New website section: Downloads!

We give another step in the Achucarro knowledge transfer and outreach strategy by making public and available some of the work and code developed for image analysis.

July 10

Our colleagues of the Laboratory of Glial Cell Biology, Iñaki Paris, Amanda Sierra and Jorge Valero have just released the first version of their code development named "ProMoIJ" (Process Motility in ImageJ), a pack of ImageJ macros to perform semi-automatic motility analysis of microglial processes in 3D from 2-photon time-lapse experiments.

New section on this website: Downloads!

These macros could also be adapted to analyse motility of non-hollow and non-twisted tubular structures such as cellular filaments, dendrites, dendritic spines, growth cone filopodia, cilia, plant roots, and growing stalactites. Importantly, ProMoIJ performs batch processing of the images (i.e. without manual intervention of the user), applying the same parameters values to all images.

This pack is the first software development code that we publish (under GNU license), and follows the institutional strategy for open access and open source.

Application period for Achucarro International Glia School opened!

Candidates must submit their application before November 30th 2017

Sep 15

The application form to request a vacancy at our next Achucarro International Glia School 2018 was opened on September 15th, and will remain open until November 30th (17h CET).

Find all the details in our website:

New research project to fight memory loss in Alzheimer's Disease

The objective is to investigate whether genetically enhanced cholesterol biosynthesis can reverse the Alzheimer's disease

Nov 09

Dr. Mazahir T. Hasan, Ikerbasque Research Professor at the Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, located at the Scientific Park of the UPV/EHU in Leioa (Bizkaia, Spain) has been awarded one of the highly competitive National Institute of Health (NIH) R21 grant, funded with a total of USD 390,000.

© Jacek Dudzinski - Poland //

The National Institute for Aging is part of the NIH network of research centers in the US, and the funding agency for this R21 grant, which main objective is to test if genetically enhanced cholesterol biosynthesis in astrocytes and neurons can reverse the Alzheimer's disease (AD).  This project will be developed in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Ta-Yuan Chang at Dartmouth College (New Hampshire, USA).

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease and a type of dementia. The most common early symptom is the short-term memory loss, the difficulty in remembering recent events. As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation (including easily getting lost), mood swings, and loss of motivation, not managing self-care, and behavioral issues. In AD, the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques, the key culprit, disrupts cellular communication and connectivity in the brain by disrupting astrocytic calcium signaling and gliotransmitter release.

Cholesterol is important for brain functions, regulating dynamics membrane trafficking to cellular signaling systems, within and between cells. Even though brain represents only 2-3% of total body weight, roughly 25% of body cholesterol is found in the brain. Cholesterol is the building block of different steroid hormones, such as progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, testosterone and vitamin D. Malfunction in brain cholesterol homeostasis can have detrimental effects on brain connectivity, especially communication between astrocytes and neurons. Because dietary cholesterol cannot cross the blood-brain-barrier, our project aims to overcome this problems by genetic control of cholesterol synthesis in neurons and astrocytes, with an expectation that this would help to cure the Alzheimer's disease.

Download this in PDF

Building Bridges through Science

"The Science Bridge" initiative wants to promote international life science collaboration between Western and Middle Eastern neuroscience communities

Nov 15

The Ikerbasque Research Professor and Achucarro Group Leader Mazahir T. Hasan is the leading voice and the coordinator of "The Science Bridge" a new international initiative that strives to promote scientific collaboration as a way to get different cultures closer to each other.

In this paper, 122 authors from 82 research centers and 22 countries all over the world give an overview of successful intercultural science exchange during the ‘Golden Age' of the medieval Arab and Persian cultures. This historic model of tolerance and free exchange of ideas can serve as an inspirational model for efforts today in bridging cultures from the West and the Middle-East/South-Asia by scientific pursuits.

The authors also introduce a two-step plan for The Science Bridge: In the first step, the initiative will organize scientific conferences, research exchange programs and shared grants to enhance collaborations in the life sciences, especially brain research, with a focus on medical treatments and cures. In the second step, it aims to establish "Twin Institutes" which are complementary research facilities with one being located in a Western, the other one in a Middle-Eastern/South-Asian country and both being structured in a way to promote open dialog and exchange of ideas.

Nobel Laureate Professor Torsten Wiesel of the Rockefeller University in New York, USA says, "Researchers from different cultures and nations in the ‘Twin Institutes', an innovative concept proposed by The Science Bridge, could make important contributions both in science and in human relations."

Thomas Lissek, first author of the new publication and a medical student at Heidelberg University: "Our key motivation is to accelerate scientific progress by establishing new friendships and new collaborations around the world."

Achucarro Forum sobre las enfermedades autoinmunes del cerebro con el renombrado neurólogo Josep Dalmau

En esta ocasión, nos trasladaremos al auditorio de Dock Bilbao, en el Campo Volantín, la tarde del jueves 26 de octubre

Oct 26

Sabemos desde hace algo más de una década que el sistema inmunológico humano puede alterar algunas funciones cerebrales. Las alteraciones que nuestro propio sistema de defensa (el sistema inmunitario) puede producir en nuestro organismo, puede provocar alteraciones muy importantes de la conducta, la memoria o la personalidad, hasta llegar a la psicosis..

Nuestro ponente en esta nueva edición del ciclo de conferencias Achucarro Forum es el neurólogo e investigador, Josep Dalmau Obrador, que está considerado un experto mundial en neuro-oncología, síndromes paraneoplásicos y encefalitis autoinmunes. La carrera científica del Dr. Dalmau es realmente impresionante. Entre otros logros y méritos, ha sido capaz de descubrir alrededor de 10 enfermedades autoinmunes del cerebro, denominadas encefalopatías autoinmunes, en las que los anticuerpos del sistema inmune atacan a proteínas y receptores cerebrales. Uno de sus hallazgos más importantes es la encefalitis por anticuerpos contra el receptor NMDA.

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