Dr Ruben J Cauchi

Dr Ruben J Cauchi

Dr Ruben J Cauchi

 B.Sc. (Hons.)(Melit.),D.I.C.,M.Sc.(Lond.),D.Phil.(Oxon.)

Senior Lecturer

Office 314
Third Floor
Biomedical Sciences Building
University of Malta
  +356 2340 2145
Dr. Ruben Cauchi obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford, UK, working on genetic animal models of motor neuron disease and went on to do postdoctoral research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge, UK, studying RNA processing. As a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, University of Malta and a Visiting Lecturer (2014-2015) at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Chester (UK) he has taught more than 1600 undergraduate students. Dr. Cauchi directs research on the role of RNA-binding proteins in motor neuron degeneration, making use of functional genetic approaches, and participates in a collaborative effort with the pharmaceutical industry aimed at discovering drugs that ameliorate neurodegenerative conditions. A well-published academic, Dr. Cauchi has recently edited a volume entitled 'Drosophila melanogaster Models of Motor Neuron Disease' featuring contributions by established leaders in the field working in world-class research centres. He serves as an ad hoc reviewer for top-tier journals, including the Nature Springer and PLoS family, as well as funding bodies including Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UK), Medical Research Council (UK), Medical Research Foundation (UK), Association Française contre les Myopathies (AFM)-Telethon (France), Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France) and SMA Europe. Dr. Cauchi is presently the Malta representative of the E.U. Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action focusing on the clinical application of antisense-mediated exon skipping in neuromuscular disease.
  • Functional genetics
  • RNA and RNA-binding proteins
  • Cell bodies or organelles
  • Motor Neuron Disease (MND)
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Fly models of degenerative motor neuron disease

Aquilina, B. & Cauchi, R.J. 2018, "Modelling motor neuron disease in fruit flies: Lessons from spinal muscular atrophy", Journal of neuroscience methods, .

Curmi, F. & Cauchi, R.J. 2018, "The multiple lives of DEAD-box RNA helicase DP103/DDX20/Gemin3", Biochemical Society transactions, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 329-341.

Briffa, M., Ghio, S., Neuner, J., Gauci, A.J., Cacciottolo, R., Marchal, C., Caruana, M., Cullin, C., Vassallo, N. & Cauchi, R.J. 2017, "Extracts from two ubiquitous Mediterranean plants ameliorate cellular and animal models of neurodegenerative proteinopathies", Neuroscience letters, vol. 638, pp. 12-20.

Lanfranco, M., Cacciottolo, R., Borg, R.M., Vassallo, N., Juge, F., Bordonne, R. & Cauchi, R.J. 2017, "Novel interactors of the Drosophila Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) Complex suggest its full conservation", FEBS letters, vol. 591, no. 21, pp. 3600-3614.

Lanfranco, M., Vassallo, N. & Cauchi, R.J. 2017, "Spinal Muscular Atrophy: From Defective Chaperoning of snRNP Assembly to Neuromuscular Dysfunction", Frontiers in molecular biosciences, vol. 4, pp. 41.

Borg, R.M., Fenech Salerno, B., Vassallo, N., Bordonne, R. & Cauchi, R.J. 2016, "Disruption of snRNP biogenesis factors Tgs1 and pICln induces phenotypes that mirror aspects of SMN-Gemins complex perturbation in Drosophila, providing new insights into spinal muscular atrophy", Neurobiology of disease, vol. 94, pp. 245-258.

Caruana, M., Cauchi, R. & Vassallo, N. 2016, "Putative Role of Red Wine Polyphenols against Brain Pathology in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease", Frontiers in nutrition, vol. 3, pp. 31.

Ghio, S., Kamp, F., Cauchi, R., Giese, A. & Vassallo, N. 2016, "Interaction of alpha-synuclein with biomembranes in Parkinson's disease--role of cardiolipin", Progress in lipid research, vol. 61, pp. 73-82.

Borg, R.M., Bordonne, R., Vassallo, N. & Cauchi, R.J. 2015, "Genetic Interactions between the Members of the SMN-Gemins Complex in Drosophila", PloS one, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. e0130974.

Borg, R. & Cauchi, R.J. 2014, "GEMINs: potential therapeutic targets for spinal muscular atrophy?", Frontiers in neuroscience, vol. 8, pp. 325.

Cauchi, R.J. 2014, "Gem Depletion: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy Crossover", CNS Neurosci Ther., vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 574-581.

Borg, R. & Cauchi, R.J. 2013, "The Gemin Associates of Survival Motor Neuron Are Required for Motor Function in", PloS one, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. e83878.

Cauchi, R.J. (ed) 2013, Drosophila melanogaster Models of Motor Neuron Disease, Nova Biomedical, New York.

Cauchi, R.J. 2011, "Gem formation upon constitutive Gemin3 overexpression in Drosophila", Cell Biol Int., vol. 35, no. 12, pp. 1233-1238.

Cauchi, R.J. 2010, "SMN and Gemins: 'we are family' ... or are we? Insights into the partnership between Gemins and the spinal muscular atrophy disease protein SMN", Bioessays., vol. 32, no. 12, pp. 1077-1089.

Cauchi, R.J., Sanchez-Pulido, L. & Liu, J.L. 2010, "Drosophila SMN complex proteins Gemin2, Gemin3, and Gemin5 are components of U bodies", Exp Cell Res., vol. 316, no. 14, pp. 2354-2364.

Cauchi, R.J., Davies, K.E. & Liu, J.L. 2008, "A motor function for the DEAD-box RNA helicase, Gemin3, in Drosophila", PLoS Genet., vol. 4, no. 11, pp. e1000265.

Lee, S., Sayin, A., Cauchi, R.J., Grice, S., Burdett, H., Baban, D. & van den Heuvel, M. 2008, "Genome-wide expression analysis of a spinal muscular atrophy model: towards discovery of new drug targets", PLoS One, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. e1404.

Cauchi, R.J. & van den Heuvel, M. 2006, "The fly as a model for neurodegenerative diseases: is it worth the jump?", Neurodegener Dis., vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 338-356.