Who are we?
Houston (Texas) is home to the largest Medical Research Center in the world. More than 60 medical institutions, hospitals, universities and research centers can be found in the area. More than 100,000 professionals work there. In addition, if we add the NASA Space Center, this region could be one of the most attractive regions in the world for research and innovation. The flow of Spanish researchers is constant, but we also have more established scientists who settled in Houston decades ago and who attract people from Spain to their labs every year. We have constituted the Ecusa-Texas Chapter with the aim of establishing bridges and collaborations between us and the scientists in Spain.
What do we do?
We organize events and promote networking between ECUSA members. We look forward to seeing you at all of our events, which will be posted on this Texas Chapter webpage and on ECUSA social media pages.
Sonia Villapol graduated in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Santiago de Compostela in 2003, and obtained her PhD in Neurosciences at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona in 2007. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Pierre and Marie Curie VI University and INSERM in Paris, France, until 2010 when she moved to the USA to work at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine at the Uniformed Services University in Maryland. In 2014, he joined the Department of Neuroscience at Georgetown University (Washington, DC) as Research Assistant Professor. Since 2018 she is a Professor of Neurosurgery at the Neuroregeneration Center at Houston Methodist Research Institute in Texas and an Affiliate Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. She published more than 40 research articles. Her lab receives NIH funding and her research focuses on finding treatments for brain damage by targeting inflammatory mediators that connect the brain to the periphery.
PhD in Biology from the University of Valencia, she did her doctoral thesis on the function of the protein responsible for Friedreich’s Ataxia in the Department of Genetics. During her postdoctoral stay at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX), she became interested in the study of cell types that modulate social behavior in murine models of syndromic autism. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, where she studies the relationship of the microbiome with brain damage and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.