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Paola Bovolenta

Paola Bovolenta is currently “Profesor de Investigación” at the Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Neurobiology Department at the “Instituto Cajal” part of the “Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas” (CSIC, the Spanish Nacional Research Council).

She studied Biology at the University of Florence (Italy) where she graduated in 1981. In 1986, she obtained her PhD degree at the New York University, School of Medicine, (New York, USA) working in the laboratory of Prof. Carol A. Mason, where she studied the development of astroglial cells and mechanism of axon guidance in both the cerebellum and the visual system. To broaden her interest in developmental neurobiology she then moved to the Columbia University, Center for Neurobiology and Behaviour (NY), working as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Jane Dodd in close collaboration with the lab of Prof. Tom Jessell. During this period she extended her studies on growth cone behaviour using the spinal cord as a model system.

In 1989 she moved to the Cajal Institute of Madrid where she was as a Research Associate in the lab of Prof. Manuel Nieto-Sampedro, working on the role of proteoglycans as inhibitors of axon regeneration in the l SNC. Since 1996, she directs her own laboratory at the Cajal Institute. Her research focuses on the cellular and molecular interactions that allow the specification and differentiation of the distinct eye’s structures from the unpatterned neural plate and the role of different signalling pathway in the regulation of growth cone movement in the visual system. This works aims at the understanding of the molecular basis of congenital disorders such as microphthalmia, anapthalmia of coloboma. She is also interested in the molecular basis of congenital retinal dystrophies (RD).

She is authors of more than 80 publications, acts as reviewers for national and international research agencies, is members of the editorial board of different journals and currently she is acting as Coordinator of the Biology and Biomedicine Area of the CSIC.


CV of Paola Bovolenta [pdf]

Paola Bovolenta
Paola Bovolenta

Research Group

Lab 426

[more information]


Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

Consejo Superior Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CBMSO)

c/Nicolas Cabrera 1
Campus de la Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

28049 Madrid

Phone: + 34 91 196 4718
Fax: + 34 91 1964420


Key Publications

  1. Bovolenta P. Marco-Ferreres, R and Conte I. (2010) 
    Retinal development: Embryology and early patterning.
     In: Darlene A. Dartt, editor. Encyclopedia of the Eye, Vol 2. Oxford: Academic Press; p.69-75
  2. Bovolenta P. Marco-Ferreres, R and Conte I. (2010) 
    Retinal development: Embryology and early patterning. 
    In: Darlene A. Dartt, editor. Encyclopedia of the Eye, Vol 2. Oxford: Academic Press; p.69-75
  3. Esteve P. and Bovolenta P. (2010) 
    The advantages and disadvantages of Sfrp1 and Sfrp2 expression in pathological events: a mini-review. 
    Tohoku J. Exp. Med. 221, 11-17.
  4. Cubelos, B. Sebastián-Serrano, A., Beccari L., Calcagnotto M.E., Cisneros E., Kim S, Dopazo A., Alvarez-Dolado M., Redondo J.M., Bovolenta P., Walsh CA, and Nieto M. (2010) 
    Cux1 and Cux2 regulate dendritic branching, spine morphology and synapse formation of the upper layer neurons of the cortex.
    Neuron, 66, 523–535. (Selected in The Faculty of 1000)
  5. Conte I.* Marco-Ferreres, R.*, Beccari. L., Cisneros E., Ruiz JM and Bovolenta P. (2010)
    Proper differentiation of photoreceptors and amacrine cells depends on a regulatory loop between NeuroD and Six6. 
    Development 137, 2307-2317. *co-first authors
  6. Domanitskaya E, Wacker A, Mauti O., Baeriswyl O, Esteve P., Bovolenta P., and Stoeckli ET (2010). 
    Sonic hedgehog guides post-crossing commissural axons both directly and indirectly by regulating Wnt activity. 
    J. Neurosci. 30, 11167–
  7. Conte, I., Carrella, S.,Avellino, R. Karali M., Marco-Ferreres, R., Bovolenta P. and Banfi S. (2010) 
    miR-204 is required for lens and retinal development via Meis2 targeting. 
    Proc.Nat. Aca.Sci.USA 107:15491-15496.
  8. Sánchez-Camacho, C. Cano JA, Ocaña, I, Alcantara S, and Bovolenta P. (2010) 
    Appropriate Bmp7 levels are required for the timely differentiation of the guide post cells that support corpus callosum formation. 
    (Dev Neurobiol. )
  9. Esteve P., Sandonìs A., Cardozo M., Malapeira J., Ibañez C., Crespo I., Marcos S., Gonzalez-Garcia S., Toribio M.L., Arribas J., Shimono A., Guerrero I. and Bovolenta P. (2011).
    Sfrps act as negative modulators of ADAM10 to regulate retinal neurogénesis.
    Nat. Neurosci. 14, 562-569. (Selected in The Faculty of 1000)
  10. Esteve, P., Sandonìs A. Ibañez C., Shimono A., Guerrero I. and Bovolenta P. (2011)
    Secreted Frizzled-Related Proteins are required for Wnt/βcatenin signalling activation in the vertebrate optic cup.
    Development 138, 4179-4184. (Highlighs in “In this issue Development”)
  11. Beccari L., Conte I., Cisneros E. and Bovolenta P. (2012)
    Sox2-mediated differential activation of Six3.2 contributes to forebrain patterning.
    Development 139, 151-164.

Research Groups