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Speaker Detail

Professor Luis Felipe Barros

Centro de Estudios Cientificos, Chile


Luis Felipe Barros received his M.D. (1988) and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences (1993) at the University of Chile. He was a postdoctoral Wellcome Trust Research Fellow from 1993 to 1996 at the Department of  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, UK. From 1996  to 2000 he was Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor at the  Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, and in 2000 joined the Center  for Scientific Studies in Valdivia, Chile, where he is now Group Leader.  He was named Outstanding Young Scientist of the year 2002 by the  Biological Society of Chile, was member of the High Council for Science  and Technology of Conicyt, Chile (2006-2009), and is the current  President of the Chilean Society for Cell Biology (2009-2010). His group addresses the question of how the flux of energy relates to the flux of  information and is actively developing new techniques to measure metabolic parameters using fluorescence microscopy.


The complex two-way conversation between energy and signaling as visualized with genetically-encoded nanosensors

L. Felipe Barros
Centro de Estudios Científicos CECs, Valdivia, Chile

Information processing is quantitatively coupled to energy dissipation. In the brain, this coupling occurs in the neurogliovascular unit, a functional entity defined by diffusional constraints and composed by strongly differentiated cell types, the best studied being neurons and astrocytes, with emerging roles for oligodendrocytes, microglia, pericytes and the ever elusive endothelium. This talk will discuss how the superior spatiotemporal resolution of genetically-encoded nanosensors for metabolites is permitting the experimental dissection of the relative roles of these cell types and the characterization of intercellular signals that seem to work over different distances and time scales, namely glutamate, potassium, ammonium and nitric oxide. While brain tissue is heterogeneous in composition and therefore likely a mosaic of energy/signaling rules, general impressions are marked division of labor between cell types, neuronal (and possibly endothelial) control of glial energy metabolism, and reciprocal modulation of neuronal metabolism by glia. Disentangling this intricate dynamic mesh appears as an exciting challenge and a formidable task.

All sessions by Professor Luis Felipe Barros

  • TuesdayApril 10
9:25 AM

"The complex two-way conversation between energy and signaling as visualized with genetically-encoded nanosensors"