Area de estudio

Laboratorio de Fisiología Sensorial

Dr. Esteban Beckwhith
DIRECTOR DE PROYECTO

Investigador Adjunto CONICET
estebanbeck@gmail.com

En el laboratorio estamos comenzando una serie de líneas de trabajo que se centran en entender cuál es la función del sueño, y cómo se regula, tanto en condiciones normales como durante infecciones bacterianas. En una primera instancia hay cuatro líneas de trabajo que queremos explorar:

Líneas de Investigación:

Rol del sueño en el funcionamiento del sistema inmune innato

La función del sueño desvela a la humanidad desde tiempos inmemoriales. Hoy sabemos algunas cosas sobre para qué dormimos, o cuáles son los efectos beneficiosos de un buen descanso. Pero queda mucho por descubrir. Utilizando un equipo que permite medir e interrumpir el sueño nos proponemos inducir privaciones de sueño agudas y crónicas, para luego estudiar cómo esto afecta la función del sistema inmune innato.

 

Role of sleep in the functioning of the innate immune system

Sleep function intrigues humanity since immemorial times. Today we know some things about what we sleep for, and which are the benefits of good rest. However, much remains to be discovered. Using a specially developed equipment that allows us to measure and impair sleep, we propose to induce acute and chronic sleep deprivation, to then study how these treatments affect the function of the innate immune system.

Las interacciones sociales como un regulador del sueño

Desde un punto de vista clásico, el sueño se regula por el reloj circadiano y por el homeostato del sueño, que nos indica hace cuanto que estamos despiertos. Sin embargo, mucha evidencia indica que hay otros reguladores muy potentes, entre ellos las interacciones sociales. Nos proponemos adaptar nuestra plataforma de registro de sueño para poder evaluar este comportamiento en grupos de animales y estudiar como el contexto social, el tipo y cantidad de interacciones o el aislamiento impactan en este comportamiento.

 

Social interactions as a sleep regulator

From a classical point of view, sleep is regulated by the circadian clock and the sleep homeostat. However, mounting evidence indicates that there are other very powerful regulators, among which social interactions stand out. We propose to adapt our sleep recording platform to be able to evaluate this behaviour in groups of flies and study how the social context, the type and quantity of the interactions or isolation influences this behaviour.

Bases genéticas de la regulación del sueño

Una de las riquezas de utilizar a Drosophila como animal de estudio es que permite estudiar con mucho detalle y resolución la función de los genes, y como estos están ligados a ciertos comportamientos. En los últimos años hemos identificado dos genes que, al eliminarlos, los animales ven alterados sus patrones de sueño, tanto en cantidad como en distribución a lo largo del día. El objetivo de este proyecto es estudiar estos genes, cómo se regulan por la falta de sueño, dónde son necesarios, y cuál es su relación con la regulación del sueño, entre otras preguntas relacionadas.

 

Genetic bases of sleep regulation

A striking benefit of employing Drosophila as an animal model is that it allows us to study genes in detail and with high temporal and special resolution, allowing us to link them to specific behaviours. In recent years, we have identified two genes that, when eliminated, alter sleep patterns, both in quantity and in distribution throughout the day. The objective of this project is to study these genes and its relationship with sleep. We will need to address how they are regulated along the sleep/wake cycle, how they respond to the lack of sleep, where they are necessary, and how they affect sleep regulation.

El efecto de la infección bacteriana en el comportamiento.

Así como proponemos que el sueño tiene un impacto sobre el funcionamiento del sistema inmune innato, también sabemos que la activación del sistema inmune innato mediada por algunas infecciones bacterianas produce un cambio en el perfil de actividad y reposo de las moscas (y muchos otros animales!). Conocemos qué vías de señalización son necesarias para este cambio comportamental y queremos investigar dónde estas vías son necesarias, cómo fluye la información desde que se detecta la infección hasta el cambio comportamental y cuáles son los centros neuronales y los genes que intervienen en este proceso.

 

The effect of bacterial infection on behaviour.

The relationship between sleep and immunity is bidirectional. In this context, we know that the activation of the innate immune system, mediated by some bacterial infections, produces a change in the activity and resting profiles of many animals. Previous results of our lab showed which signalling pathways are necessary for this behavioural change, and we want to investigate where these pathways are necessary, how information flows from the infection-detection to the behavioural change, and which are the neuronal centres and genes that intervene in this process.

