Name: Luis Barbeito MD
Affiliation: Institute Pasteur in Montevideo
Luis Barbeito has worked for almost three decades in the deciphering the cellular basis and therapeutics of neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, he and collaborators have analyzed the pathogenic role of glial cells in regulating motor neuron death in preclinical models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), leading to the preclinical characterization of several drugs targeting glial cells such as riluzole, mitoQ, dichloroacetate and masitinib. One major research contribution was aimed at understanding how the cellular microenvironment surrounding motor neurons can regulate the ALS progression after disease onset. The discovery of a distinct population of aberrant and neurotoxic glial cells has allowed Dr Barbeito’s group to propose innovative therapeutic approaches to specifically kill these cells using cancer drugs such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, that are being tested translationally. Luis Barbeito has published over 100 articles in international scientific journals and has tutored many PhD students in the field of motor neuron diseases. He is a member of the National Academy of Science of Uruguay and of the Third World Academy of Science (TWAS).