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Prof. Dr. Alexandru Babeş

Versiunea in limba romana

Correspondence address:

Department of Animal Physiology and Biophysics,

Faculty of Biology,

University of Bucharest,

Splaiul Independentei 91-95,

050095 Bucharest, România

Tel: +40-21-3181570

Fax: +40-21-3181573

e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

website: http://biologie.kappa.ro/

Researcher ID: http://www.researcherid.com/rid/A-6212-2010


1. BS in Biophysics, Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest, 1995

2. MS in Neurobiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest, 1997

3. PhD in Biology, Summa cum laude, University of Bucharest, 2002


The main aim of our research is to investigate the peripheral mechanisms involved in nociception and thermal reception. We are trying to understand how the thermal and noxious stimuli are transduced by specialised cutaneous nerve endings in mammals. Moreover, we are interested in discovering the mechanisms responsible for the alterations of sensory transduction in pathological pain states such as inflammation and nerve injury. At molecular level, our research is focused on certain ion channels from the TRP (transient receptor potential) family: TRPM8, the cold and menthol receptor, TRPA1, activated by pungent compounds from mustard, cinnamon, garlic and horseradish, but also by noxious cold, TRPV1, the capsaicin receptor, and TRPV2, an ion channel activated by highly noxious heat, with a thermal threshold of 52 ?C. The biological model most used in our laboratory is the primary culture of sensory neurones from dorsal root ganglia. We are also using transient and stable expression of some of the previously mentioned ion channels in HEK293 cells. Our experimental approach is based on a combination of patch-clamp and calcium microfluorimetry, which allows us to measure in real time changes in membrane ion currents and intracellular calcium concentration induced by a variety of chemical and thermal stimuli. Research in our laboratory is currently funded by the Romanian Ministry for Education and Research (through its Excellence program CEEX, grant 3191/2005) and by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation .

Research Team:

Ramona Linte, PhD student, final year

Cristian Ciobanu, PhD student, 2nd year

Iurie Barbu, PhD student, 3rd year

Cristian Neacşu, Master student in Neurobiology

Oana Toader, undergraduate in Biochemistry

Foreign collaborators:

Prof. Peter Reeh, Department of Physiology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany

Prof. Earl Carstens, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California at Davis, USA

Prof. Carlos Belmonte, Institute of Neuroscience, Miguel Hernandez University of Alicante, Spain

Dr. Gordon Reid, Department of Physiology, University College Cork, Ireland

Teaching duties:

Starting with 2002 I teach a course in Physics to 1st year Biochemistry undergraduates at the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Biology. Also starting with 2002 I teach a course in Ion Channels at the Master’s degree in Neurobiology, organised by the Department of Animal Physiology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest. In 2005 I started teaching a course in Neurobiology to the 3rd year undergraduates in Biology at the University of Bucharest. I was also an invited lecturer at the Master course in Biotechnology at the Medical University Carol Davila in Bucharest. I supervised six graduation papers for Biochemistry sutdents and two dissertation papers for Master's students in Neurobiology.


Articles in ISI-listed journals:


Bierhaus A, Fleming T, Stoyanov S, Leffler A, Babes A, Neacsu C, Sauer SK, Eberhardt M, Schnölzer M, Lasischka F, Neuhuber WL, Kichko TI, Konrade I, Elvert R, Mier W, Pirags V, Lukic IK, Morcos M, Dehmer T, Rabbani N, Thornalley PJ, Edelstein D, Nau C, Forbes J, Humpert PM, Schwaninger M, Ziegler D, Stern DM, Cooper ME, Haberkorn U, Brownlee M, Reeh PW, Nawroth PP.; "Methylglyoxal modification of Na(v)1.8 facilitates nociceptive neuron firing and causes hyperalgesia in diabetic neuropathy." Nature Medicine 2012 May 13. doi: 10.1038/nm.2750. [Epub ahead of print]; PMID: 22581285.

Zimmermann, K., Leffler, A., Babes, A., Cendan, C. M., Carr, R. W., Kobayashi, J., Nau, C., Wood, J. N., Reeh, P. (2007), "Sensory neuron sodium channel Nav1.8 is essential for pain at low temperatures", Nature 447, 855 - 859

Leffler, A., Linte, R., Nau, C., Reeh, P., Babes, A. (2007), "A high-threshold heat-activated channel in cultured rat dorsal rot ganglion neurons resembles TRPV2 and is blocked by gadolinium", European Journal of Neuroscience, 26(1): 12-22

Linte, R.M., Ciobanu, C., Reid, G., Babes, A. (2007), "Desensitization of cold- and menthol-sensitive rat dorsal root ganglion neurones by inflammatory mediators", Experimental Brain Research, 178(1): 89-98

Babes, A., Zorzon, D., Reid, G. (2006), "A novel type of cold-sensitive neurone in rat dorsal root ganglia with rapid adaptation to cooling stimuli", European Journal of Neuroscience, 24(3): 691-698

Babes, A., Zorzon, D., Reid, G. (2004), "Two populations of cold sensitive neurones in rat dorsal root ganglia and their modulation by nerve growth factor", European Journal of Neuroscience, 20: 2276-2282

Reid, G., Babes, A., Pluteanu, F. (2002), "A cold- and menthol-activated current in rat dorsal root ganglion neurones: properties and role in cold transduction", Journal of Physiology, 545 (2): 595-614

Marden, M. C., Cabanes, M., Babes, A., Kiger, L., Griffon, N., Poyart, C., Boyiri, T., Safo, M. K., Abraham, D. J. (2002) "Control of the allosteric equilibrium of hemoglobin by crosslinking agents", Protein Science, 11: 1376-1383

Babes, A., Amuzescu, B., Krause, U., Scholz, A., Flonta, M.-L., Reid, G., (2002), "Cooling inhibits capsaicin-induced currents in cultured rat dorsal root ganglion neurones", Neuroscience Letters, 317(3): 131-134

Babes, A., Lorinczi, E., Ristoiu, V., Flonta, M.-L., Reid G., (2001), "Slowing of inactivation at positive potentials in a rat axonal K+ channel is not due to preferential closed-state inactivation", Physiological Research, 50: 557-565

Babes, A., Fendler K., (2000), "Na+ transport and the E1P-E2P conformational transition of the Na+/K+-ATPase", Biophysical Journal, 79: 2557-2571;

Ganea, C., Babes, A., Lupfert, C., Grell, E., Fendler, K., Clarke, R. J., (1999), "Hofmeister effects of anions on the kinetics of partial reactions of the Na+,K+-ATPase", Biophysical  Journal, 77: 267-281;



Alexandru Babes "Fiziologia si Fiziopatologia Canalelor Ionice"; published by Ars Docenti, ISBN 978-973-558-309-5, 2007.


Chapters in scientific books

Babes, A., Flonta, M.-L. (2002), "Substrate specificity in membrane transport" in Quantum Biochemistry and Specific Interactions, Chiriac, Mracec, Oprea, Kurunczi si Simon, editori, Editura Mirton, Timisoara, ISBN 973-585-805-3.



Ristoiu, V., Pluteanu, F., Babes, A. (2004) "Lucrari practice de fiziologie animala" Editura Universitatii din Bucuresti, ISBN 973-575-865-2.