Alberto Fernández Teruel

Alberto  Fernández Teruel



Alberto Fernández Teruel

+34 935 813 456



Department of Psychiatry and Legal Medicine
Institut de Neurociències
Faculty  of Medicine (room M5-129)
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Bellaterra Campus 08193-Cerdanyola del Vallés

He received the Psychology degree in 1985 and a PhD in Psychology in 1989,  both from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He was working as a predoctoral (PhD) fellow in 1987 at the “Istituto Biologico Policattedra” (University of Cagliari, Italy), with professors MG. Corda, O. Giorgi and G. Biggio, as postdoctoral fellow at the “Dipartimento di Biologia Sperimentale ‘Bernardo Loddo’”  (University of Cagliari, Italy) in 1991, and as a visiting professor at the  ETH-Zentrum (Zürich, Switzerland) in 1990 and 1994. He obtained a permanent position as Associate Professor of  Psychopharmacology and Psychobiology at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain;  1996-1998), after which he obtained a permanent position as Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry & Forensic Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB, Spain; 1998 to the present). Within this Department he is Coordinator of the Animal Research Laboratory and the “Animal and human models of mental disorders” research group (SGR). He has published over 125 peer-reviewed international scientific papers and over 30 spanish (non international) articles and book chapters, as well as 6 academic books.  He has been awarded, among others, with the “‘Martí i Julià’ award  for research in Psychology and Psychiatry” (“Institut d’Estudis Catalans”)  in 1988,  the  “1992 ‘Ciutat the Barcelona Science Award’”,  and the “ICREA-Academia 2013” (ICREA, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) award.

He has been Partner Principal Investigator within two European research projects involving over 15 european (and USA) laboratories (the EURATools  -2006-2010-  and EURATRANS -2010-1014-  projects).

Dr. Alberto Fernández-Teruel is the coordinator of the research group Animal and Human Models in Mental Disorders, and leads his own laboratory:

Laboratory members:

Gloria Blázquez Romero

Antoni Cañete Ramírez

Cristóbal del Río Alamos

Cristina Gerbolés Freixas

Carme Mont Cardona

Ignasi Oliveras Puigdelivol

Ana Sánchez González

Carles Tapias Espinosa

Adolf Tobeña Pallarés





Current and future research of our laboratory is aimed at improving knowledge on the psychological, neurobiological and genetic basis of several psychological and neurological diseases. Progress towards these objectives is based on the use of several resources and experimental approaches, namely:


1) The psychogenetically-selected RHA-I and RLA-I inbred rats, which markedly differ in anxious/stress (behavioural and hormonal) responses and incentive/drug-seeking, are a good model to study the neurobiological and genetic basis of anxiety and drug addiction.


2) Besides the use of these RHA-I and RLA-I strains, the N/Nih-HS genetically heterogeneous rat stock (maintained at our lab) is a powerful resource which is being used for fine (high resolution) genetic mapping of complex disease-related phenotypes like anxiety/fearfulness/depression, multiple sclerosis, blood pressure, diabetes-related traits and other endocrine and immunological traits.


3) The triple transgenic 3xTgAD mice are also a powerful model for Alzheimer dementia, which is used at our lab to investigate the possibilities of preventing or delaying the appearance of neuropathological and behavioral symptoms of dementia following infantile/juvenile environmentally-enriched treatments.





1) Neurogenetics of anxiety and genetics of disease-related neural (and non neural) phenotypes in rats.

Using the N/Nih-HS and RHA/RLA rats, and funded by SAF-2003-03480 (IP: A. Fernandez-Teruel), by the Welcome Trust (J. Flint, UK) and by a FP6 European grant (IP: Timothy Aitman, London. IP Partner 11: A. Fernandez-Teruel), this research line is carried out in collaboration with the groups of Drs. Jonathan Flint (Oxford), Peter Driscoll (Switzerland), Tomas Olsson (Sweden), Dominique Gauguier (Oxford), Norbert Hubner (Berlin), Rickard Holdmdal (Sweden), Anna Dominizak (Scottland) and 10 other European research labs.


2) Effects of postnatal stimulation (neonatal handling) and environmental enrichment on neuromorphological, neurochemical and behavioral anomalies related to aging and dementia.

In collaboration with Dr. F.M. LaFerla (California, USA) a colony of 3xTgAD mice (a very recent Alzheimer model) has been established in our lab. Funding for this research line has been obtained from I+D (Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, 2006-2008) and “Marató de TV3” (IP: Lydia Giménez-Llort; Collaborators: Dr. F.M. LaFerla, UCI, USA i Dr. B. Johansson, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm; Dr. C. Sanfeliu, CSIC, Barcelona, Spain).


3) Environmental enrichment, physical exercise and/or special diets in rodents: Long-term behavioral and biochemical effects.

This research line is being developed in collaboration with Prof. Margarita Prunell ( Universidad de La Laguna, Spain), Dr. Yolanda Peña (University of Essex, UK), Prof. Mercedes Unzeta (Dept. Bioquímica, UAB), Profs. Juan Hidalgo and Antonio Armario (Dept. Biologia Cel.lular i Fisiologia), and Prof. Roser Nadal (Area Psicobiologia, Facultat de Psicologia, UAB).

