1985: BS Biology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. 1990: PhD Biology, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. 1991-1994: Postdoc/Research Associate, Department of Neuroscience, Cornell University Medical College, New York. 1995-1997: Instructor, Department of Neuroscience, Cornell University Medical College, New York. 1998-2003: Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Illinois, Chicago. 2004-present: ICREA Research Professor, Institute of Neurosciences, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 2008-2010: Vice Director, Institute of Neurosciences, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 2012-2013: Visiting scholar, Massachusetts General Institute for Neurodegenerative disease, Harvard Medical School, Boston.
I am interested in astrocytes and how they contribute to synaptic plasticity, redox and energy homeostasis and innate immunity. My overarching goal is to link these events into a theoretical framework depicting the role of astrocytes in memory, learning and cognition in health and disease, particularly in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer or X-adrenoleukodystrophy. I oppose the “neuron-centric” stance in the field of neurodegeneration by defending that astrocyte dysfunction is key to disease pathogenesis and, therefore, that treatments that do not protect astrocytes or promote astrocyte recovery will fail. That is, astrocytes may be essential if not superior therapeutic targets. This idea requires three actions: i) develop astrocyte-targeted tools to profile, manipulate, visualize and analyze astrocytes. ii) understand better astrocyte function, and dysfunction in a disease-specific manner. iii) develop astrocyte-targeted therapies.