I am a neuroscientist interested in the neural circuits pulling the strings of behaviours essential for survival across species, such as escaping from a predator, memory, and sleep. Currently a third year Wellcome Trust Neuroscience PhD candidate at the Sainsbury Wellcome Center at UCL, studying midbrain circuits of innate defensive behaviours.
I love reading, playing guitar, and organising stuff. I also have a tendency to get lost in my own thoughts, and I believe that finding the right word to convey a thought is an amusing challenge and an interesting game to play. When I am not in the lab I tend to be in the mats practising judo, swimming, or enjoying a beer with some friends. The rest of the time I am either writing or thinking of new ideas for the blog, where I write about whatever piques my curiosity, in a manner that tries to pique yours.
I am an alumnus from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where I obtained a BSc in Biomedical Sciences, and from the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, where I completed an MSc in Neurosciences. I conducted my MSc Thesis in the group of Prof. Gero Miesenböck at the Center for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at the University of Oxford, investigating circuits underlying sleep regulation in Drosophila. I have been a visiting researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam and the Marmara University in Istanbul. I might as well be a Hopeless Wanderer.
In 2016 joined the Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD in Neuroscience at UCL and completed a first year of rotations. I studied astrocyte glutamate-uptake currents using patch-clamp recordings in acute hippocampal slices in Prof. David Attwell’s group, investigated the connectivity of inhibitory neurons in a midbrain circuit computing innate defensive behaviours in Dr. Tiago Branco’s group, and explored the brain areas involved in homeostatic sleep regulation in zebrafish in Dr. Jason Rihel’s group.
For my PhD project in Dr. Tiago Branco’s group, I am combining whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and single-cell RNA sequencing to (1) investigate the contribution of midbrain Periaqueductal Gray inhibitory neurons to the computation and selection of defensive behaviours to innately threatening stimuli, and (2) identify molecular signatures of specific biophysical properties that are critical for the computation of such behaviours.