Dr. Alba Tristán Noguero receives the prestigious “EMBO Scientific Exchange Grant”

Dr. Alba Tristán Noguero, postdoctoral researcher of the ‘Margarita Salas’ Program at the Department of Genetics, Microbiology, and Statistics of the Faculty of Biology at the University of Barcelona (UB), and a member of the Molecular Physiology of Synapses research group at the Sant Pau Research Institute – IIB Sant Pau, has been awarded the prestigious “EMBO Scientific Exchange Grant”.

This scholarship will enable her to undertake a stay at the University of Edinburgh, in the laboratory of Professor Peter C. Kind, to work on the project entitled “Calcium dynamics at the level of dendritic spines in an animal model of Syngap1 deficiency.” This project is part of the studies conducted by the IIB Sant Pau group on the neurodevelopmental disorder caused by the deficiency of the SYNGAP1 gene, an epileptic encephalopathy with an estimated prevalence of 1 case per 16,000 births.

The hypothesis of the research team led by Dr. Àlex Bayés is based on the premise that calcium dynamics at the level of synapses in the central nervous system would be altered. Excess calcium could be at the root of the synaptic dysfunction characteristic of SYNGAP1 deficiency, which in turn plays a central role in two of the main symptoms, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. If the hypothesis is confirmed, this stay will not only serve to deepen and establish new international research collaborations but also to investigate new therapies for SYNGAP1 patients focused on normalizing synaptic-scale calcium dynamics.

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