Autophagy is a field of current intense investigation although the tools to its study in tissues and in vivo are still quite scarce. My laboratory is pioneer in the development of new methods to study autophagic flux in vivo and in several tissues including the mouse retina. We are also interested selective autophagy, such as mitophagy, where mitochondria are specifically targeted for degradation inside lysosomes. We have recently developed a new quantitative method to asses mitophagy flux by flow cytometry in cells and tissues.
We have several joint research projects with companies to find new therapeutic agents, targeting autophagy for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. For that we have developed screening methods to search for new autophagy regulators that could provide new therapies in the future. In addition, our research has resulted in three patents and I we participate in the spinoff, ProRetina Therapeutics, a company aimed at developing new cures for retinal dystrophies. We would like to continue the collaborations with the private sector to try to find new therapies for human diseases based on autophagic pathways. 



Selected Publications 

The mito-QC reporter for quantitative mitophagy assessment in primary retinal ganglion cells and experimental glaucoma models. Rosignol I, Villarejo-Zori B, Teresak P, Sierra-Filardi E, Pereiro X, Rodríguez-Muela N, Vecino E, Vieira HLA, Bell K, Boya P. IJMS, 2020, In press. 

A comparative map of macroautophagy and mitophagy in the vertebrate eye. McWilliams TG, Prescott AR, Villarejo-Zori B, Ball G, Boya P, Ganley IG. Autophagy. 2019:1-13. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2019.1580509. 

Standard Assays for the Study of Autophagy in the Ex Vivo Retina. Gómez-Sintes R, Villarejo-Zori B, Serrano-Puebla A, Esteban-Martínez L, Sierra-Filardi E, Ramírez-Pardo I, Rodríguez-Muela N, Boya P. Cells. 2017 Oct 22;6(4).

Cytofluorometric Assessment of Mitophagic Flux in Mammalian Cells and Tissues. Esteban-Martinez L, Villarejo-Zori B, Boya P. Methods Enzymol. 2017;588:209-217.

Autophagic flux determination in vivo and ex vivo. Esteban-Martínez L, Boya P. Methods. 2015 Mar;75:79-86.

New method to assess mitophagy flux by flow cytometry. Mauro-Lizcano M, Esteban-Martínez L, Seco E, Serrano-Puebla A, Garcia-Ledo L, Figueiredo-Pereira C, Vieira HL, Boya P. Autophagy 2015 11:833-43.