Albert Pol

Albert Pol

Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer

Life & Medical Sciences

In June 1993, I obtained my degree in Biology at the University of Barcelona (UB). I continued my studies in the Biochemistry and the Cell Biology Departments of the Medical School (UB). In July 1998, I obtained my PhD and I moved to the laboratory of Professor Robert G Parton (IMB-UQ, Australia) as a NHMRC Research Officer. My independent research career started in 2001 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, as an ICREA Research Professor, I founded the Lipid Trafficking and Disease Team (IDIBAPS). This research has been recognized with mentions such as the "City of Barcelona" Award. Besides, I am Associated Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the Medical School (UB). I combine research with teaching Biology in the Medical and Pharmacy Schools (UB) and Biomedical Sciences in Grades and PhD Masters (UB and IDIBAPS).

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

- Bosch M, Sánchez-Álvarez M, Fajardo A, Kapetanovic R, Steiner B, Dutra F, Moreira L, López JA, Campo R, Marí M, Morales-Paytuví F, Tort O, Gubern A, Templin RM, Curson JEB, Martel N, Català C, Lozano F, Tebar F, Enrich C, Vázquez J, Del Pozo MA, Sweet MJ, Bozza PT, Gross SP, Parton RG & Pol A 2020, “Mammalian lipid droplets are innate immune hubs integrating cell metabolism and host defense”, Science 370(6514):eaay8085.

- Bosch M, Parton RG & Pol A 2020, "Lipid droplets, bioenergetic fluxes, and metabolic flexibilitySemin Cell Dev Biol. 108, 33 - 46.  

- Pol A, Morales-Paytuví F, Bosch M & Parton RG 2020 “Non-caveolar caveolins - duties outside the caves”, J Cell Sci. 133(9):jcs241562.

- Parton RG, Bosch M, Steiner B & Pol A 2020, “Novel contact sites between lipid droplets, early endosomes, and the endoplasmic reticulum”, J Lipid Res. 2020 Nov;61(11):1364.

- Meneses-Salas E, García-Melero A, Kanerva K, Blanco-Muñoz P, Morales-Paytuvi F, Bonjoch J, Casas J, Egert A, Beevi SS, Jose J, Llorente-Cortés V, Rye KA, Heeren J, Lu A, Pol A, Tebar F, Ikonen E, Grewal T, Enrich C, & Rentero C 2020, ‘Annexin A6 modulates TBC1D15/Rab7/StARD3 axis to control endosomal cholesterol export in NPC1 cells’, Cell Mol Life Sci. 77, 14, 2839 - 2857.

- Doolin T, Amir HM, Duong L, Rosenzweig R, Urban LA, Bosch M, Pol A, Gross SP & Siryaporn A 2020, “Mammalian histones facilitate antimicrobial synergy by disrupting the bacterial proton gradient and chromosome organization”, Nat Commun. 11(1):3888. 

- Alvarez-Guaita A, Blanco-Muñoz P, Meneses-Salas E, Wahba M, Pollock AH, Jose J, Casado M, Bosch M, Artuch R, Gaus K, Lu A, Pol A, Tebar F, Moss SE, Grewal T, Enrich C & Rentero C 2020 “Annexin A6 is critical to maintain glucose homeostasis and survival during liver regeneration”, Hepatology. Volume72, Issue6. Pages 2149-2164.