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Research centres : Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa". CSIC-Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Madrid)

José Javier Lucas Lozano

  • Date and place of birth: 18th August 1965, San Javier (Murcia)
  • Current professional situation: CSIC Research Professor Severo Ochoa Centre for Molecular Biology CSIC/UAM
    UAM Cantoblanco Campus, 28049 Madrid and the Networked Biomedical Research Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (CiberNed)


  • 1993: Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. Autonomous University of Madrid / Cajal Institute, CSIC.
  • 1989: Degree C.C. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Autonomous University of Madrid.

Scientific activities

The research career of Dr. José J. Lucas has focused on studying the causes and possible treatment strategies of different central nervous system diseases such as Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, addiction to psychostimulants or pain, at both molecular and cellular level and in vivo through the generation and characterisation of genetically modified animals.

His Ph.D. studies (1990-1993) at the Cajal Institute at the CSIC in Madrid resulted in significant progress on the molecular basis of pain regulation (Oncogene 6: 223-227, 1991 and Neuron 10: 599-611, 1993).

In his postdoctoral sojourn at Columbia University in New York (1994-1997), he discovered important molecular keys underlying addictive disorders. Notable from this period are his studies on serotonin receptor 5 HT1B knockout mice as an animal model for addiction (Mol. Pharmacol. 51:755-763, 1997 and Nature 393: 175-178, 1998). The importance of this work is underlined by having been the subject of a "News & Views" feature in the journal Nature (393: 118-119, 1998).

On his return to Spain, Dr. Lucas's research career has continued at the Severo Ochoa Centre for Molecular Biology in Madrid, which belongs to the CSIC, and at the Autonomous University of Madrid, where he is currently CSIC Research Professor. His research group of is also part of the Networked Biomedical Research Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (CiberNed). In the past few years, the research activity by Dr. Lucas has focused on the study of neurodegenerative diseases, especially Huntington's and Alzheimer's.

Dr. Lucas has been a pioneer in generating conditional transgenic mice as animal models of human pathologies. In these models, the pathogenic expression of transgenes can be activated or inactivated at will at various times in the life of the animal. This approach allows research into which aspects of the disease are more likely to be reversed and therefore healed. Dr. Lucas applied this approach for the first time in an animal model for Huntington's disease (Cell 101: 57-66, 2000, an article cited more than 450 times).

The conditional animal model of Alzheimer's disease by overexpression of the kinase GSK-3 (EMBO J. 20: 27-39, 2001, an article cited more than 350 times) has been a key tool for understanding the mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease.

Another important contribution to biomedical research by Dr. Lucas's group focuses on studying the possible role of a malfunction of the ubiquitin proteasome system in Huntington's and other neurodegenerative diseases. (PNAS 106:13986-91, 2009, J. Neurosci. in press, 2010).

In short, the work of Dr. Lucas is reflected in more than 60 publications in indexed international journals including the most prestigious such as Nature, Cell, Neuron, EMBO Journal and PNAS. His works have been cited over 2500 times (an average of more than 40 citations per paper) and have led to several patents.

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