Mario E. Guido

Fellow: Awarded 2009

Field of Study: Neuroscience

Competition: Latin America & Caribbean

Mario Guido is at present an Associate Professor and Independent Researcher of CONICET at the National University of Córdoba (NUC) in Argentina.  He has been recently elected Vice-chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry (October 2008) and Member of the Latin American Regional Committee of the International Brain Research Organization (LARC-IBRO).

The main lines of research ongoing in Dr. Guido's laboratory are twofold: nonvisual phototransduction and circadian clock control mechanisms in the vertebrate inner retina, including studies in an animal model of blindness, the GUCY1* chickens; and the circadian regulation of phospholipid biosynthesis in cell cultures, specifically studying the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, the most abundant phospholipid, and its key enzyme, cytidyltransferase.

Mario Guido received his M.Sc. in chemistry in 1985, with honors, from the School of Chemical Sciences at NUC and was awarded the University Prize (Special Mention) for the class of 1985. He completed his Ph.D. in 1991 under the supervision of Professor Dr. Beatriz L. Caputto.  His thesis, entitled, "Sensorial stimulation associated changes in the matabolism of phospholipids in the nervous system," was designated "outstanding," and was awarded the 1992 Bernardo A. Houssay Prize given by the Argentinean Society of Biology, Buenos Aires. The main results obtained demonstrated that the biosynthesis of phospholipidsis increased in the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) of chickens exposed to lights as compared to dark controls.  Later on, he and Dr. Caputto's group showed that the light-increase in the synthesis of phospholipids observed in RGCs was dependent on the expression of the immediate-early gene protein c-Fos.  These observations were published in Guido et al., Journal of Neurochemistry (1991) and the Journal of Neurocience Research (1996).  As a National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET) Fellow during his Ph.D. studies, he was an instructor at the NUC School of Chemical Sciences.

His postdoctoral training (1994-97) at the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, was very stimulating. There, under the supervision of Drs. Benjamin Rusak and Harold A. Robertson, he worked on "Light and circadian regulation of immediate early gene expression in the mammalian circadian system." The results obtained reported taht the expression of the immediate-early genes c-Fos and JunB in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of nocturnal rodents, the location of the master clock, is regulated at the level of mRNA and protein, by the photic input and the circadian clock.  He observed spontaneous expression of c-Fos and JunB mRNAs and proteins at dawn driven by the endogenous clock and mainly restricted to the dorsal region of the nucleus whereas the light-induction of gene expression was observed only during the nightand restricted to the ventral portion of the nucleus. These findings were published in several articles in such major journals as Brain Research, Molecular Brain Research, Neuroscience Letters, Neuroscience, and the Journal of Biological Rhythm. Dr. Guido also found that both the light-induced and spontaneous expression of immediate early genes in the suprachiasmatic nucleus was regulated by glutamate through the activation of NMDA receptors and activation of tyrosine kinases. These results were published in articles by Mario Guido in 1999 and reviewed in a chapter of Handbook of Chemical Neuroanatomy, 19 (Elsevier, 1999, 2001), edited by Benjamin Rusak et al. Dr. Guido was supported in this work by a CONICET external Fellowship (1994-96) and by his appointment as assistant researcher in Dr. Rusak's lab (1996-97).

When Mario Guido returned to Argentina in 1997, he took up an appointment in the Department of Biological Chemistry at NUC, later becoming an  adjunct professor with full-time dedication in 1999, and then an associate professor and deirector of Laboratory IV. He was also appointed head of the laboratory of Chronobiology, Retinal Neurochemistry, and Experimental Ophthamology. He has also been the Secretary of Science and Technology at the School of Chemistry (2007-08). Simultaneoulsy, he was rising through the ranks of CONICET, with an appointment as Assistant Researcher, then Adjunct Researcher (2002), and finally Independent Researcher (2005). 

Since his return to Argentina, he started a new line of research on the circadian regulation of lipid metabolism in retinal cells and immortalized cell line cultures. A reentry grant (1998) and career start-up grant (1999-2001) from the Antorchas Foundation, as well as grants from the Secretary of Science and Technology (UNC) and the Córdoba Council for Science and Technology (CONICOR), supported his work, allowing him to begin an independent line of research and to direct undergraduate and Ph.D. students. IBRO, CAEN-ISN, the University of Córdoba, CONICET, Córdoba Research Council, , the Florencio Fiorini Foundation, and the National Agency for Science and Technology have also supported his research.

Dr. Guido has published more than thirty papers in prestigious international scientific journals and book chapters, and presented his findings at many national and international scientific meetings. He is a peer reviewer for many important journals: Brain Research, Molecular Brain Research, Neuroscience, Neuroscience Letter, Chronobiology International, Journal of Neurochemistry, Molecular Vision, and the  FASEB Journal. He has also been a grant reviewer for the Netherland Organization for Scientific Research (NWO, the Dutch Research Council), the National Science Foundation, CONICET, and the National Universities of Argentina and Agency of Science and Technology (FONCyT).

He has served as Secretary of the Argentinean Society for Neuroscience (SAN) (1999-2003); Secretary, Vice President, and President of the Córdoba Society of Biology (SBC) (2000-06); and Vocal and Vice President of the Argentine Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (the international chapter of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology).

His awards include the University Award (1985), Bernardo A. Houssay Prize of the Argentinean Society of Biology (1992, 2004), the Carrillo-Oñativia Fellowship from the National Ministry of Health (2000, 2001), and travel awards from ISN (1991), ASN (2000), and IBRO (2008).