Principal Investigators

Fernando Aguado

Full Professor

Neural and endocrine secretory pathways in normal and pathological conditions

Francesc X. Soriano

Associate Professor

Inter-organelle communication

Research team


Raquel Larramona Arcas

Postdoctoral Researcher


Guillem Riqué Pujol

Early stage researcher


Irene Sánchez

Early stage researcher


Paula Tena Morraja

Early stage researcher


Sergi Casellas

Early stage researcher

Research Interest


The aim of this program is to study cellular processes involved in neurodegeneration. The research lines focus in the study of inter-organelle communications and secretory pathways.


Organelles engage in extensive communication with each other, either directly through membrane contacts or indirectly by regulating signalling pathways. In this area of research, mitochondrial communication with other organelles is studied, as well as how it regulates neuronal functions and governs cell fate decisions.


We are interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying biogenesis, trafficking and exocytosis of secretory organelles and excitation-secretion coupling secretion in neural and endocrine cells. Multiple in-vitro, ex-vivo and in vivo approaches are used to study alterations of secretory processes in neurons and glial cells in Alzheimer’s disease. The results of our research are expected to contribute to the identification of new biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases.

Technologies & Methods


  • Primary cultures (neurons and astrocytes)
  • Live cell imaging
  • Bioenergetic assays
  • AAV generation
  • Flow cytometry
  • Split luciferase complementation assay
  • General techniques of biochemistry and molecular biology (western blot, qPCR, cloning…)
  • General histological methods, immunolabeling and in situ hybridisation
  • Brain and CSF analysis in rodents and humans
  • Biochemical and imaging secretion assays
  • Brain stereotaxic surgery
  • Optogenetic methods

Active Projects


    • ER-mitochondria contacts in neurodegeneration. Looking for a novel therapeutic approach. Ministerio de Ciencia, Velux Stiftung. Project number 1262. Francesc X. Soriano.


    • Estudio del papel de Mfn2 en la regulación de programas transcriptionales inducidos por la actividad sináptica. Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades. PID2020- 119322GB-I00. Francesc X. Soriano.


    • Modulació de la senyalització retrògrada mitocondrial com a tractament de la síndrome de Leigh. Fundació La Marató de TV3. 415/C/2020. Francesc X. Soriano.


    • Vesículas de centro denso en neuronas y astrocitos: mecanismos de exocitosis y su potencial uso como biomarcadores de neurodegeneración. Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades. PID2019-107738RB-I00. Fernando Aguado

Selected Publications


    • Barranco, N., Plá, V., Alcolea, D., Sánchez-Domínguez, I., Fischer-Colbrie, R., Ferrer, I., Lleó, A., & Aguado, F. (2021). Dense core vesicle markers in CSF and cortical tissues of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Translational Neurodegeneration, 10(1), 37. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40035-021-00263-0


    • Casellas-Díaz, S., Larramona-Arcas, R., Riqué-Pujol, G., TenaMorraja, P., Müller-Sánchez, C., Segarra-Mondejar, M., GavaldàNavarro, A., Villarroya, F., Reina, M., Martínez-Estrada, O. M., & Soriano, F. X. (2021). Mfn2 localization in the ER is necessary for its bioenergetic function and neuritic development. EMBO Reports, 22(9), e51954. https://doi.org/10.15252/ embr.202051954


    • Coimbra-Costa, D., Garzón, F., Alva, N., Pinto, T., Aguado, F., Torrella, J. R., Carbonell, T., & Rama, R. (2021). Intermittent Hypobaric Hypoxic Preconditioning Provides Neuroprotection by Increasing Antioxidant Activity, Erythropoietin Expression and Preventing Apoptosis and Astrogliosis in the Brain of Adult Rats Exposed to Acute Severe Hypoxia. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(10), 5272. https://doi.org/10.3390/ ijms22105272