Biological Laboratory

The research lines of this unit encompass from the study of extreme microorganism communities, to the identification of new types of microorganisms and their evolutionary and physiological mechanisms. In collaboration with CECs glaciologists we explore the use of temperate continental glacier microorganisms as paleoclimatic markers.

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Epithelial Functional Genomics

Our studies of epithelial transport and metabolism stem from an interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate transporters and ion channels involved in epithelial physiology, and extend to the study of their function in situ through the use of specific genetically-modified mice. We use electrophysiology, fluorescence microscopy and functional genomics to study how the structure and function de these membrane proteins affect cellular and tissue physiology. Our research contributes to the understanding biomedical problems including the mechanisms of certain inherited human diseases.


Energy Metabolism

This line of research is devoted to the study of the mechanisms that match energy production to energy consumption in mammalian cells. Our approach is to develop optical methods based on fluorescent probes to measure metabolite concentration and metabolic flux in real time with subcellular resolution and non-invasively. Ongoing projects address the mechanisms that couple synaptic activity to local energy production in brain tissue and the energetics of cancer cells.



Epigenetics encompasses mechanisms that dynamically modify gene expression in response to environmental change. This is a highly important mechanism, since its dysregulation can lead severe pathologies. A focus of our research has been on understanding how this type of alteration might contribute to obesity and neurological disorders, such as autism and mental retardation, which together affect over 30% of the global population.