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Helmholtz Munich | ©Michael Haggenmueller

Prof. Dr. Cristina García Cáceres

Deputy Director and Head of Astrocyte-Neuron Network Unit, IDO

“Astrocytes were until recently considered less relevant than neurons, but we provide evidence supporting that the functioning of those glial cells is required for the brain governs systemic metabolism including blood pressure in obesity”

“Astrocytes were until recently considered less relevant than neurons, but we provide evidence supporting that the functioning of those glial cells is required for the brain governs systemic metabolism including blood pressure in obesity”

Career

Prof. Dr. García-Cáceres was originally recruited to the Helmholtz Munich in 2012 from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid as a Postdoctoral Scientist, and in 2015 was promoted to lead the Astrocyte-Neuron Network Unit at the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity. Since then, she has established and consolidated her own research group focused on studying the properties and physiological consequences of the communication between neurons and astrocytes, aiming to understand the role of those glial cells in physiological and pathological aspects of brain function in the neuroendocrine control of metabolism. Her work was awarded by the prestigious ERC Starting Grant and has already resulted in a paradigm shift in how glucose gets into the brain and how hypothalamic astrocytes tune sympathetic outflow towards cardiovascular target organs for controlling blood pressure.

Fields of Work and Expertise

Obesity  neuroendocrinologyhypothalamusgliaastrocytes

Professional Background

2021

W2 Professor

W2 Professor of Neuroendocrinology of Systems Metabolism at the Faculty of Medicine of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) and the Helmholtz Munich.

2018

Deputy Director at the Institute

Deputy Director at the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at Helmholtz Munich, Munich, Germany.

2018

Co-leadership and coordinator

Co-leadership and coordinator of the Brain Academy at the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and Associate Investigator of Munich Cluster For Systems Neurology (Synergy).

2015

Head of the Astrocyte-Neuron Networks

Head of the Astrocyte-Neuron Networks Unit at the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity, Helmholtz Diabetes Center at Helmholtz Munich, Munich, Germany.

Honors and Awards

2017
Awarded by ERA-NET NEURON for Excellent Paper in Neuroscience (EPNA) 2017. Astrocytic Insulin Signaling Couples Brain Glucose Uptake with Nutrient Availability. Cell. 2016 Aug 11;166(4):867-80
2018
ERC Starting Grant (ERC-ST2017) by European Research Council. Project: Astrocyte-Neuronal Crosstalk in Obesity and Diabetes (Project number: 757393)
2021
Awarded by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres for the establishment of W2 professorship
2022
DAG Research Award

Highlight Publications

More on PubMed

2021 Apr 30 Cell Metab. S1550-4131(21)00173-X

Gruber T, Pan C, Contreras-Cardone R., Le Thuc O., Legutko B., Ruiz-Ojeda FJ, Fuente-Fernández M., García-Villalón AL., González-Hedström D., Houben AJHM., Müller TD., Ussar S., Pfluger PT., Woods SC., Joris PJ., Ertürk A., Granado M., Horvath TL., Tschöp MH., García-Cáceres C

Obesity-associated hyperleptinemia alters the gliovascular interface of the hypothalamus to promote hypertension

This work has been highlighted by Tysoe, O. Hypothalamic vascular remodelling in obesity. Nat Rev Endocrinol17, 382 (2021). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41574-021-00511-3.pdf

2016 Aug 11 Cell 166(4):867-80

García-Cáceres C, Quarta C, Varela L, Gao Y, Gruber T, Legutko B, Jastroch M, Johansson P, Ninkovic J, Yi CX, Le Thuc O, Szigeti-Buck K, Cai W, Meyer CW, Pfluger PT, Fernandez AM, Luquet S, Woods SC, Torres-Alemán I, Kahn CR, Götz M, Horvath TL, Tschöp MH

Astrocytic Insulin Signaling Couples Brain Glucose Uptake with Nutrient Availability

This work was awarded with ERA-NET NEURON for Excellent Paper in Neuroscience (2017)

Networks and Affiliations

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

European Research Council

SyNergy

German Center for Diabetes Research

Helmholtz Association