Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology

Breadcrumb Navigation


Curriculum vitae Prof. Dr. Lena Burbulla


    • 2002 - 2007 Studies of Biology at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU), Munich
    • 2012 Ph.D., Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen (summa cum laude)
    • 2012 - 2018 Post-doctoral Fellow at MGH, Harvard Medical School, Boston, and Northwestern University, Chicago

Academic positions & appointments

    • 2018 – 2021 Research Assistant Professor of Neurology at Northwestern University, Chicago
    • since 2021 Professor (W2) of Metabolic Biochemistry of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the Biomedical Center (LMU, Munich)

Awards & honors

    • 2008 - 2011 PhD Fellowship from the Charitable Hertie Foundation
    • 2011 Stipend for the participation in the 62nd Nobel Laureate Meeting at Lindau
    • 2012 - 2014 Post-doctoral Fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
    • 2020 Science Award, German Parkinson Association
    • 2020 ERC Starting Grant
    • 2020 Heisenberg Grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG)

10 key papers

    • Burbulla L. F.*, McDonald J. M.*, Valdez C., Gao F., Bigio E. H., Krainc D (2021) Modeling brain pathology of Niemann-Pick disease type C using patient-derived neurons. Movement Disorders; doi: 10.1002/mds.28463 (*joint first authors)
    • Minakaki G., Krainc D. and Burbulla L. F. (2020) The convergence of alpha-synuclein, mitochondrial and lysosomal pathways in vulnerability of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson’s disease. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology; 8:580634. doi: 10.3389/ fcell.2020.580634. Review
    • Burbulla L. F.*, Jeon S.*, Zheng J., Song P., Silverman R. B., Krainc D. (2019) A modulator of wildtype glucocerebrosidase improves pathogenic phenotypes in dopaminergic neuronal models of Parkinson’s disease. Science Translational Medicine; Oct 16;11(514). pii: eaau6870. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed. aau6870 (*joint first authors)
    • Graves S. M., Stout K. A., Xie Z., Zampese E., Burbulla L. F., Shih J. C., Kondapalli J., , Patriarchi T., Tian L., Brichta L., Greengard P., Krainc D., Schumacker P. T., Surmeier D. J. (2019) Dopamine metabolism by a monoamine oxidase mitochondrial shuttle. Nature Neuroscience; Dec 16. doi: 10.1038/s41593-019-0556-3
    • Seibler P.*, Burbulla L. F.*, Dulovic M.*, Zittel S., Heine J., Schmidt T., Rudolph F., Westenberger A., Rakovic A., Münchau A., Krainc D., Klein C. (2018) Iron overload is accompanied by mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction in WDR45 mutant cells. Brain; Oct 1;141(10):3052-3064 (*joint first authors)
    • Burbulla L. F., Song P., Mazzulli J. R., Zampese E., Wong Y.C., Jeon S., Santos D. P., Blanz J., Obermaier C.D., Strojny C., Savas J. N., Kiskinis E., Zhuang X., Krüger R., Surmeier D. J., Krainc D. (2017) Dopamine oxidation mediates mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease. Science; 357(6357):1255-1261
    • Hsieh C. , Shaltouki A., Gonzalez A. E., Bettencourt da Cruz A., Burbulla L. F., St. Lawrence E., Schüle B, Krainc D., Palmer T. D., Wang X. (2016) Miro Mediates LRRK2-Dependent Neurodegeneration, and Is Impaired in Familial and Sporadic Parkinson’s Patients. Cell Stem Cell; 19, 1–16
    • Burbulla L. F.*, Fitzgerald J. C.*, Stegen K., Westermeier J., Thost A.-K., Kato H., Mokranjac D., Sauerwald J., Martins L. M., Woitalla D., Rapaport D., Riess O., Proikas-Cezanne T., Rasse T. M., Krüger R. (2014) Mitochondrial proteolytic stress induced by loss of mortalin function is rescued by Parkin and PINK1. Cell Death and Disease; 5:e1180 (*joint first authors)
    • Reinhardt P., Schmid B., Burbulla L. F., Schöndorf D. C., Wagner L., Glatza M., Höing S., Hargus G., Heck S. A., Dhingra A., Wu G. Müller S., Brockmann K., Kluba T., Maisel M., Krüger R., Berg D., Tsytsyura Y., Thiel C. S., Psathaki O. E., Klingauf J., Kuhlmann T., Klewin M., Müller H., Gasser T., Schöler H. R., Sterneckert J. (2013) Genetic correction of a LRRK2 mutation in human iPSCs links parkinsonian neurodegeneration to ERK-dependent changes in gene expression. Cell Stem Cell; 12(3):354-67
    • Burbulla L. F., Schelling C., Kato H., Rapaport D., Woitalla D., Schiesling C., Schulte C., Sharma M., Illig T., Bauer P., Jung S., Nordheim A., Schöls L., Riess O., Krüger R. (2010) Dissecting the role of the mitochondrial chaperone mortalin in Parkinson’s disease – functional impact of disease-related variants on mitochondrial homeostasis. Human Molecular Genetics; 19 (22):4437-52

Responsible for content: Prof. Dr. Lena Burbulla