Dr. Chtarbanova is an Assistant professor at the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. She seeks to understand how changes of innate immune activation and function in the aging organism relate to disease. Her favorite research organism is the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, which she believes can be used to generate novel insights about the basic mechanisms underlying aging, immunity, and neurodegenerative diseases. She also has confidence in the power of the Drosophila model for drug discovery and pre-clinical studies (https://chtarbanovalab.ua.edu).
- Age-dependent impairment of disease tolerance is associated with a robust transcriptional response following RNA virus infection in Drosophila, L. Sheffield, N. Sciambra, A. Evans, E. Hagedorn, C. Goltz, M. Delfeld, H. Kuhns, J.L. Fierst, S. Chtarbanova. G3 (Bethesda): 10.1093/g3journal/jkab116, 2021
- Innate immune responses to paraquat exposure in a Drosophila model of Parkinson's disease, U. Maitra, M. Scaglione, S. Chtarbanova, J. M. O’Donnell. Sci Rep: 9(1):12714, 2019.
- A Novel Mutation in Brain Tumor Causes Both Neural Over-Proliferation and Neurodegeneration in Adult Drosophila, C. Loewen, G. Boekhoff-Falk, B. Ganetzky, S. Chtarbanova. G3 (Bethesda): 8(10):3331-3346, 2018.
- Drosophila C virus systemic in fection leads to intestinal obstruction, S. Chtarbanova, O. Lamiable, K.Z. Lee, D. Galiana, L. Troxler, C. Meignin, C. Hetru, J.A. Hoffmann, L. Daeffler, JL. Imler. J Virol: 88(24):14057-69, 2014.
- Dnr1 mutations cause neurodegeneration in Drosophila by activating the innate immune response in the brain, Y. Cao*, S. Chtarbanova*, A.J. Petersen, B. Ganetzky. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 110(19): E1752-60, 2013. *: co-first author.
Dr. Chtarbanova’s research has advanced the understanding of the basic principles underlying the interactions between aging, the innate immune and the nervous system, and how they relate to neurodegeneration and susceptibility to viral infections. Her research has established a) a causative role of neuroinflammation in neurodegeneration and emphasized the importance of limiting innate immune activation with age to maintain neuronal integrity and b) a role for disease tolerance in survival of virus infection at older age. Her current work focuses on identifying additional genes and mechanisms involved in these age-dependent processes that could facilitate drug discovery and development.