Beatriz Rico

Professor Beatriz Rico, KCL, UK

Building cortical networks: from molecules to function

13:00 - 14:00, Tuesday 13th April 


Beatriz RicoBeatriz Rico is a Professor of Developmental Neurobiology. She received her PhD in the University Autónoma of Madrid and she did her postdoctoral research in University of California at San Francisco. In 2004 she got a Ramon y Cajal position at the Institute of Neuroscience in Alicante (IN), Spain (CSIC-UMH), and then in 2005 she become an Assistant Professor at the CSIC in the IN. In 2014, she was recruited with a Professorship position at King’s College London. Rico’s lab is interested in understanding how genes are involved in the development of neuronal circuits. In the last years, her lab has highlighted the relevance of cortical GABAergic circuitries in the pathophysiology of developmental disorders. Her work was recognised by the European Molecular Biology Organisation with an EMBO YIP 2010 and she has been granted with and ERC Consolidator and ERC Advanced grants. Beatriz is a Wellcome Trust Investigator.


In our day life, animal behaviours rely in a very precise connectivity between neurons in the brain that can be modulated by experience. In the mammalian cerebral cortex these connections reach an extraordinary complexity. The remarkable diversity and connectivity patterns of cortical interneurons place them in a unique position to orchestrate functionally relevant circuit-specific roles and critically shape cortical function. Consistently, GABAergic dysfunction has been implicated in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. How are these cortical circuitries built? How do they respond to activity and what happens when their development fails? are questions that we are addressing in my laboratory. We have identified cell-specific molecular signatures that are used by the interneurons during early wiring and underlie the specification of different patterns of connectivity and function.

Additional websites

See the Rico lab website here