Atilio Atencio

Atilio Atencio
Mentor: Dr. Lucia Notterpek
College of Medicine
"I was hanging out with a friend who had recently joined a research lab, and she couldn't stop talking about the amazing experience she was having. She would tell me about all the things she was learning and how she really felt her work was making a difference. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and I quickly realized that she hadn't exaggerated one bit."





Research Interests

  • Peripheral Nervous System
  • Autophagy
  • Neural Stem Cells

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • Florida Bright Futures


  • UF Crew
  • MedLife
  • NEDA


  • Pediatric Department Shands
  • UF Crew Volunteer Chair

Hobbies and Interests

  • Rowing
  • Ceramics
  • Cooking

Research Description

Effects of Trehalose, NSC43537, and NSC86142 on the Autophagy Pathway in Schwann Cells

I will test mTOR independent autophagy inducers and their potential to enhance myelination. Three novel therapeutic autophagy-inducing drugs that are mTOR-independent are Trehalose, an alpha linked disaccharide, NSC43537 and NSC86142, two innovative compounds kindly provided by Dr. Dunn. The aim of my study is to determine if Trehalose, NSC43537, NSC86142 can activate autophagy in non-myelinating Schwann cells and enhance myelination by neuropathic explant DRG-SC co-cultures. Trehalose is already approved for use in humans by the FDA and is therefore an attractive candidate for therapeutic use. Both NSC43537 and NSC86142 are nontoxic at effective autophagy-inducing concentrations.