Sandra Muñoz-Braceras, Ph.D. obtained her degree in Biotechnology at the University of Salamanca in Spain, completing part of her studies as an exchange student at the University of Caen in France. Dr. Muñoz-Braceras joined research groups focused on modulating the apoptotic pathway for the treatment of cancer and on identifying new regulators of apoptosis and autophagy. Subsequently, she pursued research on the study of autophagy and studied its involvement in chorea-acanthocytosis (ChAc), a rare neurodegenerative disease.

Dr. Muñoz-Braceras completed her master’s degree in Molecular Biomedicine and her doctoral degree in Molecular Biosciences at the Autonomous University of Madrid. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Biomedicine Research Institute Alberto-Sols. In 2018, she joined the NIH as a postdoctoral fellow at the NHLBI before moving to the NIAMS in 2020. 

Research Statement

Dr. Muñoz-Braceras' research interests are focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms contributing to the pathogenesis of disease and applying this knowledge for the benefit of patients. At the NIAMS, she studies a family of autoimmune myopathies collectively known as myositis. Dr. Muñoz-Braceras combines bench science and bioinformatics work to first identify candidates that participate in the pathogenesis of different types of myositis and then assess how their expression levels or function play a role in the disease.

Scientific Publications

VPS13A is closely associated with mitochondria and is required for efficient lysosomal degradation.

Muñoz-Braceras S, Tornero-Écija AR, Vincent O, Escalante R
Dis Model Mech.
2019 Feb 22;
doi: 10.1242/dmm.036681
PMID: 30709847

Yeast and other lower eukaryotic organisms for studies of Vps13 proteins in health and disease.

Rzepnikowska W, Flis K, Muñoz-Braceras S, Menezes R, Escalante R, Zoladek T
2017 Nov;
doi: 10.1111/tra.12523
PMID: 28846184

Autophagy in Dictyostelium: Mechanisms, regulation and disease in a simple biomedical model.

Mesquita A, Cardenal-Muñoz E, Dominguez E, Muñoz-Braceras S, Nuñez-Corcuera B, Phillips BA, Tábara LC, Xiong Q, Coria R, Eichinger L, Golstein P, King JS, Soldati T, Vincent O, Escalante R
2017 Jan 2;
doi: 10.1080/15548627.2016.1226737
PMID: 27715405

Analysis of Relevant Parameters for Autophagic Flux Using HeLa Cells Expressing EGFP-LC3.

Muñoz-Braceras S, Escalante R
Methods Mol Biol.
doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3756-1_20
PMID: 27613046

TipC and the chorea-acanthocytosis protein VPS13A regulate autophagy in Dictyostelium and human HeLa cells.

Muñoz-Braceras S, Calvo R, Escalante R
doi: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1034413
PMID: 25996471

Vmp1 regulates PtdIns3P signaling during autophagosome formation in Dictyostelium discoideum.

Calvo-Garrido J, King JS, Muñoz-Braceras S, Escalante R
2014 Nov;
doi: 10.1111/tra.12210
PMID: 25131297

Ndufaf5 deficiency in the Dictyostelium model: new roles in autophagy and development.

Carilla-Latorre S, Annesley SJ, Muñoz-Braceras S, Fisher PR, Escalante R
Mol Biol Cell.
2013 May;
doi: 10.1091/mbc.E12-11-0796
PMID: 23536703


Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain)
Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences (2017)

Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain)
Master's Degree in Molecular Biomedicine (2012)

University of Salamanca (Spain) and University of Caen (France)
Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology (Licentiate), (2011)


Postdoctoral Fellowship
NIAMS, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA (Apr. 2020 – present)

Postdoctoral Fellowship
NHLBI, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA (Oct. 2018 –Mar. 2020)

Postdoctoral Fellowship
IIB Alberto-Sols, CSIC-UAM, Madrid, Spain (Jul. 2017 – Sep. 2018)

Visiting Ph.D. Fellowship
Department of Neurology, Technical University of Dresden, Germany (Feb. 2015 – Jul. 2015)

Master’s and Ph.D. Fellowship
IIB Alberto-Sols, CSIC-UAM, Madrid, Spain (Oct. 2011 – Jul. 2017)

Postbaccalaureate Fellowship
CIC, CSIC-USAL, Salamanca, Spain (Jul. 2010 – Jun. 2011)

Postbaccalaureate Fellowship
GRECAN, Caen, France (Mar. 2010 –May. 2010)

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