In June 1993 I obtained my degree in Biology at the University of Barcelona (UB). I continued my studies in the Biochemistry Dept. and the Cell Biology Dept. of the Medical School (UB). In July 1998 I obtained my PhD and I moved to the laboratory of Prof RG Parton in the University of Queensland (Australia) as a NHMRC Research Officer. My professional independent research career started in 2002 when I was awarded a "Ramón y Cajal" grant from the Spanish Science and Technology Ministry. In November 2006 I obtained an I3 grant from the same ministry and in November 2007 I was incorporated as an ICREA Research Professor at the Cell Proliferation and Signalling team (IDIBAPS). In addition, I am Associated Professor in the Cell Biology Dept. of the Medical School (UB). Today I combine my research with teaching in biomedical sciences and in a PhD Programme for young investigators. www.celltrafficbcn.cat/Home.html.
The aim of our project is to characterize – in health and in disease – the cellular processes that are regulated or altered due to lipid accumulation within the cells. All prokaryote and eukaryote cells maintain the competence of accumulating lipids in organelles known as intracellular lipid droplets. In healthy cells, a small population of lipid droplets is present at all times, though these organelles become abundant in response to different physiopathological conditions such as obesity, diabetes, fatty liver, arteriosclerosis and even cancer. Recent advances in the cell biology of lipid droplets have shown that they are multifunctional organelles that are metabolically very active and thus constitute key elements in the complex exchange of lipids and proteins in constant movement within the cells. In this scenario, we are especially focused in the biological cost of the accumulation of cholesterol in organelles such as mitochondria and the role of caveolin in these fluxes.