Hospital del Mar Research Institute Hospital del Mar Research Institute

Cell-type mechanisms in normal and pathological behavior

Arnau Busquets Garcia, PhD

Arnau is the Principal Investigator in this research group. He obtained a degree in Biology (Pompeu Fabra University) in 2008, a Master’s in Neuroscience (Barcelona University) in 2009, and a PhD in Biomedicine (Pompeu Fabra University) in 2013. From 2014 to 2019 he worked as a postdoc in the Neurocentre Magendie in Bordeaux under the supervision of Dr. Giovanni Marsicano. Arnau's work on the involvement of cannabinoid receptors in different functions allowed him to  specialise his research into detailed cell-type specific mechanisms and their impact on complex behavioural responses.

In addition, he has always been interested in setting up new behavioural models and studying their underlying mechanisms.  Looking to the future, he wants to study the detailed molecular, cellular and behavioural mechanisms that explain complex physiological and pathological cognitive and/or social behaviours. Besides enjoying science, Arnau likes to run as much as he can, cooking and discovering new recipes and spending time with his friends and family.

Contact: abusquets(ELIMINAR)  

Carla Ramon Duaso, PhD.

Carla has been a postdoctoral researcher in the Busquets-Garcia Lab group since 2019. She is a pharmacist (Barcelona University, 2012) with a Master's degree in Molecular Biotechnology (Barcelona University, 2013) and a PhD in Biomedicine (Pompeu Fabra University, 2019).

During her PhD she focused on investigating the neurobiological correlates of behavioral alterations in mouse models of myotonic dystrophy 1, a rare disease, using a multidisciplinary approach. This allowed her to build expertise in the field of animal behaviour, pharmacology and genomics. She is currently working on characterising the murine model of Alzheimer's disease (APP/PS1) using different behavioral tasks and pharmacology looking to cannabinoid receptors as potential therapeutic targets against this disease. Outside the lab, Carla likes to relax by painting with watercolours, listening to music, and she is an animal lover, especially a cat lover.

Contact: cramon(ELIMINAR)


Julia Pinho, PhD.

Julia has been a postdoctoral researcher in the Busquets-Garcia Lab group since 2021. She was graduated in Cell and Molecular Biology (Faculty of Sciences and Technology - New University of Lisbon), in 2009, and has a Master`s in Neuroscience (Faculty of Medicine - University of Lisbon), in 2012 and a PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience (ISPA - Instituto Universitario, Lisbon, 2019).

As part of her PhD, she investigated the neural and behavioural mechanisms underlying social and asocial learning using an integrative approach. She is interested in exploring the mechanisms involved in complex learning processes including sensory preconditioning and second-order-conditioning and understanding the how the hippocampal cortical circuitries contribute to the formation and maintenance of those memories. Julia also wants to look at how manipulating the hippocampo-cortical circuitry could be a tool in neuropsychiatric diseases as associative inference is a fundamental process that is altered in the presence of neuropathology. Beyond science, Julia loves travelling, coming into contact with new cultures, and volunteering for the benefits of society.

Contact: julia13pinho(ELIMINAR)


Ana Rocio Conde, PhD.

Ana is a postdoctoral researcher in the Busquets-Garcia Lab. Her background is in psychology (Huelva University, 2011), and she has a Master's degree in Neuroscience and Behavioural Biology (Pablo de Olavide University, 2015) and a PhD in Neuroscience (Pablo de Olavide University, 2021). During her PhD, Ana studied the neuronal circuits underlying social behaviours in rodents, developing a protocol that allowed the study of cooperation in the laboratory context, using in vivo electrophysiology and molecular techniques.

She is currently,working on calcium imaging and optogenetic techniques to study the brain mechanisms involved in acquiring and maintaining complex associative learning, focusing on the hippocampus and its projection areas. In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading and going to the cinema

Contact: anarocio.conde(ELIMINAR) 


Jose Antonio González Parra, MSc, pre-doctoral student.

Jose is a pre-doctoral student in the laboratory of Dr. Arnau Busquets. He graduated with a degree in Biology  from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) in 2018 and he has a Master's in Neuroscience also from UAB (2019). In February 2020 he joined the laboratory of Dr. Arnau Busquets to further indulge his curiosity in science as a pre-doctoral student.

Jose’s previous work during his degree and for hi Master's dissertation has been focused on sex specific differences in fear memory using a protocol of fear conditioning and a murine model. Now, in his new career path in the laboratory of Arnau Busquets his work will focus on deciphering the specific hippocampo-cortical circuitry implicated in the formation and maintenance of incidental associations in higher-order conditioning using a sensory preconditioning protocol and its implications in neuropathology. Apart from discovering new scientific avenue, Jose also likes exploring the world with his backpack in the company of good music and books, playing  racquet sports like tennis and beach tennis and he is a catlover too!

Contact: jgonzalez1(ELIMINAR)


Laura Vidal Palencia, DVM, pre-doctoral student.

Laura is doing an internship in this research group. She obtained a degree in Veterinary Medicine (Autonomous University of Barcelona) in 2020 and is currently studying for a Master's degree in Neuroscience at Barcelona University.  She joined the laboratory to do her Master's project for Alzheimer's disease (AD) under the supervision of Dr. Arnau Busquets. Recently, she was awarded a PhD fellowship to do her doctoral studies in the same lab. Specifically, she is focusing on the molecular bioenergetic link between cannabinoids and AD.

In her spare time, Laura enjoys reading books, watching TV shows, running, swimming and even hiking while listening to a good podcast.

Contact: lvidal(ELIMINAR)


Violeta Jorge, pre-doctoral student (also in the UPF NeuroPhar Lab 

Violeta has a degree in Biology from the Autonomous University of Madrid and enjoyed an Erasmus stay in Belgium (University of Hasselt) in 2019. After her BSc, she decided to move to Barcelona to do a Master’s in Integrative physiology (Barcelona University) in 2020 and she has just started her PhD in this research group.

Violeta has explored different biology related topics, finally focused her research in the field of neuroscience. Her undergraduate thesis was on the influence of oxidative stress in plants, and for her Master's final project she looked at muscle regeneration in fish. During her PhD, she is going to carry out experiments involving higher-order conditioning in addicted mice. In her free time, she loves travelling and discovering new cities and cultures, but she also likes reading books, doing sport, and enjoying delicious dinners with her family and friends.

Contact: violetacarmen.jorge(ELIMINAR)



Arnau Busquets(ELIMINAR)

93 3160390

Dr. Aiguader, 88, 2ª Planta
08003 Barcelona

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