First name: Alexandru
Date and place of birth: January 27-th, 1971, Bucharest
Marital status: married, two children
Work address: Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest, Splaiul Independentei 91-95, 050095 Bucharest, Romania
Education and degrees:
1995, Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest, BSc in Physics
1997, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest, MSc in Neurobiology
2002, University of Bucharest, Ph.D. in Biology “Summa cum laude”
1. 1996–2008 junior teaching assistant, teaching assistant, lecturer and reader at the Department of Animal Physiology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest
2. May-July, September-December, 2002, post-doctoral research associate at the Department of Pharmacology, Cambridge University, UK
3. Since October 2008 Professor in Neurobiology at the Department of Animal Physiology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest
1. 1995, TEMPUS fellowship at INSERM, Unite 299, Hopital de Bicetre, Institut de Pathologie Cellulaire, Paris, France
2. 1997, TEMPUS fellowship at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Biophysik, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
1998-1999-2000, Max-Planck and DAAD fellowships at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Biophysik, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
3. 2000, 2001, research-assistant at the Sobell Department, Institute of Neurology, University College, London, UK
4. 2001, NATO fellowship at the Institute of Physiology, Justus-Liebig-Universitaet Giessen, Germany
5. 2002 Junior Fellowship, Physiological Society, Department of Pharmacology, Cambridge University
6. 2003, 2005, visiting scientist and FEBS fellowship at the Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad Miguel Hernandez, San Juan de Alicante, Spain.
7. 2006, Alexander von Humboldt fellowship at the Institut fuer Physiologie und Experimentelle Pathophysiologie, Friedrich-Alexander Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg, Erlangen, Germany
8. 2011, EMBO short-term fellowship, Institute de Pharmacologie Moleculaire et Cellulaire, Sophia Antipolis, France
1. 2009, The Luigi Galvani Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of bioelectrochemistry, The Bioelectrochemical Society
2. 2005, Award for an outstanding poster presentation, The International Workshop on Ion Channels, Physiological Society, Seville, Spain
3. 2002, Young Investigator Award, Romanian Research Council
Oral presentations at international conferences:
1. The 20th International Symposium on Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, Sibiu, Romania, 2009
2. The 87th Annual Meeting of the German Physiological Society, Köln, Germany, 2008
3. The Joint Meeting of the Physiological Society, the Federation of European Physiological Society and the Slovak Physiological Society, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2007
4. The 86th Annual Meeting of the German Physiological Society, Hannover, Germany, 2007
5. The 2nd International Conference of the National Neuroscience Society of Romania, Bucharest, Romania, 2006
6. The Annual Physiological Society Meeting, Bristol University, Bristol, UK, 2005
7. The Physiological Society Meeting, Glasgow University, Glasgow, UK, 2004
8. The 1st International Conference of the National Neuroscience Society of Romania, Bucharest, Romania, 2003
9. The 4th EFIC (The European Federation of the International Association for the Study of Pain) Congress, Prague, The Czech Republic, 2003
10. The 12th Balkan Biochemical and Biophysical Meeting – Bucharest, Romania, 2001
11. The Young Scientist Symposium at the 18th International FEBS Congress, Birmingham, UK, 2000.
Lecturer at International Schools
1. The international Autumn School “Biophysics & Bioelectrochemistry for Medicine: Basic Concepts, New Techniques and Application Perspective”, October 1-6, 2010, Vulcan, Romania
2. The International Spring School in Biophysics & Bioelectrochemistry for Medicine, May 6-10, 2009, Cisnadioara, Romania
Organizer of international conferences:
1. PENS Workshop on “Mechano-transduction and nociception”, University of Bucharest, August 25-30, 2007
2. International IBRO Course in Neuroscience: University of Bucharest, May 3-11, 2004, with Prof. Uel Jackson McMahan, Stanford University, USA
Member of scientific organizations:
Romanian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (affiliate to FEBS)
The National Neuroscience Society of Romania (affiliate to FENS)
Physiological Society, UK
Reviewer for Neuroscience, Nature protocols, Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, the Wellcome Trust
My research is currently focused on the molecular mechanisms of sensory transduction in peripheral mammalian thermoreceptors and nociceptors. Using a combination of electrophysiological and imaging techniques, I have been involved in the characterization of cold-sensitive neurons in rodent dorsal root ganglia. We have shown that more than one neuronal population is involved in cold detection and we have described for the first time a novel type of cold-sensitive neuron with rapid adaptation to cooling stimuli. Recently, we have begun to investigate the modulation of the two ion channels most likely to be involved in cold-sensing: TRPM8 and TRPA1. We have shown that pro-inflammatory mediators such as bradykinin and prostaglandin E2 have an inhibitory effect on TRPM8 expressing neurons, which is mediated by activation of protein kinase C and protein kinase A, respectively. Work in progress is aimed at understanding the role of the high-threshold, heat-activated channel TRPV2 in noxious heat sensing in mammalian sensory neurons.
