Dulce María Arzate


My doctoral research project is focused on the study of the endogenous neurogenesis stimulated by embryonic stem cell (ESC) transplants in the adult mouse substantia nigra. We are trying to elucidate the molecular mediators, as well as, the cell source of new neurons. I am especially interested in alternative mechanisms to generate new neurons in the absence of neural stem cells (NSC), and the role of resident astrocytes, in those regions affected by neurodegenerative diseases.

Giovanne Baroni


My research is concerned with transmission mechanisms for neuropeptides in the central nervous system. Besides the widely studied synaptic transmission, neurons may relay signals through the release of chemical messengers in their environment, signals that may influence near and far neurons. This mechanism, termed “volume transmission”, may play an yet poorly understood role in neuropeptidergic neuronal communication. To evaluate that possibility, I study anatomical and spatial aspects of the melanin-concentrating hormone [MCH], neuropeptide E-I [NEI] and orexin[ORX], as well as their receptors, in the CNS of the mouse.

Tuane Bazanella


I am a is pharmacist and MSc in biological sciences: toxicological biochemistry. Nowadays, I am a Ph.D. student in Pharmacology at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC, SC, Brazil). My thesis is linked with the role of locus coeruleus (LC) degeneration, the principal source of noradrenaline in the brain, on the neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Thus, my research investigates the involvement of a selective noradrenergic lesion of the LC on the motor and non-motor symptoms and neurochemistry features induced by bilateral injections of 6-hydroxydopamine into the LC of adult male Wistar rats.

Danielle Beckman


Danielle is a last-year PhD student at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is currently working on projects examining the roles of Aß oligomers in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis, with a special interest in how dopaminergic neurotransmission may play a role in both cognitive and neuropsychiatric aspects of AD. She has also been interested in the role of cellular prion protein (PrPc) interaction with monoaminergic pathways, and how understanding the multiple interactions of PrPc may help shed light on the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and clinical depression.

Florentyna Bustos


Regulation of exocytosis of precursor plasmalemma vesicles in developing neurons. The subject of this project is based on the study of the regulation of the addition of new membrane into the axonal growth cone and biochemical and functional identification of the proteins involved in the exocytosis required for the initial axonal growth in relation to the establishment of the neuronal polarity. Specifically we propose the biochemical and functional identification of components in exocyst complex in developing neurons. The exocyst complex is an important candidate for the regulation of fusion of vesicle in polarized cells, of which the total composition is still unknown in neurons.

Guadalupe García


My current research project is about exploring brain connectivity in Parkinson’s disease. I’m characterizing the white matter bundles located on the posterior subthalamic area that are being affected after deep brain stimulation or ablation aiming the amelioration of the motor symptoms of the disease. I use magnetic resonance imaging and tractography, that is a non-invasive method that allows to study the anatomical connectivity of the human brain in vivo. The final objective is to offer a more accurate target for neurosurgery that can achieve a better clinical amelioration with less adverse effects.

Emilia Flo


My name is Emilia and I am from Montevideo, Uruguay. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry during which I studied glycinergic inhibition in motoneurons using the patch clamp technique. For my master studies I decided to focus on cognitive neuroscience, specifically on language. At the moment I am a second year master’s student in Neuroscience by PEDECIBA and work as a technician at the Centre for Basic Research in Psychology.

Mei-Li Díaz Hung


I am enrolled in the study of the possible role of glutathione depletion in the dysfunction of nigro-striatal pathway. The project involves the analysis of oxidative stress and redox signaling, neuroinflammation and glial cells markers, as well as molecular markers of brain plasticity related to glutathione depletion and their relationship with the motor performance in rats.

Valentina Lagos


The purpose of my Master´s thesis is to analyze the role of glia in mechanisms of chronic pain. Glial reactivity in the spinal cord is occurring in chronic pain models and is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Pharmacological modulation of mitochondrial dysfunction by dichloroacetate in astrocytes offers beneficial effects in neurodegenerative disease. We investigate whether DCA administration may reduce glial reactivity and ldecrease hiperalgesia in experimental models of neuropathic and inflammatory chronic pain.

Jerónimo Lukin


Activity-driven transcription is an integral part of the neuronal response to environmental stimulation and it is crucial for different molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity (LTP/ LTD), learning and memory, behavioral responses and neuronal survival. My research project aims to characterize the regulation of gene expression by neuronal activity patterns. Our approach involves the use of electrical, chemical and optogenetic stimulations on primary neurons and brain slices, combined with several genetics and molecular tools.

Valentina Paz


My main interest is to understand the neural substrates of decision making and social comparison in psychiatric populations using interactive tasks. In particular, nowadays I am investigating event related potentials of people with social anxiety and healthy subjects when facing a social comparison task.

Esteban Pino


Using an in vitro model of REM-sleep atonia developed in our lab., we found that cholinergic innervation of mesopontine reticular regions, a well known REM-sleep promoting system, most likely behaves as a behavioral state-specific neuromodulatory system with diffuse effects at mesopontine networks. We collected evidence that indicate that Acetylcholine (ACh) exerts a dual, nicotinic -facilitating- and muscarinic -depressing- control of synaptic efficacy at GABAergic inputs to mesopontine reticular neurons. My current research is aimed at demonstrating the co-localization of both cholinergic receptor subtypes at the same GABAergic terminal and to determine the net effect of their co-activation on synaptic transmission.

Yuryanni Rodríguez


I am a graduate student from Universidad Simón Bolívar and at the same time, I am working as a research assistant at the Unidad de Neurociencias from Instituto de Estudios Avanzados IDEA, Caracas, Venezuela. The main idea of my doctoral work is to search for drugs to diminish neuronal death induced by ischemic strokes. Additionally, I am also working in a project involved in repairing traumatic and degenerative injuries to the nervous system.

Angélica Sabogal


I am Biologist and actually I`m doing my PhD in the School of Medicine at University of Antioquia, Colombia in the project “Determination of lipid biomarkers involved in emotional disorder and cerebral vascular dementia post -stroke and prevention study for therapy natural product”. In this project, the emotional and cognitive disorders in vascular dementia are very important to understand the communication and plasticity. I`m interested in knowing how the different populations of brain are affected and the impact on cognitive improvement, the relationship with behavioral test in post-ischemic animals.

María Evelina Torres


My current research interests are in understanding the neural mechanisms behind learning and memory consolidation, mainly of high aversive events. Principally my research focuses on the role of the medial prefrontal cortex on memory through its effects on glucocorticoid release. We use a combination of pharmacological, behavioral and immunohistochemical techniques. In animal models (rats), we combine the use of injury, local injection of drugs in brain regions and expression of neuronal activity markers after the animal is carrying out a behavioral task. Behavioral tasks include inhibitory avoidance, where animal are trained with low or high intensities of foot shock.