I grew up in Madrid, Spain, and carried out my first degree in Biological Sciences at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, graduating in 1986. I obtained my PhD (DPhil) from the University of Oxford (Madgalen College) in 1990, on Drosophila developmental genetics and supervised by Prof. Phil W. Ingham. I subsequently (1990-1992) obtained a post-doctoral fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education to do a post-doctoral period with Prof Antonio García-Bellido, at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, working on the control of growth and form in Drosophila development.
I returned to UK with a Marie Curie Human Capital and Mobility Fellowship to do a second post-doc with Prof Andrea H. Brand at the Wellcome/CR-UK Institute, University of Cambridge (1993-1997). After this, I was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship to establish my independent research group at the Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge (1997-2002). Here, I established my line of research into neuron-glia interactions during nervous system development. In 2001 I received an EMBO Young Investigator Award for my achievements as a young group leader.
In 2002, I moved to the School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, appointed Senior Lecturer, and where I consolidated my research into nervous system development using Drosophila.
PhD projects are offered in the general area of Developmental Neurobiology using the fruit-fly Drosophila as a model organism. Currently we are working in the areas of regeneration, neurotrophic factors and structural plasticity. We look at genes, molecules, neurons and glia in these contexts. Technical approaches include genetics, confocal microscopy, molecular biology and cell culture. We also collaborate with neurobiologists using mammals as model organisms, with biochemists, with electrophysiologists and with computer scientists
Masters projects are offered in the field of Developmental Neurobiology as above, and also in image processing in collaboration with the School of Computer Science.
For a list of possible PhD projects offered by Dr Hidalgo www.findaphd.com/search/customlink.asp?inst=birm-Biol&supersurname=Hidalgo
Research Theme within School of Biosciences: Molecular and Cell Biology
Lab website address: www.biosciences-labs.bham.ac.uk/hidalgo/
Nervous system development: structural and developmental plasticity
Our lab aims to understand how the nervous system is formed, and how it works. Structure and function come together in the course of development, and influence each other throughout life, endowing the nervous system with plasticity. As the animal grows and nervous system volume and cell number increase, the two cell types in the nervous system - neurons and glial cells - make adjustments that modify migration patterns, axonal trajectories, cell division and cell survival. These plastic adjustments result in the robust, reproducible formation of the nervous system across individuals, and over evolutionary time. Conversely, these cell interactions fail in diseases of the nervous system and brain (e.g. neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders and brain tumours) and upon injury (e.g. upon spinal cord injury and stroke).
We use the fruit-fly Drosophila because it is a very powerful model organism to address questions swiftly, in vivo and with single cell resolution. Our approach combines genetics, molecular biology, cell culture, computational analysis and in vivo confocal microscopy in fixed specimens and in time-lapse.
We have focused on: how neuron-glia interactions influence axonal patterns, glial migration and cell number during axon guidance; the control of cell number by gliatrophic factors and neurotrophic factors during connectivity; and the influence of neuron-glia interactions in glial proliferation. We are currently working on neurotrophic factors, regeneration and image processing to address neuroscience questions, always within the context of neuron-glia interactions and developmental and structural plasticity.
Ultimately, our findings help understand nervous system structural and developmental plasticity; brain evolution and the mechanisms underlying different brain types and behaviours; and how to repair the diseased or damaged nervous system with relevance also for humans.
Research by the Hidalgo group is funded by The Wellcome Trust, BBRSC and EU Marie Curie Programme, and in the past has also received funding from the MRC, EMBO and The Royal Society
Kato K and Hidalgo A (in press) An Injury paradigm to investigate central nervous system repair in Drosophila. JoVE
Forero, Kato and Hidalgo (2012) Automatic cell counting in vivo in the larval nervous system of Drosophila. J Microscopy. 2012 May;246(2):202-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.2012.03608
Kato K, Forero MG, Fenton JC and Hidalgo A (2011) The glial regenerative response to central nervous system injury is enabled by Pros-Notch and Pros-NFkB feedback. PLoS Biology 9: e1001133
Forero MG and Hidalgo A (2011) Image processing methods for automatic cell counting in vivo or in situ using 3D confocal microscopy. In "Advanced Biomedical Engineering: Ed. Gargiulo GD and McEwan A. Intech Open Access pages 183-204.
Hidalgo, Kato, Sutcliffe, McIlroy, Bishop and AlAhmed (2010) Trophic neuron-glia interactions and cell number adjustments in the fruit-fly. Glia DOI: 10.1002/glia.21092.
Forero, Learte, Cartwright and Hidalgo (2010) DeadEasy MitoGlia: automatic counting of mitotic cells and glia in the central nervous system of Drosophila. PLoS One 5, e10557
Forero, Pennack, and Hidalgo (2010) DeadEasy neurons: Automatic counting of HB9 neuronal nuclei in Drosophila. Cytometry Part A 77A, 371-378
Forero, Pennack, Learte and Hidalgo (2009) DeadEasy caspase: automatic counting of apoptotic cells in Drosophila. PLoS One 4, e5441.
Zhu, Pennack, McQuilton, Forero, Mizuguchi, Gu, Fenton and Hidalgo (2008) Drosophila neurotrophins reveal a common mechanism of nervous system formation. PLoS Biology 6, e284. See also pubcast at: www.scivee.com/node/8389
Learte, Forero and Hidalgo (2008) Gliatrophic and gliatropic functions of PVR signalling during axon guidance. Glia 56, 164-176
Griffiths, Benito-Sipos, Fenton, Torroja and Hidalgo (2007) Two distinct mechanisms segregate Prospero in the longitudinal glia underlying the timing of interactions with axons. Neuron-Glia Biology, 3, 75-88
Hidalgo, Learte, McQuilton, Pennack and Zhu (2006) Gliatrophic and neurotrophic contexts in Drosophila. Brain, Behaviour and Evolution 68, 173-180
Griffiths & Hidalgo (2004) Prospero maintains the proliferative potential of glial precursor cells enabling them to respond to neurons in the CNS. The EMBO J 23, 2440-2450
Kinrade & Hidalgo (2004) Local neuron-glia interactions change the response of axons to the Robo code. Neuron Glia Biology 1, 101-112.
Hidalgo & Griffiths (2004) Coupling glial numbers to axonal patterns. Cell Cycle 3, 1118-1120.
Hidalgo (2002) Interactive nervous system development: control of cell survival in Drosophila. Trends in Neurosciences 25, 365-370
Hidalgo, Kinrade, and Georgiou (2001) The Drosophila neuregulin Vein maintains glial survival during axon guidance in the CNS. Developmental Cell 1, 679-690