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Anna Rosell Novel

Graduated in Biology (2001) and PhD in Medicine (2005), both at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. My scientific education and expertise has been focused in the translational study of stroke disease and therapies. I obtained a Miguel Servet research position in 2010 from the Spanish National Institute of Health and Research Agency (Instituto Carlos III), and since February 2016 I hold a Tenure position at VHIR as Principal Investigator and Head of the Neurovascular Research Laboratory.

Institutions of which they are part

Head of group
Neurovascular Diseases
Vall Hebron Institut de Recerca

Anna Rosell Novel

Institutions of which they are part

Head of group
Neurovascular Diseases
Vall Hebron Institut de Recerca

Graduated in Biology (2001) and PhD in Medicine (2005), both at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. My scientific education and expertise has been focused in the translational study of stroke disease and therapies. I obtained a Miguel Servet research position in 2010 from the Spanish National Institute of Health and Research Agency (Instituto Carlos III), and since February 2016 I hold a Tenure position at VHIR as Principal Investigator and Head of the Neurovascular Research Laboratory.

As a PhD student at Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) I was trained in the biomarkers field and clinical stroke studies, which gave me a solid understanding of the disease from a clinical perspective. After I moved to the United States for a Postdoctoral position at the Massachusetts General Hospital in a world-leading laboratory recognized for their experimental studies in cerebral ischemia (Neuroprotection Research Laboratory-MGH), which offered me the opportunity to extend my experience at a more basic and experimental level. I obtained a Miguel Servet position in 2010 from the Spanish National Institute of Health and Research Agency (Instituto Carlos III), and since February 2016 I hold a Tenure position at VHIR as Principal Investigator and since 2017 I am the head of the Neurovascular Research Laboratory. The main focus of my research is the search of new therapies for stroke patients based on neurorepair strategies with specific emphasis on the role of angio-vasculogenesis using nanomedicine and cell-therapy approaches for regenerative medicine. This has allowed me to obtain independent funding as PI from national agencies, Euronanomed program and private foundations, to supervise and guide PhD Students, Post-doctoral researchers, and establish national and International collaborations with other PIs in the neuroscience, regenerative medicine and nanotechnology fields. I do have the research accreditation of Associate Professor from AQU. My group has a distinction of Consolidated Research Group by AGAUR (2017SGR 1427) and belongs to the Spanish Cooperative Network for Research in Cerebrovascular Diseases (RICORS-2022).

Research lines

L4 Neurorepair

New therapies beyond the hyperacute phase of stroke are needed to be able to treat much more patients in delayed phases of this devastating disease. The idea that neurovascular plasticity contributes to stroke recovery can be a powerful concept for stroke therapy. Obviously, the therapeutic time window for interventions based on promoting recovery would be much larger than those for targeting acute stroke.  In this context, long-term neuroreparative therapies will  have to target the two essential phenomena to achieve brain neurorecovery after stroke: to restore the cerebral blood flow and to promote Neuroregeneration.


To achieve these major goals, both angiogenesis and neurogenesis need to be enhanced in the ischemic brain.


Classically, the formation of new blood vessels was thought to be mediated exclusively by embryogenic vasculogenesis followed by the sprouting of endothelial cells from preexisting vessels during angiogenesis. In the last decade, this standard dogma was overturned with the identification of the existence of circulating bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). These cells are capable of differentiating, ex vivo, into endothelial-phenotyped cells, and now comprise a new model for endothelial generation and vessel repair (Asahara et al., 1997). These cells comprise a potential cell-based and growth-factor source of an alternate approach to enhance angio-neurogenic responses. In fact, newborn neurons (neurogenesis) and new vascular components (angiogenesis) form a microenvironment that has been termed the neurovascular niche [Ohab et al., 2006] were angiogenesis and neurogenesis are linked thorough specific growth factors.


Angiogenesis and neurogenesis occur endogenously after stroke. Our goal is to study these two complex phenomena both in experimental and human studies to finally potentiate them correctly to improve brain function and neurorecovery after stroke.


