Shireen A. Sarraf, Ph.D.

Job Title
Program Director
Default headshot image, for winners with no picture.
Division of Neuroscience
Cluster, Section, or Program
Movement Disorders and Neurodegeneration
Areas of Interest

Portfolio: Structural, biochemical, molecular, and cellular aspects of Parkinson's disease (PD) and Lewy body dementia (LBD) as it relates to alpha-synuclein structure, mitochondrial biology, and lysosomal function; role of environmental factors in the etiology of synucleinopathies; basic studies of protein quality control (mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction, protein aggregation, mitophagy, autophagy) in the pathogenesis of PD and LBD    

Additional Keywords: Glucocerebrosidase, GBA; lipid biology; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; synuclein structural biology; environment; PINK1; Parkin; DJ1

Contact Email
Contact Number

Dr. Shireen Sarraf is a Program Director in the Movement Disorders and Neurodegeneration (MDN) cluster in the Division of Neuroscience, managing a research grant portfolio on mitochondrial and lysosomal biological mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease, as well as studies of α-synuclein structure and function. Previously, Dr. Sarraf was a postdoctoral fellow in the NINDS Division of Intramural Research, where she used a variety of approaches, including biochemistry, cell biology, and imaging to study how damaged mitochondria and pathogenic protein aggregates are targeted for degradation via various quality control pathways, such as autophagy and the ubiquitin-proteasome system.

Dr. Sarraf completed a PhD in Cell Biology at Harvard University where she focused on defining proteome modifications that occur upon mitochondrial damage using quantitative proteomics, live-cell imaging, and molecular approaches to determine how the PINK1-PARKIN pathway, commonly mutated in familial Parkinson’s disease, re-sculpts the proteome to support mitochondrial homeostasis and promote mitophagy. Preceding her PhD, Shireen completed an ScM in Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, studying genetic and molecular epidemiology.