CristinaGarcía Cáceres


Munich, Germany

About me

Dr. Cristina García-Cáceres is a W2 professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the Helmholtz Center Munich, and Associate Director and Head of the Astrocyte-Neuron Network Unit at the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at Helmholtz Center Munich. Dr. García-Cáceres completed her initial training with distinguished world-leading laboratories in neuroendocrinology and astrocyte research—before joining Germany‘s leading institution for metabolic research, the Helmholtz Center Munich. Her research work is focused on uncovering the functional roles of hypothalamic astrocytes in the brain’s control of systemic metabolism, feeding behavior and blood pressure. She has made several important contributions in neuroendocrinology, showing for the first time that the brain’s control of systemic energy and glucose metabolism also depends on astrocytes, and not only on specific neurocircuits. These findings were published in Cell (García-Cáceres C., et al., Cell 2016) and were awarded with the ERA-NET Neuron/Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award 2017. They represented a paradigm shift in our understanding of how sugar is delivered to the brain; prior to Dr. Caceres’ work, sugar-delivery had been thought to be an insulin-independent process. Building on these discoveries, she has been awarded with the prestigious ERC Starting Grant. Moreover, Dr. García-Cáceres has also recently been made a series of transformative studies which show that obesity-associated hyperleptinemia alters the gliovascular interface of the hypothalamus to promote hypertension. Published in Cell Metabolism and highlighted by Nature Reviews Endocrinology in 2021, these findings reveal a hitherto unrecognized functional link between astrocyte-mediated dynamic remodelling of the hypothalamic vasculature and the regulation of systemic blood pressure in response to high-calorie diets and elevated leptin levels (Gruber T., et al., Cell Metabolism 2021).


Astrocyte-neuron circuitries
Hypothalamic circuitry

Past events