Cabecera 2019 CBMSO CSIC UAM

Wednesday, 21st August 2019

2017.04.06 alfonso araque


Prof. Alfonso Araque

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, USA





2017 04 06 Alfonso Araque minAlfonso Araque es profesor en el Departamento de Neurociencia de la Universidad de Minnesota desde el 2013. Se doctoró en 1993 en Ciencias Biológicas por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Realizó su formación postdoctoral en la Universidad de Iowa, USA, en el laboratorio del Dr. Phil Haydon desde 1996 hasta 1999, donde estudió la comunicación astrocito-neurona en cultivo celular. Tras finalizar su estancia postdoctoral, en el 2001 formó su laboratorio independiente el Instituto Cajal, Madrid, donde siguió interesado en el estudio de las propiedades y los mecanismos de la comunicación bidireccional entre neuronas y astrocitos. Ha sido coordinador del área de Biomedicina de la Agencia Nacional de evaluación y prospectiva (ANEP) en España, Vicepresidente de la Sociedad Española de Neurociencia y actual presidente de la Red Glial Española. Ha recibido numerosos premios nacionales e internacionales en todas las etapas de su carrera. Es miembro del Consejo editorial de eNeuro, Glia, Cell Calcium y Neuroscience.

Su investigación se centra en el estudio de las propiedades y las consecuencias de la comunicación bidireccional entre neuronas y astrocitos, con el objetivo de entender su papel en aspectos fisiológicos y patológicos de la función cerebral. El Prof. Araque propuso el concepto Sinapsis Tripartita (TINS 1999, 2009) que representó una nueva visión de la fisiología sináptica, según la cual, los astrocitos son elementos integrales de la sinapsis e intercambian activamente información con los elementos neuronales. Este concepto implica que los astrocitos directamente tienen un papel activo en la transferencia y almacenamiento de información en el cerebro y que, por tanto, la función cerebral resulta de la acción concertada entre las neuronas y los astrocitos.



Alfonso Araque has been Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota since 2013. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1993 in Biological Sciences at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He did his postdoctoral research with Dr. Phil Haydon at Iowa State University, Ames, USA, from 1996 to 1999, studying astrocyte-neuron communication in cultured cells. He established his independent laboratory in 2001 at the Cajal Institute in Madrid, Spain, where he continued to study the properties and mechanisms of the reciprocal communication between neurons and astrocytes. He was Coordinator of the Biomedicine area of the National Agency for Evaluation and Prospective in Spain, Vice-President of the Spanish Society for Neuroscience and, currently, he is President of the Spanish Glial Network. He has received a number of national and international awards at all stages of his career. He is editorial board member of eNeuro, Glia, Cell Calcium, and Neuroscience.

His research interests focus on the properties and physiological consequences of the communication between neurons and astrocytes, aiming to understand its role in physiological and pathological aspects of brain function. He proposed the Tripartite Synapse concept (TINS 1999, 2009) in which astrocytes are integral elements of the synapses and actively exchange information with the neuronal elements. This concept implies that astrocytes directly play active roles in the transfer and storage of information in the brain and that the coordinated action of both neurons and astrocytes are involved in brain function.



Publicaciones seleccionadas / Selected publications:

  • Perea G et al., (2017) Activity-dependent switch of GABAergic inhibition into glutamatergic excitation in astrocyte-neuron networks. Elife pii: e20362.
  • Martin R, et al., (2015) Circuit-specific signaling in astrocyte-neuron networks in basal ganglia pathways. Science 349:730-734.
  • Perez-Alvarez A, et al., (2014) Structural and functional plasticity of astrocyte processes and dendritic spine interactions. Journal of Neuroscience 34:12738-12744.
  • Navarrete M, Araque A (2010) Endocannabinoids potentiate synaptic transmission through stimulation of astrocytes. Neuron 68: 113-126.
  • Navarrete M, Araque A (2008) Endocannabinoids mediate neuron-astrocyte communication. Neuron 57: 883-893.
  • Perea G, Araque A (2007) Astrocytes potentiate transmitter release at single hippocampal synapses. Science 317: 1083-1086.

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