SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, May 29. (EUROPE PRESS) –
Teresa Giráldez, Professor of Physiology at the University of La Laguna, has just received the Manuel Rico-Bruker Award from the Spanish Biophysical Society, which is intended to recognize the work in the field of Biophysics of a scientist who develop their activity in this country, especially valuing the one carried out in the last ten years in the field of structural and functional Biophysics.
Currently, his laboratory combines molecular biophysics and electrophysiology with the use of imaging techniques to study ion channels, proteins that are located in the membranes of all cells and that regulate their ability to produce electrical signals. . This is a fundamental mechanism for the correct functioning of cellular systems such as the muscle, heart or neurons.
Specifically, the work of the researcher from the University of La Laguna has focused on understanding the relationships between the structure and function of these proteins, in the context of their physiological function, using both ‘in vitro’ cellular systems and animal models. Her work includes important national and international collaborations.
Between 2013 and 2018, he published a series of scientific papers in prestigious international journals such as eLife or Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), in collaboration with Miguel Holmgren’s group at the US National Institutes of Health, where they characterized the function of the BK channel using a combination of electrophysiology coupled with microscopy techniques.
This channel is involved in various diseases, so knowing how it works at the molecular level can help in the search for new therapies. One of Giráldez’s most recent lines of work, published in PNAS and carried out entirely by his research group at the ULL, has determined the role that the association of BK with synaptic receptors (NMDAR) plays in synaptic transmission, a fundamental mechanism in neuronal function, also related to important diseases such as Fragile X Syndrome, among others.
Another line of work of the laboratory, in which the group of the researcher Álvarez de la Rosa at the University of La Laguna and other national groups have also participated, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, Cerebral Cortex and Neurobiology of Disease, among others, described a regulation mechanism of Kv7 channels by the neuronal kinase SGK1.1, which acts as a neuroprotective factor in animal models of epilepsy.
In addition to her scientific contributions, Teresa Giráldez has developed other very relevant and recognized roles in the national and international scientific community: she is currently the elected secretary of the United States Biophysical Society and co-director of the Gordon Research Conference on ion channels, which will be held in 2024. She has been deputy director of the Institute of Biomedical Technologies of the University of La Laguna and member of the boards of directors of various scientific societies including the Biophysics Society (USA), the Spanish Biophysics Society, the Spanish Society of Neurosciences and the Society of General Physiologists (SGP, USA).
He is currently a member of the editorial committees of prestigious international scientific journals, including eLife and The Journal of General Physiology. She is a regular reviewer of scientific papers for prestigious international journals, as well as national and international research projects. Throughout her career she has received several relevant national and international awards and recognitions, including the Margaret Oakley-Dayhoff Award and a L’Oreal-UNESCO National Research Grant in 2009, the Izasa-Beckmann-Coulter Award for the SBE in 2011.
Her research work has been recognized at a social level by the Orfeón La Paz in La Laguna, which named her Canarian Woman of the Year in 2013, 8M Award from the Institute for Women’s Studies in 2015, as well as by the Mas Mujer de Tenerife Foundation ( Women and Innovation Award 2017) and the Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council (recognition of her research work, 2019).
Teresa Giráldez will give a lecture at the XVII International Congress of the SBE to be held in Castelldefels (Barcelona) from June 27 to 30, 2023, at the end of which she will be presented with the award and a commemorative plaque.