Dr. Colla is an Instructor in the Master Program of Applied Biomedical Engineering, Engineering for Professionals, at Johns Hopkins University.

She has an extensive background in Neurobiology and Molecular Biology with a specific focus on neurodegeneration and Parkinson’s Disease.

She also consults for pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the field of neurodegeneration and alpha-synucleinopathies.

Dr. Colla has also a co-appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of Quality of Life, San Raffaele Open University, Rome, Italy. 

Her research focused on investigating molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis associated with neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s Disease and other alpha-synucleinopathies. 

Dr Colla received postdoctoral training in the Division of Neuropathology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she first applied her background in molecular biology to the field of neurodegeneration and neurobiology.

Dr. Colla has been a recipient of several national and international institutional grants and awards to support her research, including the JHUAPL IRAD grant and authored numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers. Among her major scientific accomplishments, she was able to identify that the endoplasmic reticulum stress is an important contributor to alpha-synucleinopathy, establishing a direct link between alpha-synuclein aggregation and cellular death. 

More recently her focus has moved to the study of Parkinson’s Disease’s connection to the enteric nervous system as she characterized a new murine model that allows to study the influence of the gut-brain axis in the generation of alpha-synuclein pathology.





Education: MS Biological Science, Ph.D. Molecular Biology and Pathology

Education History

  • PhD Molecular Biology and Pathology, University of Parma Italy
  • Postodoctoral Fellow Neuropathology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Work Experience

Adjunct Faculty, JHU Whiting School of Engineering, Engineering for Professionals


Updated list of publications on Scopus: https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=57200135775

Honors and Awards

  • New Instructor Award, Engineering for Professionals Faculty meeting, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD USA. (2021)
  • Junior Faculty Award at the 9th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, Prague,
    Czech Republic . (2009)

Professional Organizations

Society for Neuroscience