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Publicaciones

In total, I have published 15 scientific articles. In eight of these articles, I am the first author, and I am the corresponding author in two. In addition, I am a co-author in six articles.

 

15-      “Sleep in Drosophila and Its Context”. Esteban J. Beckwith* and Alice S. French. Frontiers in Physiology. 2019. DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01167. Literature review.

*Corresponding author

14-      “Most sleep does not serve a vital function. Evidence from Drosophila melanogaster” Quentin Geissmann*, Esteban J. Beckwith* and Giorgio F. Gilestro. Science Advances. 2019. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9253.

*Equal contribution

13-      “Rethomics: an R framework to analyse high-throughput behavioural data”. Quentin Geissmann, Luis Garcia Rodriguez, Esteban J. Beckwith and Giorgio F. Gilestro. PLoS One. 2019. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209331.

12-      “Ethoscopes: an open platform for high-throughput ethomics”. Quentin Geissmann, Luis Garcia Rodriguez, Esteban J. Beckwith, Alice S. French, Arian R. Jamasb and Giorgio F. Gilestro. PloS Biol. 2017. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2003026.

11-       “Regulation of sleep homeostasis by sexual arousal”. Esteban J. Beckwith, Quentin Geissmann, Alice S. French and Giorgio F. Gilestro. eLife. 2017. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.27445.

10-      “Rhythmic behavior is controlled by the SRm160 splicing factor in Drosophila melanogaster”. Esteban J. Beckwith, Carlos E. Hernando, Sofía Polcowñuk, Agustina P. Bertolin, Estefania Mancini, M. Fernanda Ceriani and Marcelo J. Yanovsky. Genetics. 2017.

DOI: 10.1534/genetics.117.300139.

9-         “Communication between circadian clusters: The key to a plastic network”. Esteban J. Beckwith* and M. Fernanda Ceriani*. FEBS letters. 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2015.08.017. *Co-corresponding authors. Literature review.

8-         “Experimental assessment of the network properties of the Drosophila circadian clock”. Esteban J. Beckwith, and M. Fernanda Ceriani. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 2015. DOI: 10.1002/cne.23728.

7-         “Circadian regulation of gene expression: at the crossroads of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory networks”. Esteban J. Beckwith and Marcelo J. Yanovsky. Current opinion in genetics & development. 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.gde.2014.03.007. Literature review.

6-         “Circadian period integrates network information through activation of the BMP signaling pathway”. Esteban J. Beckwith, E. Axel Gorostiza, Jimena Berni, Carolina Rezával, Agustín Pérez-Santángelo, Alejandro D. Nadra and M. Fernanda Ceriani. PloS Biol. 2013.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001733.

5-         “Functional Conservation of Clock Output Signaling between Flies and Intertidal Crabs”. Esteban J. Beckwith, Katherine R. Lelito, Yun-Wei A. Hsu, Billie M. Medina, Orie Shafer, M. Fernanda Ceriani and Horacio O. de la Iglesia. Journal of Biological Rhythms. 2011.

DOI: 10.1177/0748730411420242.

4-         “Adult-specific electrical silencing of pacemaker neurons uncouples the molecular oscillator from circadian outputs”. Ana Depetris-Chauvin1, Jimena Berni, Ezequiel J. Aranovich, Nara I. Muraro, Esteban J. Beckwith, and M. Fernanda Ceriani. Current Biology. 2011.

DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.09.027.

3-         “A methyl transferase links the circadian clock to the regulation of transcription and alternative splicing”. Sabrina E. Sanchez*, Ezequiel Petrillo*, Esteban J. Beckwith, Xu Zhang, Matias L. Rugnone, C. Esteban Hernando, Juan C. Cuevas, Micaela A. Godoy Herz, Ana Depetris-Chauvin, Craig G. Simpson, John W. S. Brown, Pablo D. Cerdán, Justin O. Borevitz, Paloma Mas, M. Fernanda Ceriani, Alberto R. Kornblihtt and Marcelo J. Yanovsky. Nature. 2010.

DOI: 10.1038/nature09470. *Equal contribution.

2-         “A functional misexpression screen uncovers a role for enabled in progressive neurodegeneration”. Carolina Rezával, Jimena Berni, E. Axel Gorostiza, Santiago Werbajh, M. Marta Fagilde, María Paz Fernández, Esteban J. Beckwith, E. Aranovich, Carmen Sabio y García and M. Fernanda Ceriani. PLoS One. 2008. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003332.

