Miquel Vila

Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR)

Life & Medical Sciences

Miquel Vila received his MD from the University of Barcelona Medical School (Spain) and then moved to the laboratory INSERM U289 (Prof. Yves Agid) at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris (France), where he obtained his Masters degree (D.E.A.) and PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Paris VI (Pierre et Marie Curie). From 1998 to 2001, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the laboratory of Dr. Serge Przedborski at the Department of Neurology, Movement Disorders Division, at Columbia University (New York, USA). To continue his work, he obtained in 2001 a position as an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Columbia University. In December 2005, he moved back to Barcelona as an ICREA Research Professor to develop a new research lab on Neurodegeneration at the Vall d'Hebron, thanks to the support of the European Commission's Marie Curie Excellence Grants program. He also holds positions as Associate Professor at the UAB and as Principal Investigator at the CIBERNED.

Research interests

Our research is geared toward elucidating the molecular mechanisms of neuron cell death occurring in Parkinson’s disease, a particular neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the degeneration of a specific set of neurons that are anatomically confined to a region of the brain called substantia nigra pars compacta and that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease should allow the development of new therapeutic strategies aimed at blocking neuronal death in this disabling, currently incurable, disorder, as well as elicit important clues to identifying molecular pathways that might be common to other neurodegenerative conditions.

Selected publications

– Altarche-Xifro W, di Vicino U, Muñoz-Martin MI, Bortolozzi A, Bové J, Vila M & Cosma MP 2016, ‘Functional rescue of dopaminergic neuron loss in Parkinson’s disease mice after transplantation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells’, EBioMedicine 8:83-95

– Dehay B, Vila M, Bezard E, Brundin P & Kordower JH 2016, ‘Alpha-synuclein propagation: New insights from animal models’, Movement Disorders, 31(2):161-8.

– Klionsky DJ et al. 2016, ‘Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition)’, Autophagy 12(1):1-222

– Franco-Iborra S, Vila M &Perier C 2016, ‘The Parkinson disease mitochondrial hypothesis: where are we at?’, The Neuroscientist, 22(3):266-277.