  • Oliveras I, Cristóbal Río-Álamos, Toni Cañete, Gloria Blázquez, Esther Martínez-Membrives, Osvaldo Giorgi, Maria G. Corda, Adolf Tobeña , FERNANDEZ-TERUEL A. (2015) Prepulse inhibition predicts spatial working memory performance in the inbred Roman high- and low-avoidance rats and in genetically heterogeneous NIH-HS rats: relevance for studying pre-attentive and cognitive anomalies in schizophrenia. FRONT.  BEHAV.  NEUROSCI.  18;9:213.
  • Río-Ȧlamos C, Ignasi Oliveras, Toni Cañete, Gloria Blázquez, Esther Martínez-Membrives, Adolf Tobeña, FERNANDEZ-TERUEL A. (2015) Neonatal handling decreases unconditioned anxiety, conditioned fear, and improves two-way avoidance acquisition: a study with the inbred Roman high (RHA-I)- and low-avoidance (RLA-I) rats of both sexes. FRONT. BEHAV. NEUROSCI.  10;9:174
  • Tuncel J, Sabrina Haag, Anthony C.Y. Yau, Ulrika Norin, Amelie Baud, Erik Lönnblom, Klio  Maratou, Jimmy Ytterberg, Diana Ekman, Soley Thordardottir, Martina Johannesson, Alan Gillett, EURATRANS Consortium, Pernilla Stridh, Maja Jagodic, Tomas Olsson, ALBERTO FERNÁNDEZ-TERUEL, Roman A. Zubarev, Richard Mott, Timothy J. Aitman, Jonathan Flint and Rikard Holmdahl (2014) Natural Polymorphisms in Tap2 Influence Negative Selection and CD4:CD8 Lineage Commitment in the Rat . PLOS GENETICS 10(2): e1004151.
  • Alam I., Daniel L. Koller , Toni Cañete , Gloria Blazquez , Regina Lopez-Aumatell , Esther Martinez-Membrives , Sira Diaz-Moran , Adolf Tobena , ALBERTO FERNANDEZ-TERUEL, Pernilla Stridh , Margarita Diez , Tomas Olsson , Martina Johannesson , Amelie Baud , Michael J. Econs, Tatiana Foroud    (2014) High-Resolution Genome Screen for Bone Mineral Density in Heterogeneous Stock Rat. JOURNAL OF BONE AND MINERAL RESEARCH  29:1619-26
  • Baud A, Guryev V, Oliver Hummel, Martina Johannesson,  Rat Genome Sequencing and Mapping Consortium, FERNANDEZ-TERUEL A.,  Flint J. (2014)  Genomes and phenomes of a population of outbred rats and its progenitors. SCIENTIFIC DATA (Nature Publishing Group) June 10 ;1:140011.
  • Klein A,  Ultved L, Adamsen D, Santini M, Tobeña A, FERNANDEZ-TERUEL A, Flores P, Moreno M, Cardona D, Knudsen GM, Aznar S, Mikkelsen JD (2014) 5-HT2A and mGlu2 receptor binding levels are related to differences in impulsive behaviour in the Roman Low- (RLA) and High (RHA) avoidance rat strains. NEUROSCIENCE 263: 36-45.
  • Amelie Baud, Roel Hermsen, Victor Guryev, Pernilla Stridh, Delyth Graham, Martin W. McBride, Tatiana Foroud, Sophie Calderari, Margarita Diez, Johan Ockinger, Amennai D. Beyeen, Alan Gillett, Nada Abdelmagid, Andre Ortlieb Guerreiro-Cacais, Maja Jagodic, Jonatan Tuncel, Ulrika Norin, Elisabeth Beattie, Ngan Huynh, William H. Miller, Anna F. Dominiczak, Daniel L. Koller, Imranul Alam, Samreen Falak, Mary Osborne-Pellegrin, Esther Martinez-Membrives, Toni Canete, Gloria Blazquez, Elia Vicens-Costa 1, Carme Mont-Cardona, Sira Diaz-Moran, Adolf Tobena, Oliver Hummel, Diana Zelenika, Kathrin Saar, Giannino Patone, Anja Bauerfeind, Marie-Therese Bihoreau, Matthias Heinig, Young-Ae Lee, Carola Rintisch, Herbert Schulz, David A. Wheeler, Kim C. Worley, Donna M. Muzny, Richard A. Gibbs, Mark Lathrop, Nico Lansu, Pim Toonen, Frans Paul Ruzius, Ewart de Bruijn, Heidi Hauser, Santosh S. Atanur, Tim J. Aitman, Paul Flicek, David J. Adams, Thomas Keane, Tomas Malinauskas, E. Yvonne Jones, Diana Ekman, Regina Lopez-Aumatell, Anna F Dominiczak, Martina Johannesson, Rikard Holmdahl, Tomas Olsson, Dominique Gauguier, Norbert Hubner, Alberto FERNANDEZ-TERUEL* , Edwin Cuppen *, Richard Mott*, Jonathan Flint *. (2013) Combined sequence-based and genetic mapping analysis of complex traits in outbred rats.NATURE GENETICS  45(7): 767-775.  (* Joint corresponding/senior authors)
  • Díaz-Morán S,Palència M, Mont-Cardona C, Cañete T, Blázquez G, Martínez-Membrives E, López-Aumatell R, Sabariego M, Donaire R, Morón I, Torres C, Martínez-Conejero JA,Tobeña A, Esteban FJ, FERNANDEZ-TERUEL A. (2013) Gene expression in hippocampus as a function of differential trait anxiety levels in genetically heterogeneous NIH-HS rats.  BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH 257:129-39
