Dr. Damián Refojo

Medical doctor from the University of Buenos Aires. Ph.D. from the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires (2005). Postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich (2006-2008).

In 2008, he won the “Max Planck Junior Group” competition organized by the Max Planck Society, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MinCyT), the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), and the Volkswagen Foundation. This award allowed him to lead his own research group at a Max Planck Institute in Germany before returning to the country to continue his investigations in Argentina.

From 2009 until September 2014, he served as the Head of the Independent Max Planck Junior Group Molecular Neurobiology at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich. Since 2009, he has also been an associate researcher at the Institute of Developmental Genetics of the Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich.

In late 2022, he was appointed by an international jury as the Director of IBioBA – CONICET – MPSP, where he also leads his research group in Molecular Neurobiology.

Recently, he has been honored as an International Max Planck Fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, an institute with which he continues to work closely in collaboration.

Selected publications

  • Szalai AM, Siarry B, Lukin J, Williamson DJ, Unsain N, Cáceres A, Pilo-Pais M, Acuna G, Refojo D, Owen DM, Simoncelli S, Stefani FD.
    Three-dimensional total-internal reflection fluorescence nanoscopy with nanometric axial resolution by photometric localization of single molecules.
    Nature Communications 12:517 (2021).
  • Vogl AM, Phu L, Becerra R, Giusti SA, Verschueren E, Hinkle TB, Bordenave MD, Adrian M, Heidersbach A, Yankilevich P, Stefani FD, Wurst W, Hoogenraad CC, Kirkpatrick DS, Refojo D*, Sheng M*.
    Global site-specific neddylation profiling reveals that NEDDylated cofilin regulates actin dynamics.
    Nat Struct Mol Biol 27:210-220 (2020).
  • Dedic N, Kühne C, Jakovcevski M, Hartmann J, Genewsky A, Gomes KS, Anderzhanova E, Pöhlmann M, Chang S, Kolarz A, Vogl AM, Metzger MW, Schmid B, Almada RC, Ressler KJ, Wotjak CT, Grinevich V, Chen A, Schmidt MV, Wurst W, Refojo D, Deussing JM.
    CRH acts anxiolytic by modulating dopamine release through a subset of GABAergic long-range projection neurons.
    Nat Neurosci 21:803-807 (2018)
  • Vogl AM, Brockmann MM, Giusti SA, Maccarrone G, Vercelli CA, Bauder CA, Richter JS, Roselli F, Hafner AS, Dedic N, Wotjak CT, Vogt-Weisenhorn DM, Choquet D, Turck CW, Stein V, Deussing JM, Refojo D.
    Neddylation inhibition impairs spine development, destabilizes synapses and deteriorates cognition.
    Nat Neurosci 18:239-51 (2015)
  • Rybak-Wolf A., Stottmeister C., Glazar P., Jens M., Pino N., Giusti S., Hanan M., Behm M., Bartok O., Ashwal-Fluss R., Herzog M., Schreyer L., Papavasileiou P., Ivanov A., O¨ hman M., Refojo D., Kadener S., Rajewsky N.
    Circular RNAs in the Mammalian Brain Are Highly Abundant, Conserved, and Dynamically Expressed.
    Molecular Cell 58, 1–16 (2015)
  • Giusti SA, Vogl AM, Brockmann MM, Vercelli CA, Rein ML, Trümbach D, Wurst W, Cazalla D, Stein V, Deussing JM, Refojo D.
    MicroRNA-9 controls dendritic development by targeting REST.
    Elife 3 (2014)
  • Refojo D, Schweizer M, Kuehne C, Ehrenberg S, Thoeringer C, Vogl AM, Dedic N, Schumacher M, von Wolff G, Avrabos C, Touma C, Engblom C, Schütz G, Nave K-A, Eder M, Wotjak CT, Sillaber I, Holsboer F, Wurst W, Deussing JM.
    Glutamatergic and Dopaminergic Neurons Mediate Anxiogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of CRHR1.
    Science 333:1903-1907 (2011)
  • Refojo D, Holsboer F.
    CRH signaling: molecular specificity for drug targeting in the CNS.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1179:106-19 (2009)
  • Lu A, Steiner MA, Whittle N, Vogl AM, Walser SM, Ableitner M, Refojo D, Ekker M, Rubenstein JL, Stalla GK, Singewald N, Holsboer F, Wotjak C, Wurst W, Deussing JM.
    Conditional mouse mutants highlight mechanisms of corticotropin-releasing hormone effects on stress-coping behaviour.
    Mol Psychiatry 13:1028-1042 (2008)
  • Refojo, D., Echenique, C., Müller, M.B., Reul, J.M.H.M., Deussing, J.M., Wurst, W., Sillaber, I., Páez- Pereda, M., Holsboer, F., Arzt, E.
    CRH activates ERK1/2 MAPK in specific brain areas.
    PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102:6183-6188 (2005)