., is Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences". Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Ana Maria Cuervo MD, PhD". The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Ana Maria Cuervo, Ph.D, M.D". Einstein Experts for Media. Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Ana Maria Cuervo, Ph.D., M.D. – Publications". Elsevier. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Ana Maria Cuervo, M.D., Ph.D." Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  14. ^ "2019 NAS Election". Retrieved 30 April 2019.