  • Moreno M, Cardona D, Gómez MJ, Sánchez-Santed F, Tobeña A, FERNANDEZ-TERUEL A, Campa L, Suñol C, Escarabajal MD, Torres C, Flores P.  (2010)    Impulsivity characterization in the Roman high- and low-avoidance rat strains: behavioral and neurochemical differences. NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY  35(5):1198-1208.
  • Johannesson M, Lopez-Aumatell R, Stridh P, Diez M, Tuncel J, Blázquez G, Martinez-Membrives E, Cañete T, Vicens-Costa E, Graham D, Copley RR, Hernandez-Pliego P, Beyeen AD, Ockinger J, Fernández-Santamaría C, Gulko PS, Brenner M, Tobeña A, Guitart-Masip M, Giménez-Llort L, Dominiczak A, Holmdahl R, Gauguier D, Olsson T, Mott R, Valdar W, Redei EE,  FERNANDEZ-TERUEL A, Flint J. (2009) A resource for the simultaneous high-resolution mapping of multiple quantitative trait loci in rats: The NIH heterogeneous stock. GENOME RESEARCH 19(1):150-158.
  • Carrasco J, Márquez C, Nadal R, Tobeña A, FERNANDEZ-TERUEL A, Armario A. (2008) Characterization of central and peripheral components of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in the inbred Roman rat strains. PSYCHONEUROENDOCRINOLOGY 33(4):437-45.
  • Giménez-Llort L, Blázquez G, Cañete T, Johansson B, Oddo S, Tobeña A, LaFerla FM, FERNÁNDEZ-TERUEL A. (2007) Modeling behavioural and neuronal symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice: the inside amyloid story. NEUROSCIENCE & BIOBEHAVIORAL REVIEWS  31: 125-147.
  • FERNÁNDEZ-TERUEL, A; Escorihuela RM, Gray J A, Aguilar R , Gil L, Giménez-Llort L, Tobeña A, Bomhra A, Nicod A, Mott R, Drsicoll P, Dawson G, Flint J. (2002) A quantitative trait locus influencing anxiety in the laboratory rat. GENOME RESEARCH  12: 618-626
  • Johansson, B; Halldner, L; Dunwiddie, T.V; Masino, S.A; Poelchen, W; Giménez-Llort ,L; Escorihuela RM; FERNÁNDEZ-TERUEL, A; Wiesenfeld-Hallin, Z; Xu, X-J; Hardemark, A; Betsholtz, C; Herlenius, E;  Fredholm, B.B. (2001) Hyperalgesia, anxiety and decreased hypoxic neuroprotection in mice lacking the adenosine A1 receptor. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL  ACADEMY OF SCIENCES-USA  98: 9407-9412.
  • Driscoll P, Escorihuela RM, FERNÁNDEZ-TERUEL, A;Giorgi O, Schwegler H, Steimer TH, Wiersma A, Corda MG, Flint J, Koolhaas, Langhans W, Schulz PE, Siegel J, Tobeña A (1998) Genetic selection and differential stress responses: the Roman line/strains of rats. ANNALS OF THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES    851: 521-530.
  • Escorihuela RM; Tobeña A; Driscoll P , FERNÁNDEZ-TERUEL, A. (1995) Effects of training, early handling and perinatal flumazenil on shuttlebox avoidance in the Roman rat lines: toward overcoming a genetic deficit. NEUROSCIENCE AND BIOBEHAVIORAL REVIEWS  19: 353-367.
  • FERNÁNDEZ-TERUEL, A; Escorihuela R.M.; Driscoll P.; Tobeña A., Battig K. (1992) Differential effects of early stimulation and/or perinatal flumazenil treatment in young Roman low and high-avoidance rats. PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY  108: 170-176.
  • FERNÁNDEZ-TERUEL, A; Escorihuela R.M.; Tobeña A, Driscoll P. (1991) Stress and putative endogenous ligands for benzodiazepine receptors: The importance of characteristics of the aversive situation and of differential emotionality in experimental animals. EXPERIENTIA (current name “NATURWISENSCHAFTEN")  47: 1051-1056.
  • FERNÁNDEZ-TERUEL, A; Longoni, B; Corda, M. (1989) Imipramine and GABA-stimulated chloride uptake in rat cortex. BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY  25: 971-974.

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Institut de Neurociències


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Facultat de Medicina. Edifici M-1
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