Pau’s project with Dr. Artur Llobet Berenguer of IDIBELL, “Regeneració de circuits neuronals mitjançant marcapassos optogenètics”, receives almost €300,000 of the €7.7m total raised by the 2010 edition of the fundraising show. It will set the basis of a novel pharmacological approach to neuronal regeneration by defining a proof-of-principle based on optogenetics and photopharmacology. “The goal is to artificially maintain the activity of an injured neuronal circuit by selectively illuminating non-damaged neurons expressing light-activated proteins, or applying light-regulated drugs;” explains Pau, who leads IBEC’s Nanoprobes and Nanoswitches group. “Upon photon absorption, these molecules change the membrane potential and act as pacemakers of neuronal activity, thus artificially emulating the action of damaged synapses and maintaining circuits operational.”
The host of the 2010 La Marató show, Albert Om, led Wednesday’s event, at which Ana Ripoll noted that in the process of evaluation and selection of projects funded by La Marató, “the applicability of the criteria is essential, since the objective of this research is to improve the quality of life of people”. Enrique Marin also pointed out that La Marató, which started in 1992 and is now an established annual broadcast that has funded 565 research projects with around €85m, “not only raises awareness of different diseases, but also the need for scientific research as the key to the future”.
The 55 principal investigators that attended Wednesday’s event lead teams at 45 research centers in Catalonia, Spain and abroad, who will use the funds raised by La Marató 2010 in 30 biomedical research projects focusing on advancing the prevention, prognosis and treatment of acquired spinal and brain injuries. The results of these projects will be presented in 2015 as part of a scientific symposium organized by the TV3 Marató foundation.
Watch the news coverage of the event at http://blogs.tv3.cat/marato.php?itemid=43053