Integrative Pharmacology and Systems Neuroscience


Neurosciences Programme

 Research group

Group Leader

Rafael de la Torre Fornell

The Integrative Pharmacology and Systems Neuroscience Group’s main line of research is the development of pharmacological and non-pharmacological (cognitive/electrical stimulation) approaches for the treatment of diseases that cause intellectual disability or cognitive impairment and psychiatric disorders (including Down syndrome, drug addiction, depression, schizophrenia, or dementia). Our emphasis is on understanding the underlying mechanisms of action and on developing treatments, biomarkers of exposure, efficacy and toxicity.

Moreover, the group is responsible for providing instruction in pharmacology, chemistry and toxicology to graduate and undergraduate students of both human biology and medicine tracks (Pompeu Fabra University, Autonomous University of Barcelona), and to train pre-doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.

The Integrative Pharmacology and Systems Neuroscience Group and the Proteomics Research Group from the Pompeu Fabra University constitute the BAPP (Bioanalysis, Proteomics and Pharmacology), a member of TECNIO, the label created by ACCIÓ which identifies the main experts in applied research and technology transfer in Catalonia. The BAPP is a reference in the field of chemistry linked to pharmacology, toxicology and the development of new drugs.

The Generalitat de Catalunya has officially recognized one consolidated research group and one Emergent research group 2017-2020 included in the Integrated Pharmacology and Systems Neurosciences Research Group: Grup de Recerca Clínica en Farmacologia i Desenvolupament de Biomarcadors i Nous Fàrmacs (SGR 138) led by Rafael de la Torre, as well as an Emergent Research Group 2017-2020: Grup de Recerca en Neuroquímica i neurofisiologia de la cognició en malalties psiquiàtriques i del desenvolupament (SGR 210) led by Vicky Puig.


Ana María Aldea Perona (Researcher)

Arnau Busquets Garcia (Researcher)

Aida Maria Cuenca Royo (Researcher)

Cristina Delgado Sallent (Researcher)

Maria del Mar Dierssen Sotos (Researcher)

Laura Forcano Gamazo (Researcher)

Thomas Gener (Researcher)

Àlex Gómez Gómez (Researcher)

Maria Gomis González (Researcher)

Olha Khymenets (Researcher)

Elk Kossatz de Mello (Researcher)

Julián Andrés Mateus Rodríguez (Researcher)

José Antonio Pascual Esteban (Researcher)

Óscar Pozo Mendoza (Researcher)

María Victoria Puig Velasco (Researcher)

Patricia Robledo Montoya (Researcher)

Aleix Sala Vila (Researcher)

Marta Barrera Conde (PhD Student)

Anna Boronat Rigol (PhD Student)

Thais Lorenzo Díez (PhD Student)

Diego Cascales Lahoz (Technician)

Jordi García Quintana (Technician)

Noemí Haro Villaverde (Technician)

Iris Lioba Matilla Vaz (Technician)

Esther Menoyo Colomer (Technician)

Juan Luis Musoles Lleó (Technician)

Pau Nebot Forcada (Technician)

Anna Núria Palazón Zabala (Technician)

Antoni Pastor Bosch (Technician)

Raúl Pérez Ortuño (Technician)

Marta Pérez Otero (Technician)

Iris Piera Molina (Technician)

Nieves Pizarro Lozano (Technician)

Mitona Pujadas Bastardes (Technician)

Josep Rodríguez Morató (Technician)

Eva Maria Vitas Gutiérrez (Research Assistant)


Main PublicationsOngoing Research ProjectsParticipation in Research NetworksThesesOutreach

Main Publications

• Olesti E, Farré M, Carbó ML, Papaseit E, Perez-Mañá C, Torrens M, Yubero-Lahoz S, Pujadas M, Pozo Ó, de la Torre R. Dose-Response Pharmacological Study of Mephedrone and Its Metabolites: Pharmacokinetics, Serotoninergic Effects, and Impact of CYP2D6 Genetic Variation. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2019; 106(3): 596-604. IF 6.336. Q1.

• Boronat A, Mateus J, Soldevila-Domènech N, Guerra M, Rodríguez-Morató J, Varon C, Muñoz D, Barbosa F, Morales JC, Gaedigk A, Langohr K, Covas MI, Pérez-Mañá C, Fitó M, Tyndale RF, de la Torre R. Cardiovascular benefits of tyrosol and its endogenous conversion into hydroxytyrosol in humans. A randomized, controlled trial. Free Radic Biol Med 2019; 143:471-481. IF 5.657. Q1.