Experimental Models and Techniques


In vivo stroke models:

Cerebral ischemia affecting the cortical territory of the Middle Cerebral Artery (MCA) is occluded at the level of the M1 portion (distal occlusion). This model has been chosen because presents very low mortality rates allowing long-term studies. Besides, the infarct is restricted to the cortex with clear boundary areas with normal cerebral blood flow and never affects neuroblast-rich areas such as the subventricular zone (then, both angiogenesis and neurogenesis can occur).


Functional outcome is assessed by the cylinder and corner tests which have been reported to be appropriate test for this type of cortical infarcts. Besides, histology and immunohistochemistry studies are conducted to evaluate brain repair and angio-neurogenic processes.

                 

Endothelial Progenitor Cell Cultures:

EPCs are obtained from the Mononuclear cell fraction of human blood and from mouse spleen. MNCs are cultured in fibronectin-coated plates with complete cell culture medium EGM-2MV.

   

Both in human and murine cell cultures yield an early EPC population (also called Circulating Angiogenic Cells) obtained at day 4-7 after plating and late outgrowth EPC colonies (also called Endothelial Colony Forming Cells) appear from day 10 as colonies with high proliferation capacity and tubulogenic capacity.


In vitro Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation: endothelial cells and Endothelial progenitor cells are challenged to a transitory Oxygen and Glucose deprivation to study their angio-vasculogenic responses to ischemia and to test how potential treatments that could modify these responses.


Angiogenesis-related techniques: angio-vasculogenic mechanisms are studied in a variety of in vitro assays including Matrigel® tubulogenesis, cell migration using trans-well assays or cell adhesion to a mature monolayer of endothelial cells. Our studies focus on the angio-vasculogenic responses of both Endothelial Progenitor Cells and mature endothelial cells such as the human cell line of microvascular endothelial cells (hCMEC/D3).

   

NMR Imaging: Bruker-BIOSPEC 70/30 USR, 7 T Preclinical MRI System is used for the neuroimaging studies. Neuroimaging studies are conducted in vivo to follow-up the ischemic lesion. Specific sequences are performed to assess axonal degeneration/regeneration and changes in cerebral blood flow and angiogenesis.


IP: Anna Rosell Novel

Projects

Beca VHIR PhD

IP: Anna Rosell Novel
Collaborators: Sira Rodrigo Bosch, Laia Perez Lasarte, Marta Kinga Klimczak , Marta Kinga Klimczak
Funding agency: Fundació Institut de Recerca HUVH
Funding: 69188.74
Reference: VPHD/MARTA_K
Duration: 15/05/2023 - 14/05/2026

Malalties neurovasculars

IP: Anna Rosell Novel
Collaborators: Mercedes Arrue Gonzalo, Joan Montaner Villalonga, Marcel Lamana Vallverdu, Anna Penalba Morenilla, Anna Bonaterra Pastra, Maria Mar Hernandez Guillamon, Olga Maisterra Santos, Maria Pilar Delgado Martínez, Antonio Palasi Franco, Jesús Pizarro Gonzálvez, Paula Garcia Rodriguez, Miguel García Gabilondo, Nicolas Garcia Rodriguez
Funding agency: Agència Gestió Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
Funding: 40000
Reference: 2021 SGR 00656
Duration: 01/01/2022 - 30/06/2025

Tratamientos endovasculares de neuroprotección y neuroreparación en la recuperación del ictus.

IP: Anna Rosell Novel
Collaborators: Anna Penalba Morenilla, Paula Garcia Rodriguez, Miguel García Gabilondo
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III
Funding: 141570
Reference: PI22/01055
Duration: 01/01/2023 - 31/12/2025

Endothelial progenitor cells labelled with superparamagnetic iron oxide micro and nanoparticles in cerebrovascular disorders, process for their preparation and uses thereof.

IP: Anna Rosell Novel
Collaborators: Miguel García Gabilondo
Funding agency: Generalitat de Catalunya - Departament de Salut
Funding: 71734.81
Reference: SLT017/20/000197
Duration: 01/07/2021 - 31/12/2023

Related news

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The Cardiovascular Diseases and Neurovascular Diseases groups at VHIR will investigate new therapeutic strategies for heart failure, nanomedicine in stroke and the prevention of cardiovascular toxicity in the case of oncological treatments.

La recerca és fonamental per contrarestar els efectes de la pol·lució, que segons l’AEMPS, va ser la causa de més de 300.000 morts prematures a la UE el 2020.

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