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  • Comparative Neurobiology

Our group is mainly focused on the study of the cellular and molecular organization of neurogenic areas in the adult central nervous system and its comparison between different species, from fish to mammals, including humans. We have pioneered the identification of adult neurogenic areas in reptiles, and have participated in the identification of neural stem cells in fish, birds and mammals (including humans).

One of our main research lines is based on the study of the activation and/or modulation of neural stem cells, both at oligodendrogenesis as neurogenesis, in neurodegenerative diseases. Besides, we do not only address these problems with endogenous cells; we have also assessed the use of exogenous stem cells from both bone marrow and fat tissue. For this purpose, we have fine-tuned several techniques, especially with the refinement of classic immunogold electron microscopy, to be able to track transplanted cells.

Aware of the differences between the human and the rodent brain, we engaged in projects involving early neurogenesis in humans. In this regard, one of our ongoing investigations is based on the discovery of neural migration from the ventricles to the prefrontal cortex, occurring in the human postnatal brain. This study is part of a larger project aimed at learning about the structural and functional organization of the human brain, within which also frames the discovery of the existence of stem cells in our brain.

Finally, also noteworthy are our efforts to become a national and international reference in the electron microscopy field, as confirmed by our numerous collaborations.

 

 
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