Miquel Vila, MD, PhD, received his MD from the University of Barcelona (Spain) and PhD in neuroscience from the University of Paris 6 (France). His PhD work at the Salpêtrière Hospital was devoted to the consequences of dopaminergic neurodegeneration on the functioning of the basal ganglia. He then moved to Columbia University, initially as postdoctoral researcher and subsequently as Assistant Professor of Neurology, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease (PD). He currently leads the Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Group at the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.
Dr. Vila’s work in experimental animal models, both genetic and neurotoxic, has shed light on molecular mechanisms underlying PD-linked neuronal dysfunction/degeneration, including mitochondrial alterations, alpha-synuclein aggregation, autophagy deficits, inflammatory changes, and apoptotic pathways. He has originally created novel PD-relevant animal models, such as the one induced by injection of Lewy bodies isolated from PD brains or the first genetic rodent model producing neuromelanin.