Connecting European Neuroscience

Marta Nieto

Programme Committee Member FENS Forum 2020

Curriculum Vitae

Professional and Academic Career 

  • Principal Investigator. Research line: Cerebral Cortical Development.
  • 2008-Actual: CSIC Principal Investigator. Spanish National Research Council.
  • Work address: Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology. Centro Nacional de Biotecnología. CSIC. Darwin 3, Campus de Cantoblanco. Madrid 28049
  • 2004-2008: Ramón y Cajal JrScientist. Principal Investigator. 5 year contract (CSIC). Madrid. National Center for Biotechnology (CNB). CSIC.
  • 06/2000-2004: Postdoctoral. Neuroscience, Dept. of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Laboratory of Christopher A. Walsh, M. D.
  • 1999-06/2000: Postdoctoral. IGBMC, Strasburg, France. Laboratory of Dr. Francois Guillemot.
  • 1998-1999: Postdoctoral. Department of Immunology. Hospital de la Princesa. UAM: Madrid. Laboratory of Dr Francisco Sanchez-Madrid.
  • 1993-1998: PhD. Department of Immunology. Hospital de la Princesa. UAM. Madrid. Laboratory of Dr. Francisco Sanchez-Madrid.

Honours and Awards

  • Ramón y Cajal Position Award. 2004
  • Lefler fellowship. Harvard Medical School. 2002
  • Long term Fellowship. International Human Frontiers Science Program organization. 2000.
  • Marie Curie training and Mobility Program Fellowship. 1999.
  • EMBO long-term postdoctoral fellowship. 1999.
  • Predoctoral Fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science. 1993.

General Administrative and Organisational Experience

Internat. congresses

  • 2019: Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Brain Repair.
  • 2018: 3rd RedDevNeural Annual Meeting
  • 2013: Simposia Ramón Areces. Building up the brain. P Bovolenta, M Nieto
  • 2011: Molecular mechanisms of neural circuit formation. M Nieto, G López-Bendito.
  • 2006-2008: Annual Workshop for Young Researchers Abroad-CNB. Organ. Commit. 


  • 2016: Dialogues of the cortex and hippocampus. L. de la Prida and M. Nieto.
  • 2014: Neurodevelopment.


  • 2007-2019: Reviewer ANEP-Spanish National Agency of Evaluation and Financing
  • Adhoc reviewer for: ANR; FRM; MRC.
  • 2018: Member of the reviewing panel for the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurosciences of Paris (IPNP, Hôpital St Anne, Paris) by Hceres
  • Committees for CNB/CSIC Internt PhD fellowship La Caixa. 1999; 2016 and 1999 for postdoctorals.
  • 2013-2015: Member of the training program committee Severo Ochoa Program for Excellence 2011 CSIC tenure comm. Developmental Biology and Neurobiology Adminis.
  • 2015-2017: Head of Department. Depart. of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Research Interests

Our brain contains an extraordinary number and diversity of neurons; they form the most complex functional networks found on biological systems. Our investigations aim at defining the developmental mechanisms and plasticity that wire the complex circuits of the mammalian cerebral cortex. A large number of functionally and molecularly different neuronal types specify brain cortical areas and coordinately control cerebral functions. Our broad main objectives are: (1) understanding the mechanisms of progressive specification and proliferation of progenitor cells and neuronal types; (2) how neuronal identity is translated into precise maps of connectivity; (3) investigate the neurons’ interplay with spontaneous and sensory activity; (4) provide bottom up perspectives to neurodevelopmental diseases (such as ASD or epilepsy); (5) repair and reprogramming. These investigations require the intersection of state-of-the art tools and perspectives from different fields of neuroscience.

Selected Publications

1. Weiss LA and Nieto M. The crux of Cux genes in neuronal function and plasticity. Brain Res. Mar 6. pii: S0006-8993(18) 30114-8. (2018)

2. Doan RN, Bae B, Johnson MB, Cubelos B, Chang C, Hossain AA, Al-Saad S, Mukaddes NM, Oner O, Al-Saffar M. The Homozygosity Mapping Consortium for Autism, Nieto M, Walsh CA. Mutations in Human Accelerated Regions Disrupt Cognition and Social Behavior. Cell. Oct 6; 167(2) :341-354. (2016)

3. Rodríguez-Tornos FM, Sebastián-Serrano A, Ares S, Esteban JA and Nieto M. Cux1 enables callosal inter-hemispheric connections of layer II-III neurons by modulating firing patterns. . Neuron Feb 3; 89(3) :494-506. (2016).

4. Cubelos B, Briz CG, Esteban-Ortega GM, and Nieto M. Cux1 and Cux2 selectively target basal and apical dendritic compartments of layer II-III cortical neurons. Develop Neurobiol. Jul 24. doi: 10.1002/dneu. 22215. (2014)

5. Rodríguez-Tornos F. M, San Aniceto I. and Nieto M. Enrichment of conserved synaptic activity-responsive element in neuronal genes predicts a coordinated response of MEF2, CREB and SRF. PLOS ONE 8(1) :e53848 (2013)

6. B. Cubelos, A. Sebastián-Serrano, E. Cisneros, L. Beccari, S. Kim, A. Dopazo, P. Bovolenta, J. M. Redondo, C. A. Walsh, and M. Nieto. Cux1 and Cux2 regulate dendritic branching, spine morphology and synapse formation of the upper layer neurons of the cortex. Neuron. May 27; 66(4) :523-35. (2010).

7. B. Cubelos, A. Sebastian-Serrano, S. Kim, JM. Redondo, CA. Walsh, M. Nieto. Cux-1 and Cux-2 control the development of Reelin expressing cortical interneurons. Develop Neurobiol. 68 (7) :917-25 (2008).

8. B. Cubelos, A. Sebastian-Serrano, S. Kim, J. M. Moreno-Ortiz. JM, Redondo, CA. Walsh, M. Nieto. Cux-2 controls proliferation of neuronal intermediate precursors of the cortical subventricular zone. Cer Cortex. Aug; 18(8) :1758-70. (2008)

9. M. Nieto, E. S. Monuki, H. Tang, J. Imitola, N. Haubst, S. J. Khoury, J. Cunningham, M. Gotz, C. A. Walsh. Expression of Cux-1 and Cux-2 in the cerebral cortical upper layer II-IV and subventricular zone. J Comp Neurol (2004). 479 (2): 168-80

10. M. Nieto, C. Schuurmans, O. Britz and F. Guillemot. Neural BHLH genes control the neuronal versus glial fate decision in cortical progenitors. Neuron. 29: 401-13. (2001).

Marta Nieto

Principal Investigator. Research line: Cerebral Cortical Development.
CSIC Tenure Track Position. Spanish National Research Council.
Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology. Centro Nacional de Biotecnología. CSIC. Darwin 3, Campus de
Cantoblanco. Madrid 28049.