IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques




A pre-doctoral position to join the Research Group in Pharmacology and Neuroscience of Systems (Research Program in Neurosciences) of the Hospital del Mar Institute of Medical Research (IMIM) to carry out the doctoral thesis in the project "Molecular and Neural Markers as prognoses of evolution in first psychotic episodes and modulating effect of cannabis. ".

Principal investigator: Dra. Patricia Robledo Montoya.

Requirements for candidates:

  • A person in possession of a Master's Degree in Neuroscience, Biotechnology or Initiation to Research in Mental Health, and who has an academic record with a minimum grade of 8.3 is sought.
  • It is essential to be enrolled or pre-registered in a doctoral program.
  • Working experience working with immunocytochemistry techniques, Western blots, qPCR, cell cultures.
  • Basic knowledge of statistics, handling of text and graphics processing programs.
  • High level of English.
  • Experience in neuropsychological assessment with cognitive tests and analysis of neuroimaging data, knowledge of neuroimaging analysis software (FSL, SPM), R programs and Matlab will also be evaluated.

The incorporation of the candidate / a in principle would be subject to its presentation to the call for aid for the training of research staff FI of the AGAUR and the subsequent granting of aid.

Project summary:

Although schizophrenia is a highly incapacitating mental illness, current therapy does not produce a significant improvement over negative symptoms and cognitive deficit, the main determinants of loss of functionality. In particular, cognitive impairment, which appears before the first psychotic episode, is a predictor of functional outcome in patients. In addition, the consumption of cannabis, which implies a greater risk of developing psychosis and of doing it earlier, can modulate the cognitive deficit in schizophrenia. There is a great consensus on the need to intervene early to improve prognosis and long-term functionality. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the cognitive alterations in this disease are still unknown. The objective of this project is to identify molecular biomarkers and neuronal prognostic of evolution in first psychotic episodes that will allow us to advance in the diagnosis and early attention of the disease. First, we will study alterations in brain connectivity using functional magnetic resonance, changes in the expression of CB1-5HT2A heteromers in olfactory neuroepithelium and cognitive function in patients with first psychotic episodes compared to healthy controls and patients with long-standing schizophrenia. In a second phase, we will study the evolution of these markers in patients with first psychotic episodes after a year and a half treatment with antipsychotics. In addition, we will identify the modulation that cannabis use exerts on these markers and their impact on cognitive deficits present in schizophrenia.

Tasks to develop:

  • Clinical and neuropsychological studies in patients with first psychotic episodes, in schizophrenic patients and in habitual cannabis users.
  • Cell cultures of human samples of the olfactory neuroepithelium.
  • Various biochemical assays including immunocytochemistry, Western blots, qPCR, in cell cultures.
  • Analysis of neuroimaging data with specialized software.

For more information and presentation of curriculum vitae, contact Patricia Robledo ( and Eva Mª Vitas ( Please send CV and copy of the academic record.


Group leader:
Patricia Robledo(ELIMINAR)


Dr.Aiguader, 88, 2ª Planta
08003 Barcelona

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