In our laboratory we use the development of the visual system of mammals as a model to study neural specification, axon guidance and assembly of neural circuits.
We identified the transcription factor Zic2 as a determinant of axonal ipsilaterality in the mammalian visual system. We also described several of the Zic2 effector molecules important for the formation of the visual ipsilateral projection such as the EphB1 receptor or the serotonin transporter. We try now to identify new molecules and mechanisms related to axonal lateralization in the visual system and involved in the establishment, integration and function of other bilateral circuits.
We apply a multidisciplinary set of approaches including mouse genetics, anatomical studies, differential expression analysis, gene delivery in vivo and in vitro and a wide variety of in vitro assays.
Please see also: http://in.umh.es/paginas_particulares/herrera/default.html
Escalante E, Murillo B, Morenilla-Palao C, Klar A and Herrera E (2013). Zic2-dependent axon midline avoidance controls the formation of major ipsilateral tracts in the CNS. Neuron. 80(6), 1392–1406.
Sanchez-Arrones L., Nieto-López F., Sánchez-Camacho C., Carreres MI., Herrera E., Okada A., Bovolenta P. (2013). Shh/Boc signaling is required for sustained generation of ipsilateral-projecting ganglion cells in the mouse retina. J. Neurosci., 33 (20) : 8596-607.
Carreres MI., Escalante A., Murillo B., Chauvin G., Gaspar P., Vegar C., Herrera E. (2011). The transcription factor Foxd1 is required for the specification of the temporal retina in mammals. J. Neurosci., 31 (15) : 5673-81.
García-Frigola C., Herrera E.(2010). Zic2 regulates the expression of SERT to modulate eye-specific refinement at the visual targets. EMBO J., 29 (18) : 3037-8.
García-Frigola C., Carreres MA., Vegar C., Mason CA., Herrera E. (2008). Zic2 promotes axonal divergence at the optic chiasm midline by EphB1-dependent and –independent mechanisms. Development., 135 (10) : 1833-41.
2011 ERC Starting Grant
2004 HFSP Career Development Award
2000 HFSP long-term postdoctoral fellowship (Columbia University)
2000 PhD distinction, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
We use a multidisciplinary set of aproaches ranging from