CNS Disease Modeling Group


Our lab has as a main interest the neurodegenerative process in Parkinson’s disease and other alpha-synucleinopathies. Our main tools of work are animal models of the disease: from neurotoxin based models to transgenic models, both classic transgenic mice lines and adult transgenesis models by means of viral vectors. The team has focused during the last years in those possible events initiated as a consequence of the overexpression and or mishandling of the protein alpha-synuclein that contribute to the disease process. In addition we have an interest on the processes occurring in the immune system during the neurodegenerative event and how both, local and peripheral immune cells, can modify the neuronal survival. Our fundamental goal is to reveal new targets for disease modification that can be ultimately used to develop novel therapies for the patients.

Research interests

  • Dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic neurodegeneration and neuronal death in Parkinson’s disease
  • Early neurodegenerative events initiated by alpha-synuclein mishandling: new target validations
  • Plasticity upon mishandling: behavioral consequences and cellular response
  • Post-translational modifications of alpha-synuclein and its role on the neurodegenerative event in Parkinson’s disease
  • Consequences of alpha-synuclein overexpression in non-dopaminergic neurons: non-dopaminergic vs. dopaminergic driven symptoms
  • Studies on the role of peripheral immune system and its interaction with brain immune cells, microglia, in Parkinson’s disease: development of immune-based theraphy
  • Microglia response to neuronal mishandling of alpha-synuclein: characterization of neuroprotective vs. deleterious microglia
  • Pharmacological approaches focused on microglia modulation: TNFalpha, vaccination, T-cell modulation and cell transplantation.


To model Parkinson’s disease, we use transgenic lines or adult animals that locally over-express disease related proteins such as alpha-synuclein upon intracerebral injections of viral vectors encoding for the chosen protein. For selected experiments we also microinject in brain neurotoxins (i.e. 6OH-dopamine) that model the cell death observed in Parkinson’s’ disease. We follow our animals testing defects in behavior and subsequently we examine their brains to link both analyse.

  • Stereotactic Brain Surgery.
  • Immunomodulation, vaccination, and cell transplantation.
  • Motor-behaviour analyses of rodents.
  • Histological and anatomical analyses of the pathology animal brains.
  • Immunohistochemistry and immunostaining for bright-field and fluorescence (confocal) microsocopy.
  • Quantification of brain cells using sterological techniques.
  • Biochemical analysis of proteins from brain tissue.
  • Cytometric analysis of cells.
  • Integrative analyses of behavioural, biochemical and anatomical data from animal experiments.

Collaborators and centres

  • Neurocampus Aarhus
  • Ass. Prof. Dr. Malu Tansey, Department of Physiology, Emory University, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Deniz Kirik, Department of Experimental Medical Science, Lund University, Sweden
  • Ass. Prof. Dr. Sheila Flemming, Department of Psychology, University of Cincinnati, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Loreni, Department of Biology, University of Tor Vergata Roma, Italy
  • Ass. Prof. Dr. Johan Klucken, Division of Molecular Neurology, University of Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Albert Gjede, CFIN, Aarhus University
  • Prof. Dr. Poul Henning Jensen, Department Biomedicine, Aarhus University
  • Prof. Dr. Kimmo Jensen, Department Biomedicine, Aarhus University

Research group members

The Marina Romero-Ramos Group
  • Vanesa Sanchez-Guajardo, PhD, postdoc
  • Justyna Zareba, PhD
  • Kathrine Just-Andersen, PhD
  • Noemie Tentillier, PhD
  • Gitte Ulbjerg Toft, technician

Group leader

Marina Romero-Ramos

Associate professor
H bldg. 1242, 425
P +4587167854
P +4560202749


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