I seek to unravel the mechanisms whereby a brain cell called ‘astrocyte’ contributes to higher-brain functions —cognition, memory, emotion— and to establish the pathological consequences of astrocyte dysfunction.
Three core ideas guide my research:
Astrocytes not only carry out homeostatic functions in support of neurons, but they also compute, i.e., they process information intelligently, plausibly by way of calcium transients.
Astrocytes are superior therapeutic targets: increasing their resilience or restoring their malfunction in acute or chronic neurological diseases will have a beneficial impact on multiple pathological processes at once.
Mathematics and systems biology —which has lately included artificial intelligence— are indispensable tools to clarify astrocyte (dys)function, identify astrocyte-based molecular signatures in human fluids, and develop astrocyte-targeted therapies.
Institut de Neurociències, Edifici M2, Lab M2-003
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra
Metabolism, Plasticity, Calcium-based coding, Astrocyte-targeted therapies