Experimental Models of Human Disease

The Department currently comprises 19 scientists from the Higher Science Research Council and the Autonomous University in Madrid. These groups study the molecular and cellular basis of several human diseases, including mitochondrial-related pathologies, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and muscular diseases, bone disorders and cancer, as well as some rare diseases. Techniques of cellular and molecular biology, oncology, molecular genetics, electrophysiology and nuclear magnetic resonance are used in the Department for these studies. Research is centered on the study of the pathological mechanism of these diseases, the search for new pharmacological treatments and the study of the mechanisms for resistance to treatment. The molecular diagnosis of some diseases through the determination of genetic alterations in patients and their relatives is also performed. New non-invasive diagnostic methods and prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers are being developed. Human clinical samples and cell lines are used for these studies but experimental models of several diseases are also generated using biological systems such as mice, Drosophila melanogaster, Saccharomyces cerevisiae or Dictyostelium discoideum. These studies have allowed the recent development of several molecules with possible pharmaceutical application and biomarkers. The experimental work is presented on average in 30 scientific articles in international journals each year. Also, our academic activity generates an average of 8 Doctoral Thesis each academic year.

Head of department: Leandro Sastre Garzón