Editorial Board

Prof. Isabel Varela Nieto

Prof. Isabel Varela Nieto
Neurobiology of Hearing Group

Biography :

Dr. Isabel Varela Nieto graduated (1981) and PhD (1985) in CC Chemistry, Biochemistry Section, at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She is an EMBO fellow, she enjoyed two EMBO postdoctoral fellowships at the Universities of Glasgow (UK) and Leuven (Belgium) (1986-1989). She has been a visiting guest scientist at the Faculties of Medicine of the Universities of Uppsala (FEBS Fellow, 1993, Sweden) and San Diego (MEC Sabbatical, 1999-2000, USA). She has been a Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the UAM (1991- 1992), Senior Scientist CSIC (1992-2002), Scientific Researcher (2002-2004) and since 2005 she is Professor of Research at the CSIC in Madrid. From the early 1990s, she has been interested in the study of hearing neurobiology, initially in the regulation of the embryonic development of the inner ear and in the neurogenesis of the auditory ganglion. Studies that continue in the group, in parallel with those focused on advancing the knowledge of the pathophysiology of human, genetic and environmental deafness, and of presbycusis; area in which she has specialized for more than ten years. The group has characterized the involvement of IGF-1 system and targets in hearing loss, and has demonstrated that the oxido-inflammatory state is key to the development of damage. She has described new aspects of: ear biology (apoptosis, autophagy and senescence), metabolism (methionine cycle), genetics (Igf1, CRaf, Lat2 and Wbp2) and identified new cochlear transcription factors (MEF2). Her group has pioneered the study of the cochlear and vestibular transcriptomes using RNA arrays. These studies are addressed through the development and evaluation of cellular and animal models, the development of micro-surgery and non-invasive biology techniques for the study of auditory function, the application of micromethods to obtain massive data, and the development of biostatistical methods analysis of these data.

Research Interest :

The collaboration with clinical groups and companies has complemented her work with translational and transference aspects, focusing on the study of molecules with potential otoprotective activity, from the functional level to the characterization of its effect on the inflammasome-transcriptome. Her research objectives are to increase basic knowledge in the field of hearing neurobiology, contribute to the development of new repair therapies and auditory regeneration, and finally make contributions that in the medium or long term can improve human health.