Lab Members

Antonella Consiglio

Principal Investigator

She received her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the San Raffaele Scientific Hospital, DIBIT, Milan Italy, and additional training at Gene Therapy Center of Lausanne, Switzerland and Vectors Technology Laboratory at Cell Genesys (Foster City, CA) in 2003. From 2002 to 2005 A. Consiglio carried out her postdoctoral research at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, USA, working with one of the leaders in the neurogenesis field, Prof. Fred H.Gage. From 2006 to 2009 she was a Miguel Servet Investigator (Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain), at the Center of Regenerative Medicine of Barcelona, Spain. Since 2010, A.Consiglio is the head of the Laboratory of Stem Cells and Neuroplasticity at the IBUB, University of Barcelona, Spain.

Meritxell Pons Espinal

Beatriu de Pinós Investigator

Meritxell received her PhD in Biomedicine in 2013 at the Center for Genomic Regulation (Barcelona, Spain) under the supervision of Mara Dierssen, where she studied the in vivo cognitive effects of adult neurogenesis and hippocampal plasticity underlying intellectual disabilities. From 2013-2017 she did a postdoctoral stay at Neurobiology of miRNA lab leaded by Dr. De Pietri laboratory, Italian Institute of Technology (Genova, Italy), where she complimented the biomedical applied point of view of adult neurogenesis towards the understanding of the molecular basis of the process. In particular, she gained expertise on the involvement of non-coding RNAs (microRNAs and piwiRNAs) regulating neural stem cells from quiescence to neuronal differentiation. In 2017, she joint the lab as senior postdoc to study the non-cell autonomous mechanisms by which microglia and astrocytes interact with dopaminergic neurons to influence the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). In 2019, she received a Beatriu de Pinós fellowship (AGAUR).

Carles Calatayud


Carles Calatayud received his degree in Biotechnology (2011) from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. During his last year of the degree, he worked in the Experimental Hepatology Unit at the Health Research Institute La Fe, Valencia, where, he investigated the effect of two hepatoendoderm-determining transcription factors in the somatic cell reprogramming to pluripotency. He joined the laboratory in 2012 as a Master student in Biomedical Research. Currently he is enrolled with the FPU fellowship in the PhD programme in Biomedicine, Neuroscience research area. His main focus is to study the genetic contribution of both the LRRK2 mutation and the genomic environment to the Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis.

Irene Fernández Carasa

Research Assistant

Irene studied Biology at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona. She joined the laboratory as an ungraduate student and studied the neurogenesis in the adult brain in a mouse model. She received her Master degree in Biomedical Research in 2012 at the same University. In 2014 she started her work in the laboratory as a Research Assitant and gained expertise in induced pluripotent stem cell culture and diferentiation towards neural cells, specifically dopaminergic neurons and astrocytes. She participates in several projects of Parkinson’s disease modelling through induced pluripotent stem cells being her focus cell culture, histology and confocal microscopy technics.

Lucas Blasco Agell

PhD Student

Lucas studied Psychology at the University of Barcelona (UB) in 2015. He moved to Bilbao to obtain the Master degree in Neuroscience at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in 2016. Then he came back to Barcelona to perform the Master degree in Translational Medicine at the UB in 2017. Thereafter, he enrolled at Consiglio Lab as a PhD student with a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness-MINECO (BES-2017-080579). The aim of his project is to study dysfunctional aspects of glial cell that could promote or worsen Parkinson’s disease (PD) pathology. He is employing microglia, as well as astrocytes and ventral midbrain Dopaminergic neurons derived from iPSC to unravel those pathological aspects at the molecular and functional level.

Alba Tristan Noguero

Post-doctoral Investigator

Alba obtained her degree in Biology in 2011 at the University of Barcelona. In 2012 she completed a Master in Developmental Biology and Genetics at the University of Barcelona. She did her master’s internship in the Department of Genetics at the University of Barcelona working in the genetics of autism and cocaine dependence. Alba joined Consiglio’s lab in 2016 to develop a THD iPSC based model to better understand the physiopathology of the Tyrosine Hydroxylase deficiency disorder and test different therapeutic approaches in vitro. On 2019 she obtatined her PhD (cum laude) with the work entitled “Tyrosine hydroxylase Deficiency: Studies in patient samples and in a cellular model” that she developed under the supervision of Dr. Consiglio and Dr. Àngels Garcia-Cazorla from the Fundació Sant Joan de Déu. She is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher investigating neurotransmission defects of paediatric patients suffering from Tyrosine Hydroxylase deficiency.

Valentina Baruffi

PhD student

Valentina obtained her degree in Animal Production at Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna (UNIBO) in 2017. In 2019 she joined Consiglio laboratory as a master student and completed her thesis entitled “Investigating mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease using iPSC-derived astrocytes from LRRK2 PD patients”. In 2020 Valentina was back in the laboratory to start her PhD project investigating the interplay between innate and adaptive immune system in Parkinson’s Disease.

Liyi Yan

Undergraduate Student

Liyi is an undergraduate student who is currently in the last year of his Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Barcelona (UB). He joined the laboratory in September 2020 to have a 5-month-long internship, in which he is working to prepare his Final Degree Project. During his stay he will analyze the interaction between ventral midbrain organoids and hiPSC-derived microglia, with the aim to build a better model for the study of Parkinson’s disease.

Marika Venezia

Postgraduate fellow

Marika received her Master degree in Biotechnology for Industry and Scientific Research (BIRS) at Palermo University in March 2020. She developed her master at the Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi (NICO) in Turin, where she was involved in in vivo testing on transgenic mice expressing hTAU to study the role of estrogen and miRNA 218 in Alzheimer’s disease. In September 2020 she joined Consiglio lab to study the presence of α-synuclein in brain and gut using 3D cultures.

General Collaborators

Prof. A. Zorzano, IRB,Barcelona
Prof. A.Raya, CMRB, Barcelona
Prof.A. Muotri, UCSD, San Diego
Prof. T. Cathomen, University Medical Centre, Freiburg, Germany
Dr. A. M. Cuervo, Albert Einstein College, New York
Dr. E.Tolosa, IDIBAPS, Hospital Clinic, Barcelona
Dr. J. Soriano, UB, Barcelona
Prof. Del Rio, UB, Barcelona
Prof. J. Garcia-Ojalvo, UPF, Barcelona
Dr. E. Martínez Hernández, IDIBAPS, Barcelona


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