My name is Fernando Calahorro (PhD), a molecular neurobiologist with over 10 years’ academic experience investigating the molecular and cellular basis of neuronal function and how molecular perturbances underpin major neuro-atypical behaviours. I take advantage of the model system Caenorhabditis elegans as experimental platform to investigate the functional role of genes driving complex behaviours. During the last years, working in the Southampton Neuroscience Group (University of Southampton – UoS), I have defined the impact of genetic mutations or drugs on neural network activity and behaviours. My interest in C. elegans and related expertise in neuronal signalling and molecular regulation of behaviour, has positioned me to participate in translational and multidisciplinary programmes, through projects in collaboration with Profs. Lindy Holden-Dye and Vincent O’Connor (UoS). This has lead me to elucidate mechanisms underlying mental disorders, characterizing trans-synaptic axes to better understand key cellular and molecular determinants underlying the major neurodevelopmental disorders, as well a resolving electrophysiological features in C. elegans synaptic mutants which provide a discrete characterisation of the role of synaptic proteins in circuit function, and a highly innovative experimental platform for drug discovery.
I use with success a diverse range of approaches and cutting edge technology in C. elegans, as evidenced for my publications in respected peer-reviewed scientific journals (PLoS One, Genes Brain Behavior, Neurogenetics, Journal Biological Chemistry, Aging Cell, Scientific Reports). Molecular approaches: genome editing by CRISPR/Cas9, molecular cloning using different cloning technologies (from conventional to Gateway systems), molecular constructs with different tags for heterologous expression, gene expression levels by PCR/q-PCR. Transgenic methods: creation of transgenic lines by microinjection for gene expression, rescue lines, heterologous expression. Microscopy technologies: live imaging using Differential Interface Contrast, fluorescence or confocal optical, precise microscopy approaches for identification (neurons and non-neuronal cells), sub-cellular distribution and optical based quantitative differences between treated and untreated conditions. Cellular approaches: neuroanatomy in the C. elegans simple nervous system, dynamic Ca2+ imaging using genetically encoded reporters in freely moving animals in collaboration with recognized C. elegans labs (Mario de Bono lab in MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology). Electrophysiology: extra and intracellular recordings, electropharyngeograms resolving electrophysiological features. Nano-engineering technologies: Microfluidic devices (lab-on-a-chip) for electrophysiology and behaviours. Behavioural assays: wide variety for behavioural assays to measure complex behaviours such sensory perception, decision making or freely moving tracking.
With this repertoire of expertise I am in an exceptional position to deliver cutting edge technologies to address key biological questions underpinning the major neuro-atypical behaviours.
Now I am looking for a senior research fellow position in UK. If you are interested and want to know more about me please drop an email at F.Calahorro@soton.ac.uk
- Molecular genetics including CrispR-cas9 gene editing
- Imaging including confocal microscopy
- Automated analysis of animal behaviour
- Microfluidic chamber fabrication and use
- Behavioural neurobiology