Dra. Asia Fernández Carvajal

Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department of Miguel Hernández University (UMH)

Asia Fernández Carvajal obtained her doctorate in Biochemistry in 1992. She is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department of Miguel Hernández University (UMH), Coordinator of the PhD program on Biotechnology healthcare organized by the IDiBE institute and Coordinator of the Erasmus mundus Master on translational cosmetics and dermatological sciences. Prof. Asia Fernandez has supervised 12 final degree projects, 8 master projects and 8 doctoral theses.

Throughout the scientific career, Prof. Fernández has focused on make a distinctly translational research in the field of Neurobiology sensory and, principally, to understand how sensory ion channels work. These channels play a central role in the transduction of pain and their pharmacological modulation is a central objective in biomedicine. In this sense, the search for compounds able to modulate the activity of these ion channels involved in the transduction of pain, has been one of the primary objectives of the research carried out by Prof. Fernandez. Major milestones in her research career are: (i) quality indicators: 78 publications (80% in Q1), h-index 28, 3500 citations, 6 chapter books, 25 competitive projects; (ii) clinical translation, a modulator of the thermoTRP channel TRPM8 in phase III clinical trials to the treatment of dry eye; a modulator of the thermoTRP channel TRPV1 in preclinical development for psoriatic pruritus; a modulator of the thermoTRP channel TRPM8 in preclinical development for cold allodinia and development and marketing of neuromodulators for sensitive skin; (iii) Technology transfer and exploitation, 4 patents in exploitation, 4 products marketed, scientific advisor of biotech company Prospera S.L and founder of 1 spin-off biotech company. At present, her research objectives are centered in understanding the role of thermoTRP channels in the pathophysiology of migraine, and if modulation of thermoTRP signaling by gonadal hormones may contribute to the higher prevalence of women to migraine. These studies include the developing and testing of anti-migraine compounds that may alleviate the symptoms of a migraine attack. For these purposes, she has developed in vitro assays for HTP screening and pre-clinical models of migraine, in both, rodents and transdifferentiated human sensory neurons in culture.

Prof. Fernández has established fruitful collaborations with other national and international groups active in the pain and sensory ion channels field: Rosario Gonzalez Muñiz (CSIC, Spain), Armando Genazzani, Tracey Pirely, Carla Distasi (UPO, Novara, Italy), Isabel Gonzalez Monterrrey (U. Naples, Italy), Pietro Campiglia (University of Salerno, Italy), Journigham Velvet (Marshall University, USA).

Currently, she serves on the editorial board of several journals, including Scientific Reports, Frontiers in Physiology and International Journal of Molecular Sciences. She also serves as scientific expert for several national agencies, AEI, DEVA, MCYT.