After finishing her BS degree at the University of Tokyo, Dr. Saito pursued a PhD in biochemistry at the same university, studying glycoproteins in immune cells. She obtained her PhD in 1979, and undertook postdoctoral training in glycoconjugate biochemisty at Pennsylvania State University Medical Center, followed by research experiences in the field of glycosphingolipids as an instructor at Loyola University Strich School of Medicine and at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
In 1986, Dr. Saito became a Research Scientist at NKI. She is also a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Since coming to NKI, Dr. Saito has been studying biological and pathological roles of glycosphingolipids in the CNS. At the same time, her research has diversified to include the field of alcohol toxicity and addiction. Specifically, the focus of her laboratory for the last 15 years has been to study the involvement of sphingolipids/glycosphingolipids in neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders using cell culture and mouse models. Her recent interest is the long-term effects of prenatal/neonatal alcohol exposure on behaviors (e.g., memory, sleep), cytoarchitecture (e.g., cell numbers of GABAergic neurons and glia), and cellular and intracellular glycoconjugates (e.g., perineuronal nets), and the relationship between these components.
Member: Society for Neuroscience; American Society for Neurochemistry; and International Society for Neurochemistry
Saito, M., Chakraborty, G., Mao, R.F., Wang, R., Cooper, T.B., Vadasz, C., and Saito, M. (2007) Ethanol alters lipid profiles and phosphorylation status of AMP-activated protein kinase in the neonatal mouse brain. J. Neurochem. 103: 1208-1218.
Saito, M., Chakraborty, G., Hegde, M., Ohsie,J., Paik, S.M., Vadasz, C., and Saito, M. (2010) Involvement of ceramide in ethanol-induced apoptotic neurodegeneration in the neonatal mouse brain. J. Neurochem. 115: 168-177. PMC2939968
Saito, M., Chakraborty, G., Shah, R., Mao, R.F., Kumar, A,. Yang, D.S., Dobrenis, K., and Saito, M. (2012) Elevation of GM2 ganglioside during ethanol-induced apoptotic neurodegeneration in the developing mouse brain. J. Neurochem. 121:649-661. PMC3325370
Saito, M., Wu, G., Hui, M., Masiello, K., Dobrenis, K., Ledeen, R.W., and Saito, M. (2015) Gangliosde accumulation in activated glia in the developing brain: comparison between WT and GalNacT KO mice. J. Lipid Res. 56:1434-1448. PMC4513985
Wilson, D.A., Masiello, K., Lewin, M.P., Hui, M. Smiley, J.F., and Saito, M. (2016) Developmental ethanol exposure-induced sleep fragmentation predicts adult cognitive impairment. Neuroscience 322: 18-27. PMC4805438