Barcelona, Spain

Participant 07: Hospital de Bellvitge/Universitat de Barcelona
Institut de Neuropatologia, Seervei Anatomia Patologica
IDIBELL-Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge
08907 Hospitalet de LLobregat, Barcelona


Project Leader


Prof. Dr. Isidro Ferrer
Phone: +34 (93) 403 5808 
Fax: +34 (93) 260 7503 
Prof. Dr. Isidro Ferrer

Project Staff


Marta Barrachina, PhD
Molecular biology, epigenetics and transcriptomics  


Montse Olive, MD, PhD
Myology and bank of muscular diseases 


Susana Boluda, MD
Neuropathology and brain bank  


Beatrice Terni, PhD
Molecular biology and proteomics  



Tamara Maes, PhD

Oryzon Genomics: spin-off University of Barcelona 


Carlos Buesa, PhD
Oryzon Genomics: spin-off University of Barcelona 

Institute Presentation


Prof. I. Ferrer is the Director of the Institute of Neuropathology,  Professor of Pathology (Neuropathology) in the University of Barcelona, Faculty of Medicine.

Specific goals

The Institute of Neuropathology of the IDIBELL-Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge is a reference Centre in Clinical Neuropathology (clinical diagnosis of diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, striate muscle and tumours), as well as a Research Centre in Neuroscience linked with the University of Barcelona at the campus of Bellvitge, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. The Institute also includes a Brain bank, collection of muscular samples for research, and a bank of DNA of neurodegenerative diseases.

The Institute of Neuropathology and Brain Bank is focused on cellular and molecular neuropathology of human neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, Parkinson's disease and alpha-synucleinopathies, prion diseases, and muscular diseases with protein aggregates. Samples are obtained from the Institute of Neuropathology and University of Barcelona Brain Banks, and from muscular biopsies under strict protocols approved by the local Ethic Committee in accordance with the Spanish and European legislation on this topic.


Methods employed are: DNA micro-array technology (in collaboration with Oryzon genomics, spin-off of the University of Barcelona), RT-PCR, TaqMan-PCR, in situ hybridization, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, 2D electrophoresis and proteomics (in collaboration with Serveis Cientifico-Tecnics of the University of Barcelona), cell sub-fractionation, immunoprecipitation, pull-down, isolation of protein aggregates, protein-protein interactions and enzymatic activities.

These methods are used in the study of human material obtained at post-mortem on the basis of donor programs. Prion diseases are studied in a P3 facility.
In addition, transgenic models of Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, Huntington's disease, synucleinopathies and prion diseases are currently used to validate particular findings in human diseases. Animal welfare is conducted following the strict commitments of the Catalonia Autonomic Government. Facilities for the study of genetically-modified animals are located in the same campus of the University of Barcelona. Finally, cell transfection and cell cultures are used to manipulate metabolic pathways that may have implications in human neurodegenerative diseases. Facilities for cell culture are also encountered in the same campus.

General objectives and production

All these procedures are geared to increase understanding about human neurodegenerative diseases, but most importantly to delineate particular profiles that can be used as biomarkers for early stages of the disease, as well as to recognize putative therapeutic targets. Collaborations with European groups, spin-offs and translation trusts makes it possible to procure an scenario where observations derived from basic science may be translated to the production of putative drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

More than 415 international papers, 85 national papers and 65 book chapters related with the brain and neurological diseases have been published. More than 25 Doctoral theses have been carried out in the laboratory. Three patents have been produced in the last two years.

Role in the project

Optimisation of DNA, RNA and protein preservation. Application of genomic, proteomic and transcriptomic methods to the study of human neurodegenerative diseases and animal models. Studuy of protein-protein interactions. Study of targets of oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disorders.

previous / next

back next

Copyright (c) BrainNet Europe, coordinated by the Centre for Neuropathology and Prion Research, Ludwig- Maximilians-University Munich, Germany. Tel.: +49-89-2180-78001

Video BrainNet Europe

Click to watch the video.

Consortium Participants


Workpackage Structure