Dr. Cuervo is co-director of the Einstein Institute for Aging Research, and a member of the Einstein Liver Research Center and Cancer Center. In 2001 she started her laboratory at Einstein, where she studies the role of protein-degradation in aging and age-related disorders, with emphasis in neurodegeneration and metabolic disorders.
Dr. Cuervo’s group is interested in understanding how altered proteins can be eliminated from the cells and their components recycled. Her group has linked alterations in lysosomal protein degradation (autophagy) with different neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. They have also proven that restoration of normal lysosomal function prevents accumulation of damaged proteins with age, demonstrating this way that removal of these toxic products is possible. Her lab has also pionered studies demonstrating a tight link between autophagy and cellular metabolism. They described how autophagy coordinates glucose and lipid metabolism and how failure of different autophagic pathways with age contribute to important metabolic disorders such as diabetes or obesity.
Dr. Cuervo is considered a leader in the field of protein degradation in relation to biology of aging and has been invited to present her work in numerous national and international institutions, including name lectures as the Robert R. Konh Memorial Lecture, the NIH Director’s, the Roy Walford, the Feodor Lynen, the Margaret Pittman, the IUBMB Award, the David H. Murdoxk, the Gerry Aurbach, the SEBBM L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science, the C. Ronald Kahn Distinguished Lecture and the Harvey Society Lecture. She has organized and chaired international conferences on protein degradation and on aging, belongs to the editorial board of scientific journals in this topic, and is currently co-editor-in-chief of Aging Cell.
Dr. Cuervo has served in NIH advisory panels, special emphasis panels, and study sections, the NIA Scientific Council and the NIH Council of Councils and has been recently elected member of the NIA Board of Scientific Counselors and member of the of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Deputy Director.. She has received numerous awards for the pioneerign work of her team such as the 2005 P. Benson Award in Cell Biology, the 2005/8 Keith Porter Fellow in Cell Biology, the 2006 Nathan Shock Memorial Lecture Award, the 2008 Vincent Cristofalo Rising Start in Aging Award, the 2010 Bennett J. Cohen Award in Aging Biology, the 2012 Marshall S. Horwitz, MD Faculty Prize for Research Excellence and the 2015 Saul Korey Prize in Translational Medicine Science. She has also received twice the LaDonne Schulman Teaching Award. In 2015 she was elected International Academic of the Royal Academy of Medicine of the Valencia Community and in 2017, she was elected member of the Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Fisicas y Naturales. She was elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018 and member of the National Academy of Science in 2019.