MD, Pompeu Fabra University and Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, 2015
Ph.D., Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
I am an MD and PhD graduate with a longstanding interest in Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience, and a long-term career plan to become a cerebellum scientist and clinician. The previous decades have witnessed a paradigm shift in the appreciation of the basic and clinical neuroscience of the cerebellum – it is now established that the cerebellum is a necessary component for understanding the nervous system, and a relevant structure for alleviating suffering in numerous neurological and psychiatric diseases. At the same time, the cerebellum remains an understudied area of the brain, and many questions remain to be answered. My objective is to contribute to this field through the combination of clinical and scientific practice.
My neuroscience research career started while I was a medical student in Spain. As a summer intern, I investigated language deficits in patients with cerebellar injury at the Ataxia Unit of MGH. This initial study was the beginning of a still very active relationship with my mentor at MGH Dr. Jeremy Schmahmann, which has resulted in additional descriptions of social cognition deficits in cerebellar injury, and the development of a clinical scale for the diagnosis of the Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome. After finishing medical school, I obtained a prestigious Spanish scholarship by “la Caixa” foundation to work simultaneously with Dr. Schmahmann and Dr. John Gabrieli, director of the Gabrieli Lab at MIT. In the past two years, we have described fundamental aspects of cerebellar functional neuroanatomy, and started to apply this knowledge to the interpretation of fMRI cerebellar abnormalities in Neurology and Psychiatry.