Laboratory of Neurobiology
The main objective of the group is the in-depth study of the molecular bases of neurodegeneration and neuroprotection. More specifically, we investigate how neurons and glial cells die following insults which are relevant to neurological diseases including Alzheimer´s disease, multiple sclerosis and brain ischemia. To that end, we use experimental paradigms in vitro and in vivo in which we alter glutamate and ATP homeostasis, as well as the cannabinoid system, to activate signaling cascades and discover new mechanisms leading to cell death and how to prevent it. In turn, we also study how ?-amyloid, a major pathogenic agent in Alzheimer's disease, signals to neurons and glia and causes their demise. In addition, we are investigating the mechanisms underlying white matter damage in axons and oligodendrocytes in experimental ischemia and in animal models of multiple sclerosis. These activities are relevant to the discovery of new molecular targets that can be exploited for the development of new therapies with drugs. Moreover, we are also examining the potential of neurogenesis, as an endogenous mechanism to repair ongoing damage, and learning how to implement it for ameliorating brain function after injury.
In vitro models of neurotoxicity; Animal models of disease; Postmortem brain tissue from neurodegenerative diseases; and biological samples from patients in collaboration with neurologists and psychiatrists.
Cellular and molecular neurobiology; Electrophysiology; Calcium imaging; Immunochemistry; Light and electron microscopy; and Genotyping and functional genomics