In June 1993, I obtained my degree in Biology at the University of Barcelona (UB). I continued my studies in the Biochemistry and the Cell Biology Departments of the Medical School (UB). In July 1998, I obtained my PhD and I moved to the laboratory of Professor Robert G Parton (IMB-UQ, Australia) as a NHMRC Research Officer. My independent research career started in 2001 when I was awarded a "Ramón y Cajal" grant from the Spanish Science and Technology Ministry. In November 2006, I obtained an I3 grant from the same ministry and in November 2007, as an ICREA Research Professor, I founded the Lipid Trafficking and Disease Team (IDIBAPS). This research has been recognized with mentions such as the "City of Barcelona" Award. Besides, I am Associated Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the Medical School (UB). I combine research with teaching Biology in the Medical and Pharmacy Schools (UB) and Biomedical Sciences in Grades and PhD Masters (UB and IDIBAPS).
Lipids, such as cholesterol or fatty acids, are essential molecules for building bilayers and the way eukaryotic cells store nutrients. Lipids are 10% of a cell’s weight and 50% of the cell membranes. However, in excess, lipids can be toxic molecules. Indeed, lipotoxicity gives rise to, or aggravates, obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cancer, and neurodegeneration. Statistics show that 100% of Europeans will develop at least one of these diseases during their lifetime. Our group strives to understand how cells solve this biological dilemma: store large amounts of nutrients while reducing lipotoxicity. Since 2001 we have studied the cell biology and physiology of lipid droplets (LDs); organelles designed for eukaryotic cells to achieve this key adaptative advantage. We study LDs from the time they are formed to the time they are consumed. We are also interested in the role of LDs in physio-pathological situations such as obesity, liver regeneration, cancer, and immunity.