Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Gómez Varela, David Dr.*

  • Since 2012 as Project Leader: Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, (Göttingen, Germany; AG Schmidt)
  • 2010-2012 as Assistant Scientist: Neurobiology Section, Biology Division. University California, (La Jolla, USA; Laboratory of Darwin K. Berg)
  • 2007-2010 as Postdoc: Neurobiology Section, Biology Division. University California, (La Jolla, USA; Laboratory of Darwin K. Berg)
  • 2004-2006 as Postdoc: Department of Molecular Biology of Neuronal Signals. Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, (Göttingen, Germany; Laboratory of Walter Stuehmer)
  • 1999-2004 as Ph.D.: Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, (Oviedo University, Spain)

Major Research Interests

The perception of and the appropriate reaction to external and internal stimuli is critical for survival. In vertebrates, different chemical, mechanical and thermal stimuli are detected by specialized somatic sensory neurons (nociceptors) which transfer these signals via the spinal cord to the brain.
These neurons are equipped with a complex molecular machinery that works as detection device able to discriminate among the vast array of normal and noxious stimuli that surround us. On the front line of these molecular sensors are several ion channels which together with their protein scaffolds are responsible of the transformation of external stimuli into interpretable electrical signals reaching the brain.

Our lab employs interactomics, genetic profiling, calcium-imaging, electrophysiology, neuronal tracing and mouse behavioral studies in order to identify and characterize unknown proteins implicated in these sensory modalities in both normal and pathological conditions.

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Gómez-Varela D, Schmidt M, Schoellerman J, Peters EC, Berg DK (2012) PMCA2 via PSD-95 controls calcium signaling by α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on aspiny interneurons. Journal of Neuroscience 32: 6894-905
  • Fernandes CC, Berg DK, Gómez-Varela D (2010) Lateral mobility of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on neurons is determined by receptor composition, local domain, and cell type. Journal of Neuroscience 30: 8841-51
  • Gómez-Varela D, Kohl T, Schmidt M, Rubio ME, Kawabe H, Nehring RB, Schäfer S, Stühmer W, Pardo LA (2010) Characterization of Eag1 channel lateral mobility in rat hippocampal cultures by single-particle-tracking with quantum dots. PLoS One 5(1):e8858
  • Neff RA 3rd, Gómez-Varela D, Fernandes CC, Berg DK (2009) Postsynaptic scaffolds for nicotinic receptors on neurons. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 30:694-701. Review
  • Gómez-Varela D, Zwick-Wallasch E, Knotgen H, Sanchez A, Hettmann T, Ossipov D, Weseloh R, Contreras-Jurado C, Rothe M, Stuhmer W, Pardo LA (2007) Monoclonal antibody blockade of the human Eag1 potassium channel function exerts antitumor activity. Cancer Res. 67, 7343-7349