Engel, M. A., Leffler, A., Niedermirtl, F., Babes, A., Zimmermann, K., Filipović, M. R., Izydorczyk, I., Eberhardt, M., Kichko, T. I., Mueller-Tribbensee, S. M., Khalil, M., Siklosi, N., Nau, C., Ivanović-Burmazović, I., Neuhuber, W. L., Becker, C., Neurath, M. F., Reeh, P. W. (211), “TRPA1 and substance P mediate colitis in mice”, Gastroenterology, 141(4): 1346-1358.
Babes, A., Ciobanu, A. C., Neacsu, C., Babes, R. M. (2011), “TRPM8, a Sensor for Mild Cooling in Mammalian Sensory Nerve Endings”, Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 12(1): 78-88.
Neacsu, C., Babes, A. (2010), “The M-channel blocker linopirdine is an agonist of the capsaicin receptor TRPV1”, Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, 114(3): 332-340.
Babes, A., Fischer, M.J., Reid, G., Sauer, K., Zimmermann, K., Reeh, PW. (2010), “Electrophysiological and neurochemical techniques to investigate sensory neurons in analgesia research”, Methods in Molecular Biology, 617:237-259.
Neacsu, C., Ciobanu, C., Barbu, I., Toader, O., Szegli, G., Kerek, F., Babes, A. (2010), “Substance MCS-18 isolated from Helleborus purpurascens is a potent antagonist of the capsaicin receptor, TRPV1, in rat cultured sensory neurons”, Physiological Research, 59:289-298.
Ciobanu, C., Reid, G., Babes, A. (2009), “Acute and chronic effects of neurotrophic factors BDNF and GDNF on responses mediated by thermo-sensitive TRP channels in cultured rat dorsal root ganglion neurons”, Brain Research, 1284:54-67.
Zimmermann, K., Leffler, A., Babes, A., Cendan, C. M., Carr, R. W., Kobayashi, J., Nau, C., Wood, J. N., Reeh, P. (2007), “Sensory neuron sodium channel Nav1.8 is essential for pain at low temperatures”, Nature, 447:855-859.
Leffler, A., Linte, R., Nau, C., Reeh, P., Babes, A. (2007), “A high-threshold heat-activated channel in cultured rat dorsal rot ganglion neurons resembles TRPV2 and is blocked by gadolinium", European Journal of Neuroscience, 26:12-22.
Linte, R.M., Ciobanu, C., Reid, G., Babes, A. (2007), “Desensitization of cold- and menthol-sensitive rat dorsal root ganglion neurones by inflammatory mediators”, Experimental Brain Research, 178(1): 89-98
Babes, A., Zorzon, D., Reid, G. (2006), “A novel type of cold-sensitive neurone in rat dorsal root ganglia with rapid adaptation to cooling stimuli”, European Journal of Neuroscience, 24(3): 691-698
Babes, A., Zorzon, D., Reid, G. (2004), “Two populations of cold sensitive neurones in rat dorsal root ganglia and their modulation by nerve growth factor”, European Journal of Neuroscience, 20: 2276-2282
Reid, G., Babes, A., Pluteanu, F. (2002), “A cold- and menthol-activated current in rat dorsal root ganglion neurones: properties and role in cold transduction”, Journal of Physiology, 545 (2): 595-614
Marden, M. C., Cabanes, M., Babes, A., Kiger, L., Griffon, N., Poyart, C., Boyiri, T., Safo, M. K., Abraham, D. J. (2002) “Control of the allosteric equilibrium of hemoglobin by crosslinking agents”, Protein Science, 11: 1376-1383
Babes, A., Amuzescu, B., Krause, U., Scholz, A., Flonta, M.-L., Reid, G., (2002), “Cooling inhibits capsaicin-induced currents in cultured rat dorsal root ganglion neurones”, Neuroscience Letters, 317(3): 131-134
Babes, A., Lorinczi, E., Ristoiu, V., Flonta, M.-L., Reid G., (2001), “Slowing of inactivation at positive potentials in a rat axonal K+ channel is not due to preferential closed-state inactivation”, Physiological Research, 50: 557-565
Babes, A., Fendler K., (2000), “Na+ transport and the E1P-E2P conformational transition of the Na+/K+-ATPase”, Biophysical Journal, 79: 2557-2571
Ganea, C., Babes, A., Lupfert, C., Grell, E., Fendler, K., Clarke, R. J., (1999), “Hofmeister effects of anions on the kinetics of partial reactions of the Na+,K+-ATPase”, Biophysical Journal, 77: 267-281