Ana Sierra Martín

GENYO. Centro de Genómica e Investigación Oncológica, Pfizer / Universidad de Granada / Junta de Andalucía - Unidad de Apoyo a la Investigación de Microscopía e Imagen Molecular


I graduated in March 2007 with a BSc in Biology and I obtained a MS in Biotechnology in July 2010 at the University of Granada where I gained broader knowledge of immunology, ion transport, oxidative stress and central nervous system developmental mechanisms. This allowed me to focus my Master's Thesis on the morphofunctional characterization of the immature microglia activation process in organotypic cultures of embryonic quail retina, in the department of Cell Biology (University of Granada), where on April 2015 I defended my doctoral thesis named `Amoeboid microglia activation and neuronal cells death during quail retina development´. In this study, retinal explants were cultivated on a semipermeable membrane where the immature microglial cells were able to continue migrating to colonize different parts of the retina, as they would do in vivo, showing no signs of activation, which has enabled us to study activation of these immature cells from the beginning, without any prior activation due to the isolation and culturing of the retina. For activate amoeboid microglia, we treated the retina with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an endotoxin that has been used in numerous studies as a potent activator of mature and immature microglia. To conduct this research, several techniques both cell and molecular biology have been used. Thus, I have experience in retina dissection, organotypic cultures of quail and mouse embryo retina, immunohistochemistry, antibody purification and conjugation, criosections, Western Blot, PCR, flow cytometry and confocal microscopy.

During the Thesis development, I have explained and discussed the obtained results in several national and international congress and conferences and I have published some of the results of our group in international journals in the first quartile within the cell biology knowledge area.

Additionally I've been training in several courses as ethical use of animals in biomedical research as well as a training workshop for users spectral confocal microscopy. Besides my research work, I have teaching experience during two semesters at the University of Granada and during two years at the University of Barcelona where I teaching both theory lectures and laboratory practices in several grades in the area of life sciences.

Currently, I work as microscopy technician of the Microscopy and Molecular Imaging Unit of Centro Pfizer – Universidad de Granada – Junta de Andalucía de Genómica e Investigación Oncológica (GENYO), providing technical support in the area of confocal laser microscopy and laser capture microdissection, both to the research groups of the Center and outside entities.






Fundación Pública Andaluza Progreso y Salud


GENYO. Centro de Genómica e Investigación Oncológica, Pfizer / Universidad de Granada / Junta de Andalucía - Unidad de Apoyo a la Investigación de Microscopía e Imagen Molecular

Investigation Group

Microscopy and Molecular Imaging Unit

Lines of investigation

Microscopy and Molecular Imaging

The most notable result of your research

The most relevant results of my research have shown that immature microglia reacting against LPS in a similar way to the mature microglial cells. Thus, immature microglial cells change their morphology, increase their lysosomal compartment and therefore their metabolic activity, produce free radicals, specifically peroxynitrite and make contact with some of the retinal neurons influencing death of these cells during their development.

How did you come to science and why are you still here?

I arrived at the research after obtaining a research grant to develop my Doctoral Thesis, and I continue in the laboratories because I can not imagine my work far from them.

A scientific desire

A higher budget destined to research so necessary in numerous areas of life.


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