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Olga Valverde

ICREA Acadèmia 2021

Universitat Pompeu Fabra · Social & Behavioural Sciences

Olga Valverde

I received a PhD in the Neurosciences Program (1992) in the University of Cadiz. My doctoral thesis was focussed on the study of the mechanisms of action involved in the analgesic effects of antidepressants. In 1992, I started a postdoctoral stage at the René Descartes University with a fellowship of the EU “Human Capital and Mobility”. My postdoc stage lasted 6 years (1992-1998). I also defended a second doctoral Thesis at the René Descartes University, 1996 (Russell Award). I had the opportunity to work in various projects including the phenotyping of mice with mutations in the opioid, cannabinoid and dopaminergic system that allowed us to characterize functions of the opioid system. In 1998, I joined Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). Since 2007 I lead the Behavioural Neurobiology Research Group (GReNeC-NeuroBio) ( and since 2008 I am a Full Professor at the UPF.

Research interests

My research interests are focused on the understanding of the neurobiology of several psychiatric disorders, in particular: i) I have contributed to the characterization of the delta opioid receptor and to the study of the function of cannabinoid receptors in various processes, such as depression, addictions and pain. ii) Neurobiological study of cocaine addiction and the possible therapeutic effects of phytocannabinoids. iii) Circadian rhythms and cognition . iv) Neurobiological study of fetal alcoholic syndrome in a mouse model. v) Comorbidity between drug addiction, depressive disorders and cognitive impairments, as well as the analysis of biomarkers for neuropsychiatric disorders.


Reward, motivation, cognition, behaviour, foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, cocaine, endocannabinoids.

ICREA Memoir 2022