Department: Neurociencias

Area: Pharmacology

Research group: Neuropsicofarmacología y Psicobiología

Email: curro.polo@uca.es

Áreas PAIDI: Ciencias y Técnicas de la Salud

Since 01/01/2023 I am a FPU2021 predoctoral researcher in the Neuropsychopharmacology and Psychobiology group of the University of Cadiz (PAIDI CTS510), associated to INiBICA and CIBERSAM, under the supervision of Dr. Esther Berrocoso Domínguez. Our group specializes in the study of various affective disorders (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc.) and neuropathic pain, as well as the relationships between them. I graduated in Biotechnology from the University of Cadiz (2021), where I also completed my Master's degree in Medicinal Chemistry (2022). During the Master, I also spent 6 months with a JAE-Intro grant at the Institute of Marine Sciences of Andalusia (ICMAN), belonging to the Higher Center for Scientific Research (CSIC), where I participated in several studies on the effects of various commonly used pesticides (chlorpyriphos, terbuthylazine, fipronil and 2,4-D) on the distribution, behavior and development of common aquatic organisms such as daphnia (Daphnia magna) and zebrafish (Danio rerio), resulting in two publications. I also did a curricular internship during the master (05/05/2022 - 03/06/2022) in the group I am now part of, acquiring skills mainly in the performance of immunofluorescence techniques in brain tissues and in the handling of the fluorescence microscope. My Final Thesis consisted in the development of two extraction methods (Microwave Assisted Extraction; MAE, and Ultrasound Assisted Extraction; UAE) to evaluate the impact of environmental conditions (temperature, illuminance and humidity) on the cultivation of hallucinogenic mushrooms of the species Psylocibe cubensis (B+ and Ecuatorian varieties) and the production of psychotropic alkaloids (psilocybin and psilocin) by this organism. The effect of several variables on the extraction yield was evaluated and the method was optimized using a Box-Behnken surface-response design. The first of the methods developed was published in the Journal of Fungi, MDPI. The methods developed were effective and allowed the extraction of large amounts of alkaloids in a short period of time. The score obtained in this work was 9.9 (Honors). My Master Thesis consisted of the development of an enzymatic extraction method of phenolic compounds from a sample of dried and ground Moringa oleifera leaves. Subsequently, these extracts were tested on BeWo cells, a placental choriocarcinoma cell line, in which an oxidative environment was induced by treatment with different concentrations of glucose, to mimic the intrauterine environment characteristic of patients suffering from gestational diabetes. The moringa extract obtained under optimal conditions showed high cytoprotective and antioxidant capacity. The extraction method developed is accepted for publication in the journal Antioxidants, published by MDPI. The score obtained in this work was 9.9 (Honors).