The Mitochondrial Neuropathology Research Group will receive a grant from La Caixa Foundation to investigate new therapies for mitochondrial disease. The call, which aims to promote promising scientific initiatives, selected 8 projects in neuroscience, from more than 150 proposals, that will receive funding for 3 years.
Dr. Quintana’s project will focus on studying the alterations that occur in a specific area of ??the brain, the basal ganglia, in mitochondrial pathologies. This group of diseases, which affect one in 5,000 newborns, are caused by a dysfunction in the organelles responsible for providing energy to the cells, the mitochondria. Because of a lack of cellular energy, those tissues more energy-demanding (such as the brain) are the most affected. These are very serious degenerative diseases, for which there is currently no effective treatment.
The project’s objective is to study the alterations observed in the basal ganglia neurons, which are suspected to be caused by signals initiated in the mitochondria. Thanks to the funding from La Caixa Foundation, the research group of Dr. Quintana will investigate how to reverse these signals and find new therapies for these pathologies.
Raül Andero, researcher at the Institute and assistante professor at the Department of Psychobiology and Methodology of Health Sciences, has been awarded an ICREA Research Professor – Full Professor - distinction by the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA). This senior distinction aims to promote and develop scientific, humanistic and technological research for the benefit of society. Raül Andero has been distinguished for his research excellence in the field of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Raül Andero is a neuroscientist specializing in the study of behavior. Especifically, he studies those mental disorders related to a stressful event, due to alterations in the memory of fear. His objective is to understand the molecular mechanisms involved, and the sexual differences that exist in these circuits, in order to develop effective treatments for anxiety and fear-based disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder or specific phobias.
Dr. Andero obtained his PhD in Neurosciences at UAB, studying stress and memory with animal models. Afterwards, he joined Dr. Ressler's lab, at the Emory University in the United States, and later, at the Harvard Medical School, where he combined studies with psychiatric patients and animal models of fear memory. Since 2016, he has been leading the Translational mechanisms of fear memory laboratory at the Institute, as a Ramón y Cajal researcher and, since 2021, as an ICREA Research Professor.
Currently, Dr. Andero coordinates the ERA-NET NEURON H2020 Translational Biomarkers of Traumatic Stress project, which includes the Harvard University, the University of Göttingen, the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne and the Parc Taulí Foundation. The aim of the project is to conduct a translational study, including animal models and studies with patients, on post-traumatic stress disorder.