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Projects. Life and Earth Sciences

Molecular and cellular bases of mental delay associated with "Fragile X" syndrome

Lead Researcher:
José Antonio Esteban García 

Research Centre:
Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa". Consejo CSIC-UAM. 

Synopsis: 
José Antonio EstebanThis project aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible for an inherited form of mental retardation known as Fragile X syndrome, for which there is currently no cure. It is proposed that the regulation of the cytoskeleton of the neuron may be altered in these individuals, thus interfering with synaptic plasticity processes and causing disturbances in the cognitive function. For this project a multidisciplinary approach is being used that includes molecular biology, electrophysiology, fluorescence microscopy and analysis of behaviour in mouse models. It is believed that this research project will contribute to the elucidation of the physiological processes that control cognitive function, and in particular to the understanding of the pathological changes that result in the mental retardation associated with Fragile X syndrome.

SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION

1 paper at international conferences  

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José Antonio Esteban García

EDUCATION
1984-1988 Degree in Biology. Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid. Spain.
1989-1992 Ph.D. in Molecular Biology. Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid. Spain.
1993-1994 Postdoctoral Research. Severo Ochoa Centre for Molecular Biology. Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
1995-1996 Postdoctoral Research. Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Department. Univ. of Vermont. Vermont (USA).
1997-2001 Postdoctoral Research. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Cold Spring Harbor, New York (USA). EMPLOYMENT
2002-2008 Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medical School, Michigan (USA)
2008-present Research Scientist with the Spanish National Science Research Council (CSIC)

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
Dr. Esteban's research team has extensive experience in molecular and cellular studies of the synaptic function. In particular, it has been a pioneer in the characterisation of the intracellular machinery regulating neurotransmitter receptor transport in synapses. The importance of this work to human health problems is evidenced by the funding obtained in the last five years from many international agencies related to biomedicine, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Alzheimer's Association, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) and the Dana Foundation.


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