Research Group


Research Group Research Group
> Español

Nebrija Research Group BRAIN & BEHAVIOUR

Acronym: BRABE

Summary and Research Lines

Summary:The research group BRABE, whose name comes from the English words BRAIN and BEHAVIOR, is affiliated to the School of Life Sciences (FCVN). It is a group made up of 11 professionals in the field of psychology, biology and physical activity and sports, that work together to achieve excellent and quality research in the field of Psychobiology. Its scientific work consists of elucidating the psychophysiological functions and pathological mechanisms associated with neurodegenerative processes and aging. Our group, through these complementary approaches, is working on closing the existing knowledge gap, in order to allow the identification of therapeutic approaches that are urgently needed to prevent or alleviate neurodegeneration and the processes associated with aging. In order to carry out this task, the BRABE group has permanent research staff from Nebrija University and external staff affiliated with top-level national and international universities.
Experience:The BRABE research group has recently created laboratories that incorporate cutting-edge technologies that cover the preclinical and experimental part, as well as achieve the translation of our results to the clinical part. At an experimental level, we are experts in:

  • Animal models of neurodegeneration, prematurity and aging.
  • Evaluation of experimental behavior.
  • Identification of physiological biomarkers.
  • Study of the microbiota.
  • Study of brain metabolic activity.
  • Study of glial populations.
  • Study of the mechanisms underlying these processes.

At a translational level, our experience encompasses:

  • Development, implementation and validation of evaluation protocols (questionnaires).
  • Design, application and evaluation of clinical intervention programs.
  • Analysis of data.
  • Collection of physiological and psychological data and interpretation of the variables.
  • Study of human genetic polymorphisms associated with cognitive and behavioral changes.

Lines of Research:

  • Identification of molecular and cellular biomarkers of neurodegenerative processes:
    Along these lines, we will explore potential biomarkers, which are not only essential for diagnosis and prognosis in patients suffering from neurodegenerative processes, but also play an important role in the drug development process, for the validation of therapeutic targets.
  • Synaptic plasticity in learning processes:
    In this regard, we are very interested in the exact synaptic contribution to the consolidation of learning processes, as well as its temporal appearance.
  • Analysis of neuroinflammatory processes:
    Neuroinflammation is a major factor in many diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), and alleviating neuroinflammation is believed to reduce the severity of the disease and improve patient outcome in most cases. In this line of research, we explore neuroinflammatory pathology, distinguishing between acute and chronic inflammation, examining the contributions of the main glial cell types.
  • Study of lifestyles to improve cognition:
    There is sufficient evidence to support a relationship between adherence to the diet and positive cognitive outcomes related to memory, executive functions, and the risk of cognitive decline. Likewise, the evidence supports how adherence to specific dietary patterns, together with a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise, mitigate age-related cognitive decline. In this line of research, we focus on determining the best clinical markers of early cognitive dysfunction, as well as the effectiveness of early intervention in lifestyle on cognitive function.
  • Preventive therapies in neurodegeneration:
    In this line of research, we validate and optimize the methods to track the presymptomatic change in the different neurodegenerative diseases and thus determine the viability of new therapies for their transfer to the population. To do this, we use a combination of novel biomarkers, risk cohorts and their well-characterized experimental models, as well as sensitive and precise measures of progression.

Featured projects

“Photobiomodulatory action on postnatal neurodevelopment: effects on learning and spatial orientation memory” (FOTOMEMO)

  • File no.: PID2020-117259RB-I00
  • Execution period: 2021-2024

Establishment of a primary culture system from the C9orf72 transgenic mouse model to study the endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria axis in C9orf72-related frontotemporal dementia

  • File no: ARUK pump prime grant
  • Execution period: 2020-2021

Post-traumatic stress and violence against women in the couple: development and evaluation of a treatment focused on positive memories. Research project in which members of the research group have taken part.

  • File no: PID2019-105942RB-I00
  • Execution period: 2020-2024


Responsible PR

Dra. Natalia Arias del Castillo
[email protected] CV Abreviado ORCID
Dra. Sara Uceda Gutiérrez Investigadora [email protected] CV Abreviado ORCID Dra. Mª Dolores Nieto Cañaveras Investigadora [email protected] CV Abreviado ORCID Dra. Carmen Soberón Casado Investigadora [email protected] CV Abreviado ORCID Mercedes L. Pedrajas Lopez Investigadora [email protected] CV Abreviado ORCID Dr. Víctor Echeverry Alzate Investigador [email protected] CV Abreviado ORCID Dra. Ana Isabel Beltrán Velasco Investigadora [email protected] CV Abreviado ORCID
Dra. Olivia García Velasco Investigadora [email protected] CV Abreviado Dra. Ana María Jiménez García Investigadora [email protected] CV Abreviado ORCID Dr. Manuel Reiriz Rojas Investigador [email protected] CV Abreviado Dr. Ismael Martínez Guardado Investigador [email protected] CV Abreviado ORCID Dr. Francisco Javier Grijota Pérez Investigador [email protected] CV Abreviado ORCID