Professor Carta is associate professor, appointed full professor (as of March 2021) in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Cagliari. After obtaining her MS in pharmaceutical sciences and PhD in toxicology at UNICA, she joined the Laboratory of Systems Neuroscience of Dr. Gerfen at NIMH, where she conducted post-doctoral research on basal ganglia gene regulation. She is currently vice-coordinator of the PhD program in Neuroscience UNICA and member of the School Board of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology UNICA.
The field of Prof. Carta’s research is Parkinson’s disease with focus on the functions of neuroinflammation and microglia. She contributed to show that both a loss of glial defensive functions and toxic gains of functions are implicated in the neurodegenerative process as well as levodopa-induced dyskinesia, and that anti-inflammatory/neuromodulatory drugs ameliorate both events. Lately, her group developed a pre-clinical PD model based on alpha-synuclein oligomers inoculation. The final goal of her research is to understand whether microglia function can be harnessed to arrest PD neuropathology. She has received several research grants including an MJFF Target Validation grant and engaged in several international collaborations.