Mittelbrunn, Maria


Maria Mittelbrunn

Head of Immunometabolism & Inflammation lab at the Center of Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa, Miguel Servet Researcher at the Hospital 12 de Octubre and Associate Professor at Molecular Biology Department, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Dr. Mittelbrunn obtained her PhD degree, with Extraordinary Prize in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine in 2006. During her postdoc at the Prof. Sanchez-Madrid lab at National Center of Cardiovascular Research (CNIC, Madrid, Spain), Dr. Mittelbrunn studied the role of exosomes and exosomal RNA in cell-to-cell communication. The cornerstone of her work has been the discovery of the transfer of microRNA shuttled by exosomes through the immune synapses (Mittelbrunn et al. Nature Commun. 2011, highly cited paper, Top 1%), and the identification of the mechanism that controls the loading of miRNAs into exosomes (Villarroya-Beltri et al. Nature Commun. 2013, co-senior author, Top 1%). The relevance of these articles is reflected in 6 invited revisions (i.e. Mittelbrunn et al. Nature Rev. Mol Cell Biol, 2012). She completed her postdoctoral training with stay at Institute Curie (Paris) and Universidad de Oviedo where she acquired knowledge in molecular hallmarks of aging while contributing to a work on the loss of proteostasis in cancer (Nature Med., 2016).

Overall, her scientific work is summarized in 48 articles published in international journals that account for more than 4500 citations with an h-index of 34. The first contribution from her lab described the role of mitochondria metabolism controlling lysosome function and inflammatory response was published in Cell Metabolism (Baixauli et al, 2015). In 2015, she was prized by L’Oréal – UNESCO Women for Science. She collaborates with the Spanish Agency for Investigation (AEI) and with the Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria (FIS) since 2017, and routinely serves in national and international (France, Poland, Italy) committees for grant selection. She has been invited to give more than 20 talks in international meetings and institutions in the last 5 years, and she was founder member of the Spanish Group of Research in Extracellular Vesicles (GEIVEX). In 2017 she was awarded with a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) with the purpose of elucidating the molecular pathways linking immunometabolism in chronic inflammation and aging.