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Dr Laura Molina Garcia
21st University Street
6th floor Rockefeller Building
Dr Laura Molina Garcia profile picture
  • Research Associate
  • Cell & Developmental Biology
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
  • 2018-2022 Research Associate. Department of Cell & Developmental Biology. University College London, UK.
  • 2016-2018 Newton International Postdoctoral Fellow. Department of Cell & Developmental Biology. University College London, UK.
  • 2015-2016 Research Associate. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB-CSIC), Spain.
  • 2015 PhD in Biology. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Spain.
  • 2010-2015 FPI Fellow PhD candidate. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB-CSIC), Spain.
  • 2009-2010 MSc in Microbiology. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Spain
  • 2008-2009 Undergraduate Research Assistant. Department of Animal Physiology II. Biology Faculty. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Spain.
  • 2004-2009 Graduate degree in Biology. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Spain.
Research Themes
Research Summary
I have been always interested in understanding the function and dysfunction of the nervous system.

Aggregation of amyloid proteins is a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases that affect millions of people worldwide.My PhD research at CIB-CSIC covered different aspects of bacterial amyloid biology, including the study of their function (Molina-García et al., 2016), toxicity (Molina-García & Giraldo 2014; Molina-García & Gasset-Rosa 2014; Molina-García et al.,2017) and the development of tools to screen for potential therapies (Molina-García & Giraldo., 2017). As a result I contributed to the field with 1 patent, 5 first author publications, 1 first author book chapter and 1 review article.

In 2016, funded by a Newton International Fellowship, I moved to UCL (Dr. Arantza Barrios lab) to gain neurobiology skills in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The aim of my main postdoctoral project is to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying sex differences in learning. For this I am using a multilevel approach to examine learning at all levels of nervous system function with single cell resolution: the genes/molecules involved, how these regulate neuronal physiology and how changes in neuronal activity shape circuit dynamics and behaviour.

At UCL I was also involved in an International collaboration with other UCL (Dr. Richard Poole lab) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine groups that resulted in a first author publication (Molina-García et al., 2020). Here we: i) describe a novel mechanism in C. elegans to generate sex-specific neurons via direct transdifferentiation of sex-shared glial cells, ii) update the neuroanatomy of C.elegans male with the discovery of the PHD male-specific neurons, iii) establish the PHD neurons behavioural function as regulators of locomotion during mating and iv) describe a new step in the well characterised behavioural sequence of mating in the worm that I discovered and we termed Molina manoeuvre,after my name.

Overall, my contribution to the field of behavioural neuroscience is reflected in 1 first author paper (Molina-García et al., 2020), 1 review article on sexually dimorphic learning strategies across species (Molina-García & Barrios., 2018), 1 dispatch article on how neuropeptides modulate behaviour (Molina-García & Barrios 2021) and another first author paper from my main postdoc work that is currently in preparation.

Teaching Summary
  • 2020 Face to face lecturer (4h) to 3rd year Bioscience students during theCOVID pandemic. Lecture title: "The path to a career in academic research". University College London, UK.
  • 2019 Teaching Assistant. Neural systems and Behaviour summer course. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, USA.
  • 2017-2022 Demonstrator. UCL CELL0010 course (C. elegans practicals). University College London, UK.
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