• Ramon-Duaso C, Gener T, Consegal M, Fernández-Avilés C, Gallego JJ, Castarlenas L, Swanson MS, de la Torre R, Maldonado R, Puig MV, Robledo P. Methylphenidate Attenuates the Cognitive and Mood Alterations Observed in Mbnl2 Knockout Mice and Reduces Microglia Overexpression. Cereb Cortex 2019; 29 (7): 2978-2997. IF 5.43. Q1.

• Olesti E, Rodríguez-Morató J, Gómez-Gómez A, Ramaekers JG, de la Torre R, Pozo O. Quantification of endogenous neurotransmitters and related compounds by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. Talanta 2019; 192:93-102. IF 4.9. Q1.

   See all Publications

Ongoing Research Projects

• Gene overdosage and comorbidities during the early lifetime in Down Syndrome

- Financing institution: H2020 (2019/-999/I)

- Period: from 2019 to 2024

- Principal investigator: De la Torre Fornell, Rafael

• New markers of steroid profile in blood: Differentiating testosterone administration from (simultaneous) ethanol consumption (acronym: SPOLBlood)

- Financing institution: World Antidoping Agency (ISF19D02JP)

- Period: from 2019 to 2021

- Principal investigator: Pascual Esteban, José Antonio

• Modulation of gut microbiota as a therapeutic approach to improve cognitive phenotypes of Ts65Dn mice and decelerate the onset of neurodegenerative processes

- Financing institution: Fondation Jérôme Lejeune

- Period: from 2019 to 2021

- Principal investigator: Pizarro Lozano, Nieves

• Biomarkers of ANTidepressant RESponse: early indicators and novel targets

- Financing institution: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (AC19/00020)

- Period: from 2019 to 2022

- Principal investigator: Robledo Montoya, Patricia

• Cognitive decline in early stages of AD after EGCG and a multimodal therapy (PENSA) (18PTC-R-592192)

- Financing institution: Alzheimer’s Association

- Period: from 2018 to 2020

- Principal investigator: De la Torre Fornell, Rafael

   See all Projects


Participation in Research Networks

• Committee for Clinical Research/Child & Developmental Committee

- Financing institution: Trisomy 21 Research Society

- Period: from 2017

- Principal investigator: De la Torre Fornell, Rafael

• Down Syndrome and Other Genetic Developmental Disorders Network

- Financing institution: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP)

- Period: from 2014

- Principal investigator: De la Torre Fornell, Rafael

• European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure for Medicine (EATRIS)

- Financing institution: European Union

- Period: from 2019

- Principal investigator: Pozo Mendoza, Óscar

• CIBER Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition

- Financing institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (CB16/12/00244)

- Period: from 2019 to 2021

- Principal investigator: Fitó Colomer, Montserrat

• Red de Trastornos Adictivos

- Financing institution: Instituto de Salud Carlos III. Subprograma RETICS (RD16/0017/0010)

- Period: from 2017 to 2021

- Principal investigator: Torrens Mèlich, Marta



• Alemany González, M. Neural correlates of memory impairment and rescue in a mouse model of Down syndrome. Universitat Pompeu Fabra

- Director: Puig Velasco, María Victoria

- Date of defense: 09/07/2019



Dissemination to Society and Initiatives of Citizen Participation

• Anna Boronat, Josep Rodríguez-Morató. Students of the Arnau Cadell Institute visit the Laboratory of Integrative Pharmacology and Systems Neuroscience. ACCÉS Project (Bringing Science Closer to Secondary Schools) included in the Escolab Project. Barcelona Science Programme of the Institute of Culture. 26 April 2019.

• Anna Boronat, Josep Rodríguez-Morató. BioJunior. Bring science to secondary school students through different activities, visits to labs and scientific talks. Parc Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB), 3 May 2019.

• Vicky Puig, Programme Committee. 3rd International Conference Trisomy21 Research Society. CosmoCaixa, Barcelona, 8 June 2019.

• Rafael de la Torre. Viure pensant en un cervell actiu. Centre Cívic Barceloneta, Barcelona, 9 December 2019.

• Anna Boronat. Visit to the Laboratory of Integrative Pharmacology and Systems Neuroscience for students of Pharmacy (3rd year) from Universitat Blanquerna. 25 October 2019.

• Rafael de la Torre. Envelliment actiu, cervell jove. Students from Fundació Universitària del Bages. 14 March 2019.

• Maria Victòria Puig. Ritmes cerebrals per curar la discapacitat intel·lectual. Olimpíada de Biologia 2019. 15 February 2019.

• Natàlia Soldevila, Laura Forcano, Rafael de la Torre. Citizen participation in the design of the PENSA Study on prevention of cognitive impairment in people with subjective cognitive decline: a co-creation project. Barcelona, 25 October 2019.










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