CaixaResearch call for Health Research promotes UB research

La Caixa Foundation announced today the thirty projects that were selected in the call CaixaResearch on Health Research 2021. These are excellence projects on biomedicine and research on health presented by research centres and universities from Spain and Portugal, funded with a total of 22.1 million euros to be carried out for three years. With these aids, La Caixa Foundation aims to promote research projects of the centres in Spain and Portugal in collaboration with other international ones, willing to provide results to benefit the health and wellbeing of society.

Neuronal reprogramming to stop Huntington’s disease

Josep M. Canals, Associate Professor at the Department of Biomedicine of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, director of Creatio and member of the Institute of Neurosciences of the UB (UBNeuro) and IDIBAPS, is leading the project “Neuronal reprogramming to stop Huntington’s disease”, which received 994,890 euros in funding in this call. The team counts on the researcher Petia Radeva, professor at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, and the experts Daniel del Toro and Daniel Tornero, from UBNeuro and IDIBAPS, both members of the Department of Biomedicine at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Huntington’s disease is the most common inherited neurodegenerative disease. It does not express until one is thirty or forty, when the deterioration of certain neurons causes a motor dysfunction that causes uncontrolled movements in patients, in a dancing manner, which are progressively accentuated. There is little knowledge on the neuronal alterations that appear during the brain development, in particular, in the region of the striatum, and how they are later translated in the pathology duding adulthood.

The project analyses the role of the neuronal progenitor cells that during the development, will differentiated into striatum cells. The goal is to find the impact they have on the disease, and using in vivo reprogramming of the damaged neuronal circuits, stop or slow its onset.

The Project counts on the participation of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), the Vienna BioCenter (Austria), the Lund Stem Cell Centre (Sweden), Cardiff University (United Kingdom), and the European Network of Huntington’s Disease.