Dr. Maria Rodriguez Aburto was born in Madrid, Spain, where she studied biology (Autonomous University of Madrid). She obtained a PhD in inner ear development and neurogenesis in the Neurobiology of Hearing lab (Biomedical Research Institute, Madrid). She studied the role of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF1) in inner ear neuronal survival and differentiation, as well as the importance of cellular autophagy in driving inner ear neurogenesis.
Thereafter, she moved to Frankfurt, Germany, where she did a postdoc in the group of Neuro and Vascular Guidance (Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Frankfurt). Her research focused on exploring the role of Reelin in neurovascular communication in the developing brain resulting in a breakthrough publication in Science (Segarra, Aburto, Cop et al., 2018).
María obtained a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship to join Prof. John Cryan’s group at UCC/APC Microbiome Ireland to study the role of early-life gut microbiota in the development of the blood-brain barrier and its impact in neurodevelopment. María has also recently obtained a prestigious ERC Starting Grant to study how microbial signals could modulate neural progenitors in the developing brain.
Currently, Maria is a senior lecturer and group leader at University College Cork, working in the Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience and as faculty in APC Microbiome Ireland.
Theme: Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis
SDGs: Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Research key words: Neurovascular interactions, Neurodevelopment, Brain barriers, Gut microbiota, Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis