Table of Contents


    Prof. Valentina Echeverria Moran

    Subjects: Psychiatry
    View times: 173
    Submitted by: Valentina Moran


    Valentina Echeverria Moran is currently a Full Professor in Neuroscience at the University of San Sebastian in Chile, and a Principal Scientist at the Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. Her research is devoted to finding cures for neurological and psychiatric disorders with more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and her h-index is, at present, 24, with 1,949 citations. Her main discovery is the demonstration in preclinical models of the potential of the alkaloid named Cotinine on neurodegenerative conditions and Psychiatric disorders such as Posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression.

    1. Introduction

    Professor Echeverria Moran was born in South America in Concepción, in the south of Chile, where she studied her pre-college, college, and postgraduate education. Professor Echeverria Moran obtained a professional degree of Biochemist in 1991, a Master of Sciences degree in 1994, and a Ph.D. Degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 1999 at the University of Concepción in Chile. She also obtained a fellowship to perform "The in vitro Cell Biology and Biotechnology Program" from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, the USA, in 1993. The Ph.D. studies were supported by a National fellowship (Conicyt) and a grant research award from the Chilean government-FONDECYT. This award permitted Professor Echeverria Moran to complete most of her Ph.D. thesis at the University of Alcala de Henares in Spain.

    After graduation, Professor Echeverria Moran continues her professional development by leaving Chile to perform three postdoctoral fellowships, the first at the National Center of Biotechnology in Madrid at the laboratory of Dr. Jose Ramon Naranjo working in the Neurobiology of the factor DREAM. This scientific training was followed by another Postdoctoral position at the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. In this Postdoctoral position, Dr. Echeverria trained in Alzheimer’s disease pathology using rat models of the disease. As part of the team of Dr. Claudio Cuello, she helped to assess the role of intracellular Aß in Neurodegeneration[1][2][3][4].

    Following this experience, she accepted a fellow position at the Faculty of Medicine of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, to investigate the role of Prostaglandin receptors in neurodegeneration induced by stroke and Alzheimer’s disease[5][6][7].

    Then, she started a research scientist position at the Columbia University in New York to work in the molecular mechanism underlying memory loss in AD[8].

    After a year, Professor Echeverria Moran moved to work at the Bay Pines Veterans Affairs healthcare system in Florida, where rapidly she started her lines of research in Posttraumatic stress disorder and AD under the guidance of Dr. Hugo Fernandez. In this position, she obtained five research awards and developed the investigation of the alkaloid named cotinine as a therapy for restoring brain functions. So far, Dr. Echeverria Moran and Cols. Discovered that cotinine, the main derivative of Nicotine, when administered alone or combined with other natural compounds could prevent the brain deterioration and restore brain function by mechanisms involving the Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and the restoration of glial function and the stimulation of Akt and VEGF[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19].

    She has published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals with more than 1,949 citations. She is part of the Editorial Board in American Journal of Neurodegenerative Disease, Chronic Diseases-International, NeuralRegeneration Research, World Journal of Pharmacology, Frontiers in Neuropharmacology, Frontiers in Pharmacology, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Frontiers in Neurology, Frontiers in Ethnopharmacology, International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal, Journal of Neuroinflammation, SM Journal of Depression Research and Treatment, Journal of Neurology and Neurosciences. She is also Ad Hoc Reviewer for more than 33 peer-reviewed journals.

    She also mentored twenty-four research fellows and gave lectures and talks in Neuroscience for Undergraduate and Graduate students in Spain, Canada, USA, and Chile. Professor Echeverria Moran participates in a Study Group of the National Funds of science and technology (FONDECYT) in Chile. Also, she is a referee for the Parkinson’s UK, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia.  The Cochrane reviews, UK. The American Alzheimer’s Association. Elsevier Books. C ALZHEIMER FORSCHUNG INITIATIVE E. V. (AFI) (Germany).

    She is a Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, the UK from 2018, and inventor of several patents in biomedicine.

    2. Patent Granted 

    Filed 9/24/2009 US 9,801,865 B2 Materials and methods for diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of stress disorders and conditions associated with Abeta peptide aggregation Assignees: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Veteran Affairs, University of South Florida Inventor: Valentina Echeverria Moran. Date of Patent: October 31, 2017

    Filed 5/1/2017 US 10,307,411 B2. The Use of Cotinine in Treating or Preventing Neurogenesis Deficits and Enhancing Neurogenesis. Assignees: Department of Veteran Affairs. Inventors:  Valentina Echeverría Moran and Doreen Appun. Date of patent Jun. 4, 2019.

    Filed 10/4/2017 US 10,238,641 B2. Materials and methods for diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of stress disorders and conditions associated with Aß peptide aggregation. Assignees: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Veteran Affairs, University of South Florida Inventor: Valentina Echeverria Moran. Inventor: Valentina Echeverria Moran, Date of patent: 26/3/209

     Patent Applications

    Filed 16/2/2017. 62/459736, Docket No. 20195.0050USP1. PCT. The Combination of cotinine plus antioxidants for treatment-resistant depression and correction of astrocytes functional deficit induced by depression and other neuropathological conditions. Inventor: Valentina Echeverría Moran (Veterans affairs, USA/ Universidad San Sebastián, Chile). Feb 2018.

    She has published several books and book’s Chapter resuming her main ideas and discoveries:

    1. Echeverria V and Zeitlin R. Tobacco, Nicotine and Cotinine: For Memory, Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders. In Working Memory: Capacity, Developments, and Improvement Techniques.NOVA Sc Pub. 2011.
    2. Echeverria V and Zeitlin R. Neuroinflammatory Factors as Targets against Neurological and Psychiatric Conditions. In: Neuroinflammation: Pathogenesis, Mechanisms, and Management. NOVA Sci.Pub. 2011.
    3. Moran Echeverria V. Brain effects of Nicotine and Derived Compounds. Frontiers org. 2013.
    4. Echeverria V and Zeitlin R. Cotinine and Memory: Remembering to forget. In: The Neuroscience of Nicotine: Mechanisms and Treatment. Victor R. Preedy (Editor). Elsevier (Publisher). 2019.

    Currently, in addition to her work in preclinical research and mentoring students, professor Echeverria is working with medical colleagues to obtain support for clinical studies conducted to test Cotinine in neurological disorders.