1-         “The axon-guidance roundabout gene alters the pace of the Drosophila circadian clock”. Jimena Berni, Esteban J. Beckwith, María Paz Fernandez and M. Fernanda Ceriani. European Journal of Neuroscience. 2008. DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2007.06010.x.

Congresos y Reuniones Científicas

INVITED SPEAKER AT CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS (LAST 5 YEARS)

2020

– Insects Infection & Immunity meeting, organized by The Royal Entomological Society.

– On line seminar at Departamento Física Médica, Centro Atómico Bariloche, Argentina. Invited by Dr. Lorena Franco

2019

– Faculty of Natural Science seminar, Imperial College London, UK. Invited by the Dean, Professor Tom Welton.

2018

– Seminar at University of Würzburg. Invited by Professor Dr. Charlotte Förster, Chair of Neurobiology and Genetics. Biocenter of the University of Würzburg, Germany.

– Seminar at University of Sussex. Invited by Professor Claudio Alonso, Sussex Neuroscience, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.

– Seminar at Instituto de Biología Celular y Neurociencias, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentine.

– Seminar at Departamento de Fisiología, Biología Molecular y Celular, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentine.

– Seminar at Instituto de Investigación en Biomedicina de Buenos (IBioBA), Argentine.

– Seminar at Fundación Instituto Leoir, Buenos Aires, Argentine.

2017

– Seminar at Bristol University. Invited by Dr. James Hodge, Senior Lecturer, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

2016

– 16th European Neurobiology of Drosophila Conference, Crete, Greece.

– Department of Life Science Postdoc Symposium, Imperial College London, London, UK.

 

POSTER PRESENTATIONS (LAST 5 YEARS)

2019

– Integrated insect immunology: controlling infections, hosted by conferences Jacques Monod, CNRS, France.

2018

– Sleep and Circadian Rhythms from Mechanisms to Function, London, UK. Organized by The Physiological Society.

– 17th European Neurobiology of Drosophila Conference, Krakow, Poland.

– 24th Congress of the European Sleep Research Society (ESRS), Basel, Switzerland.

2017  

– Neurobiology of Drosophila, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA.

– EMBO Fellows’ Meeting, Heidelberg, Germany.

– European Drosophila Research Conference, London, UK.

2016

– UK Clock Club, Oxford, UK.

TEACHING AND MENTORING

 

Supervision

 – Imperial College London master students. I mentored seven successful and talented students. All of them graduated with excellent marks.

– Imperial College London undergrad students. I mentored two successful students. Both of them graduated with excellent marks.

 

Teaching

2012-2014: Postgraduate teaching assistant on the undergraduate course “Introduction to Molecular Physiology”, School of Sciences, University of Buenos Aires.

2010 Laboratory Instructor, 2nd IBRO-ISN Advanced School of Neuroethology. Buenos Aires, Argentina. 5 students spent 1 week in the lab to carry out a project.

2005-2006: Undergraduate teaching assistant on the undergraduate courses “Genetics I” and “Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology”, School of Sciences, University of Buenos Aires.

2006: Design and implementation of the practical work “Genetics of Drosophila” for the undergraduate course “Genetics I”, School of Sciences, University of Buenos Aires.

Subsidios

PRIZES AND AWARDS

 

2021

Return Home Grant. Programa RAICES. Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Argentina. 450,000 Argentinean pesos (approximately 4,500 USD).

2020

– IBRO Return Home Fellowship. Award of €20,000.

– Department of Life Sciences Postdoc Proof of Concept Fund award. Project title: “Improving cognitive functions by extending sleep”. Internal competition within this department of the Imperial College London. The award was shared with Dr. Ba Wei and consists of £2,000.

2016

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships. The total budget of the grant is €183,454.80. The success rate of the call was 14,20%.

2015

EMBO Long-Term Fellowship. The total amount of the grant was £57,020.54 and only covered my salary. The success rate of this application was 15%.

2014

Argentine National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), 2 years fellowship (salary).

2012

– IBRO Travel Grant. A $1,000 US dollars prize to attend the I FALAN meeting in Cancún, México.

– Premio Fundación Bunge & Born. 2 years fellowship (salary)

2010

Travel Grants/Short Stays- IBRO LARC. A grant of €1,200 to cover a 2-month traineeship at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.

2007

– Argentine National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), a 5 years fellowship for graduate research (salary).

– International Brain Research Organization. A fellowship to assist to the Advance School of Neuroscience in Argentina: Neuroethology.

Noticias / Medios

Noticias y medios…

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