José Antonio del Río Fernández

Molecular and Cellular Neurobiotechnology

ORCID Research Profile


Position: Group Leader at the

Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia

Prof. in Cell Biology

Research team


Rosalina Gavín Marín

Associate Professor

rgavin (at)


Vanesa Gil Fernandez

Postdoctoral researcher

vagilfer (at)


Ana López Mengual

Early stage researcher

alopezme22 (at)


Laia Lidón Gil

Early stage researcher

llidongi8 (at)


Andreu Matamoros i Angles

Early stage researcher

amatamoros (at)


Agata Mata Rodriguez

Early stage researcher


Laura Urrea Zazurca

Early stage researcher


Miriam Segura Feliu

Administrative and technical staff


Contact details


Prof. José Antonio del Río Fernández

Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology

Faculty of Biology, Diagonal 643

08028 Barcelona (Spain)


jadelrio (at)

Research Interests


The group is interested in understanding the processes of development, neuronal plasticity and neurodegeneration of the central nervous system (CNS). The main objective is to determine the biochemical function of genes overexpressed during development and neurodegeneration and their particular roles in the CNS. Thus current experiments of the group focused in i) the role of angiogenic factors during cortical development;  ii) to develop new approaches to enhance axon regeneration, iii) new biomarkers and detection methods for Alzheimer´s  and iv) characterization of the neurodegenerative process in prionopathies.

Current Research Lines


  • Functions of the celular prion protein in the CNS
  • Angiogenic factors and neural development
  • Epigenetic factors and axon regeneration
  • Cell therapy for spinal cord research
  • New biomarkers and detection method for Alzheimer´s disease

Technologies / methods


  • Microfluidic devices and lab on a chip platforms. Please see: Tong Z, Segura-Feliu M, Seira O, Homs-Corbera A, Del Río JA*, Samitier J* (2015) A microfluidic neuronal platform for neuron axotomy and controlled regenerative studies. RSC Advances. 90(20): 73457-73466  |  Tong Z, Seira O, Casas C, Reginensi D, Homs-Corbera A, Samitier J*, Del Río JA* (2014) Engineering a functional neuro-muscular junction model in a chip. RSC Advances 4(97): 54788-54797. (for details)
  • In vitro explant and organotypic cultures. Please see: Gil V, Del Rio JA (2012) Analysis of axonal growth and cell migration in 3D hydrogel cultures of embryonic mouse CNS tissue. Nature protocols 7 (2):268-280.  |  Del Rio JA, Soriano E (2010) Regenerating cortical connections in a dish: the entorhino-hippocampal organotypic slice co-culture as tool for pharmacological screening of molecules promoting axon regeneration. Nature protocols 5 (2):217-226. (for details)
  • Molecular and celular biology laboratory. Please see: Llorens F, Banez-Coronel M, Pantano L, Del Rio JA, Ferrer I, Estivill X, Marti E (2013) A highly expressed miR-101 isomiR is a functional silencing small RNA. BMC genomics 14:104.  |  Llorens F, Ferrer I, Del Rio JA* (2014) Gene expression resulting from PrPC ablation and PrPC overexpression in murine and cellular models. Molecular Neurobiology 49 (1):413-423. (for details)

Highlighted publications


· Carulla P, Llorens F, Matamoros-Angles A, Aguilar-Calvo P, Espinosa JC, Gavin R, Ferrer I, Legname G, Torres JM, Del Rio JA (2015) Involvement of PrP(C) in kainate-induced excitotoxicity in several mouse strains. Scientific reports 5:11971.


· Bribian A, Nocentini S, Llorens F, Gil V, Mire E, Reginensi D, Yoshida Y, Mann F, Del Rio JA (2014) Sema3E/PlexinD1 regulates the migration of hem-derived Cajal-Retzius cells in developing cerebral cortex. Nature communications 5:4265.


· Reginensi D, Carulla P, Nocentini S, Seira O, Serra-Picamal X, Torres-Espin A, Matamoros-Angles A, Gavin R, Moreno-Flores MT, Wandosell F, Samitier J, Trepat X, Navarro X, Del Rio JA (2015) Increased migration of olfactory ensheathing cells secreting the Nogo receptor ectodomain over inhibitory substrates and lesioned spinal cord. Cellular and molecular life sciences: CMLS 72 (14):2719-2737.


· Gil V, Del Rio JA (2012) Analysis of axonal growth and cell migration in 3D hydrogel cultures of embryonic mouse CNS tissue. Nature protocols 7 (2):268-280.


· Llorens F, Gil V, Del Rio JA (2011) Emerging functions of myelin-associated proteins during development, neuronal plasticity, and neurodegeneration. FASEB journal 25 (2):463-475.