PhD Program: Graduate Program in Neuroscience
Supervisor: Dr. Michael Strong
Previous Degrees: HBSc (University of Toronto)
Anticipated Graduation date: 2016
I was born in Toronto, Ontario and always had many diverse interests which I pursued to the best of my abilities (black belt in Kung Fu, competing at OFSAA for swimming, and performing internationally with my high school chamber orchestra). My undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto took me through different disciplines because I was not able to decide what I liked the best. Ultimately I ended up in Neuroscience and have loved every moment since I started. It is a field so diverse that the possibilities for research, discovery and collaboration are endless. I finished my HBSc specializing in neuroscience and majoring in animal physiology in 2012, before coming to Western to start my graduate studies with Michael Strong. Now in the third year of my PhD, I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
I chose ALS research because it is such a devastating disease which I witnessed while working at Sunnybrook Hospital as a summer student. At the moment it is a death sentence to be diagnosed with ALS, and when it strikes even young families can be torn apart. With no cure or even useful treatments to meaningfully slow progression of any neurodegenerative disease, I feel that any and all new information about them will be useful if we ever hope to stop these diseases, which will be a major burden on our healthcare system and on our hearts as loved ones age and succumb to them. The specific focus of my research is tau protein phosphorylation in ALS with cognitive impairment. By studying the toxicity of these ALS-related phosphorylation events and preventing them from happening in disease models it may be possible to treat disease processes which I hope will help me in a future career in medical research.
Outside the lab I teach swimming with making waves, host a radio show called gradcast, and volunteer with Let’s talk science.
After completion of my graduate studies I hope to pursue a career in medical research.
1. Alexander J. Moszczynski, May Gohar, Kathryn Volkening, Cheryl Leystra-Lantz, Wendy Strong, Michael J. Strong. Thr175 phosphorylated tau induces pathological fibril formation via GSK3β mediated phosphorylation of Thr231in vitro. Neurobiology of Aging. In Press.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.12.001.
2. Alice Hatsue Masuko, Thais Rodrigues Villa, Marcia Pradella-Hallinan, Alexander Joseph Moszczynski, Deusvenir de Souza Carvalho, SergioTufik, Gilmar Fernandes do Prado, Fernando Morgadinho Santos Coelho. Higher prevalence of bruxism during sleep in children with episodic migraine. BMC Res Notes. 2014 May 14;7:298.
3. Alexander J. Moszczynski, Anu Tandon, Fernando M.S. Coelho, Lorne Zinman, Brian J. Murray. Mortality Associated with Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Einstein. 2012 Dec; 10(4):428-32.
4. Alex Moszczynski, Brian J. Murray. Neurobiological Aspects of Sleep Physiology. Neurol Clin. 2012. Nov; 30(4):963-85.
5. Rasquinha RJ , Moszczynski AJ , Murray BJ. A modern artifact in the sleep laboratory. Journal of clinical sleep medicine. 2012 Apr 15;8(2):225-6.
6. Fernando Morgadinho Santos Coelho, Alexander Moszczynski, Marc Narayansingh, Neal Parekh, Marcia Pradella- Hallinan. Sexual hypnagogic hallucinations and narcolepsy. Sleep science. 2011;4(3):110–112.