Albert Pol

Albert Pol

Fundació de Recerca Clínic Barcelona-Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer

Life & Medical Sciences

Graduated in Biology by the University of Barcelona (UB) in 1993, I obtained my PhD in 1998 in the Department of Biomedical Sciences (Faculty of Medicine, UB) supervised by Professor Carlos Enrich. Next, I joined the laboratory of Professor Robert G Parton at the University of Queensland (Australia) as NHMRC Research Officer until 2001. Granted with a Ramón y Cajal contract (2002, MICINN) and recognized by the I3 program (2006, MICINN), I established the "Lipid Trafficking and Disease" group (IDIBAPS). Since 2007, I’m ICREA Research Professor in Fundació Clínic Barcelona-IDIBAPS and since 2011 Assistant Professor in the Dept of Biomedical Sciences (Faculty of Medicine, UB). Today I combine my research in IDIBAPS with teaching in the UB.

Research interests

Lipids, such as cholesterol or fatty acids, are essential molecules for building bilayers and the way eukaryotic cells store nutrients. Lipids are 10% of a cell’s weight and 50% of the cell membranes. However, in excess, lipids can be toxic molecules. Indeed, lipotoxicity gives rise to, or aggravates, obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cancer, and neurodegeneration. Statistics show that 100% of Europeans will develop at least one of these diseases during their lifetime. Our group strives to understand how cells solve this biological dilemma: store large amounts of nutrients while reducing lipotoxicity. Since 2001 we have studied the cell biology and physiology of lipid droplets (LDs); organelles designed for eukaryotic cells to achieve this key adaptative advantage. We study LDs from the time they are formed to the time they are consumed. We are also interested in the role of LDs in physio-pathological situations such as obesity, liver regeneration, cancer, and immunity. ​

Selected publications

- Safi R, Sánchez-Álvarez M, Bosch M, Demangel C, Parton RG & Pol A 2023, 'Defensive-lipid droplets: Cellular organelles designed for antimicrobial immunity', Immunological Reviews, 317(1):113-136.
- Arbaizar-Rovirosa M, Pedragosa J, Lozano JJ, et al. 2023, 'Aged lipid-laden microglia display impaired responses to stroke', EMBO Mol Med, 15, 2, e17175.
- Morales-Paytuví F, Fajardo A, Ruiz-Mirapeix C, et al. 2023, 'Early proteostasis of caveolins synchronizes trafficking, degradation, and oligomerization to prevent toxic aggregation', J Cell Bio, 222(9):e202204020.