    1. Echeverria V, Cuello AC.; Intracellular Abeta amyloid, a sign for worse things to come?. Mol. Neurobiol. 2002, 26 (2-3) , 299-316, .
    2. Echeverria V, Dowd E., Ducatenzeiler A, Alohen L, Janne J, Grant S, Muro A, Baralle F, Li H, Hartmann, T, Cuello, AC.; Altered mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, tau hyperphosphorylation and mild spatial learning dysfunction in transgenic rats expressing the beta-amyloid peptide intracellularly in hippocampal and cortical neurons. . Neuroscience 2004, 129(3), 583, .
    3. Echeverria V, Ducatenzeiler A, Alohen L, Janne J, Grant S, Wandosell F, Muro A, Baralle F, Li H, Duff K, Szyf M, Cuello AC; Rat transgenic models with a phenotype of intracellular Abeta accumulation in hippocampus and cortex. J. Alzheimer’s Dis. 2004, 6(3) , 209-19 , .
    4. Echeverria V, Ducatenzeiler A, Chen CH, Cuello AC; Endogenous beta- amyloid peptide synthesis modulates cAMP response element-regulated gene expression in PC12 cells.. Neuroscience 2005, 135(4), 1193-202, .
    5. Echeverria V, Clerman A, Doré, S.; Stimulation of PGE receptors EP2 and EP4 protects cultured neurons against oxidative stress and cell death following beta-amyloid exposure.. Eur. J. Neurosci. 2005, 22(9), 2199-2206, .
    6. Echeverria V, Greenberg LD, Doré, S.; Expression of prostaglandin E2 synthases in mouse postnatal cortical neurons. . Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 2005, 1053, 460-71, .
    7. 13. Ahmad M, Saalem S, Zhuang H, Echeverria V, Sapirstein A, Doré, S.; 1-hydroxyPGE1 reduces infarction volume in mouse transient cerebral Ischemia.. Eur. J. Neurosci. 2006, 23(1), 35-42, .
    8. 14. Echeverria V, Powell D, Arancio O; Oligomers of beta-amyloid peptide block BDNF-induced Arc expression in cultured cortical neurons. Curr Alzheimer Res 2007, 4 (5), 518-52, .
    9. Echeverria V, Zeitlin R, Burgess S, Patel S, Barman A, Thakur G, et al.; Cotinine Reduces Amyloid beta Aggregation and Improves Memory in Alzheimer's Mice. J. Alzheimer's Dis 2011, 24(4), 817-835, .
    10. Echeverria V, and Zeitlin R.; Cotinine a potential new therapeutic agent against Alzheimer's disease_. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutic. 2012, 18(7), 517-23, .
    11. Patel S, Grizzell J A, Holmes R, Zeitlin R, Solomon R, Sutton T. L, Rohani A, Charry L, Iarkov A, Mori T and Echeverria Moran V.; Cotinine halts the advance of Alzheimer's disease-like pathology and associated depressive-like behavior in Tg6799 mice. Front. Aging Neurosci 2014, 78, 75-81, 0.1016/j.pnpbp.2017.05.010.
    12. Grizzell JA, Iarkov A, Holmes R, Mori T, Echeverria V. .; Cotinine reduces depressive-like behavior, working memory deficits, and synaptic loss associated with chronic stress in mice. Behav Brain Res 2014, 268, 55-65, .
    13. Zeitlin R, Patel S, Solomon R, Tran J, Weeber EJ, and Echeverria V; Cotinine Enhances the Extinction of Contextual Fear Memory and Reduces Anxiety after fear conditioning. Behav Brain Res 2012, 228(2) , 284-93., .
    14. Grizzell JA, Mullins M, Iarkov A, Rohani A, Charry L and Echeverria V; Cotinine Reduces Depressive-Like Behavior and Hippocampal Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Downregulation After Forced Swim Stress in Mice. Behavioral Neuroscience 2014, 128(6), 713-721, 0.1037/bne0000021.
    15. Echeverria V. Yarkov A, Gjumrakch A.; Positive modulators of the alpha7 nicotinic receptor against neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease . Prog. Neurobiol. 2016, 144, 142-57, 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2016.01.002.
    16. 49. Iarkov A, Appunn D, Echeverria V; Post-treatment with cotinine improved memory and decreased depressive-like behavior after chemotherapy in rats.. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. 2016, 78(5), 1033-39, .
    17. Perez-Urrutia N., Alvarez N., Oliverus-Matus P., Echeverria F., Barreto, GE., Iarkov A., Echeverria V; Intranasal cotinine improves memory and reduces depressive-like behavior, and GFAP+ cells loss induced by restraint stress in mice. Experimental Neurology 2017 , 295 , 211-221, .
    18. Nathalie Alvarez-Ricartes, Patricia Oliveros-Matus, Cristhian Mendoza, Nelson Perez-Urrutia, Echeverria F, Iarkov A, Barreto G. E. and Echeverria V; Intranasal cotinine plus krill oil, facilitates fear extinction, decreases depressive-like behavior, and increases hippocampal calcineurin levels in mice. Mol Neurobiol 2018, 12, 952, 10.3389/fnins.2018.00952.
    19. Oliveros-Matus P, Perez-Urrutia N, Alvarez-Ricartes N, Echeverria F, Barreto GE, Elliott J, Iarkov A, Echeverria V; Cotinine Enhances Fear Extinction and Astrocyte Survival by Mechanisms Involving the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Signaling. . Front Pharmacol. 2020, 11, 303, 10.3389/fphar.2020.00303.