Light-based innovation for the biosciences

I did my undergraduate studies in physics in Uruguay and subsequently my PhD in nanomedicine in Ireland with Prof. Dawson, studying interactions between nanoparticles and different types of cells. As my interest in neuroscience became stronger, I moved to France where I spent 4 years working at the Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience with Dr. Groc and Dr. Cognet where I developed techniques to study living brain tissue at the nanoscale. I subsequently moved to the University of Cambridge to the labs of Dr.  Lee and Prof. Sir David Klenerman FRS to develop single-molecule techniques to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying dementia. I moved to the University of St. Andrews in 2019 to start my research group in the area of neurophotonics funded by an ERC Starting Grant.

Research Areas:

  • Protein aggregation in neuro-degeneration
  • Interactions between protein aggregates and neurotransmitter receptors
  • Clearance of protein aggregates from the extracellular space of the brain
  • Single-molecule biophysics

Juan Varela research group