Dr Valentina Echeverria MoranValentina Echeverria Moran, Biochem, MS, PhD

6781 121st Ave N Apt H, Largo FL 33773

Phone: Work- (727) 398-6661 Ext. 4425, Cell- 347-515-9258

E-mail: echeverria.valentina@gmail.com

Citizenship: American




I am a Neuroscientist, PhD in Biological Sciences with a strong background in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Microbiology. I have dedicated more than 14 years to biomedical research using animal and cellular models of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Adept and successful in writing basic science, clinical grant proposals, manuscripts, and regulatory documents.   I completed four Post-Doctoral trainings at prestigious research institutions in Europe (National Center of Biotechnology, CSIC), Canada (McGill) and the United States of America (Johns Hopkins, Columbia University). During this time, I performed translational and basic research using animal models of neuroinflammation and disease. These Post-Doctoral experiences taught me how to be successful in developing research objectives and goals to solve complex biological problems, to write scientific articles and grant applications.

The last eight years as a principal investigator at Bay Pines Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Florida, I have been directing a research group and established research collaborators around the world. I have obtained six grants awards, published numerous articles (35) and made important advances toward the discovery of new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and Posttraumatic stress disorder.

In addition, I acquired experience to manage and administer research grants and personnel (supervised >15 research fellows and 7 research associates), and understand safety and research regulations. My objective with this application is to continue my career in a academic environment of excellence.


  • Advanced innovative research regarding new therapies against Alzheimer’s disease and Posttraumatic stress disorder (featured in a Press release from the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease). This work resulted in two current patent applications and several peer-reviewed publications.
  • Obtained and successfully managed seven research grant awards.
  • Inventor in three patent applications in Biomedicine.
  • Published more than 30 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.


  • Identification of therapeutic targets and analysis of cell signaling pathways.
  • Experienced in cellular, molecular Biology and Biochemical techniques including but not limited to

Western Blotting, Northern and Southern Blot, ELISA, Immunocytochemistry, Transcription factors analysis, protein-protein interactions analysis using two-hybrid techniques. Nucleic acid isolation, separation and amplification by PCR techniques, DNA cloning, PCR and protein arrays. In vitro transcription and translation.

  • Experienced in cell culture and microbiology techniques.
  • Experienced in protein purification and expression in heterologous systems and enzymatic analysis.
  • Experienced in neurotoxicity and cell viability studies.
  • Expert in Experimental psychology and behavioral techniques using animal models of depression, Posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and stress. Study of the effect of drugs on anxiety, depressive-like behavior, learning and memory, sensory gating and locomotor activity.Expert in cellular and rodent models of Alzheimer’s disease.



University of Concepcion, Chile                               Biochemist               Biochemistry

University of Concepcion, Chile                               M. S.                          Biochemistry

University of Concepcion, Chile                               Ph. D.                        Biological Sciences

National Center of Biotechnology, Spain               Post-Doctoral          Neuroscience

McGill University, Canada                                        Post-Doctoral          Neuroscience

Johns Hopkins University, USA                              Post-Doctoral          Neuroscience




2000-01             Research Scientist. National Center of Biotechnology CNB (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.

2005-06             Assoc. Res. Scientist. Department of Pathology, Columbia University, New York City, USA.

2007-Present    Principal Investigator, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, FL, USA; Assistant Professor,

                            University of South Florida, Tampa, USA.

2013- Present    Associate Scientist. Autonomous University of Chile, Chile.




1991-94          Teaching Assistant Graduate Fellowship. Graduate School, University of Concepción, Chile.

1993                International Fellowship to participate in the In Vitro Cell Biology and Biotechnology Program   

                        (700 hrs) Chazy, NY, S.U.N.Y. Plattsburgh, NY. USA (Intl. Competition).

1995-98          Doctoral fellowship from National Commission of Science and Technology, CONICYT, Chile.

1999               Teaching assistant Doctoral Fellowship. Graduate School. University of Concepción, Chile.

2000-01         International contract from The science and Technology Ministry of Spain. Molecular and

                         Cellular Biology National Center of Biotechnology(CSIC). Madrid, Spain. (Intl. Competition)

2004                Young Investigator Educational Enhancement Award. American Society of Neurochemistry.

2008               Travel Award to present at the International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD),

                        Alzheimer’s  association.

2012               Travel award to assist to the Society for Neuroscience. Bay Pines Foundation Inc.

2007-14         Seven Grant Awards

2014              Nominated by The Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System as a Notable Biomedical Scientist

                       for two national awards




1992                    Honorary Member, The Scientific Research Society Sigma Xi

2004                    Member, American Society of Neurochemistry

2004-Present    Member, American Society of Neurosciences

2005-Present     Member, New York Academy of Sciences


Other affiliations

2007-2012          Member of the IACUC Committee. Bay Pines VAHCS. Bay Pines FL

2007-2012          Member Safety Committee. Bay Pines VAHCS. Bay Pines FL


Editorial Boards

2005-2008         American Journal of Alzheimer’s disease and Other Dementias 

2011-Present     Neural Regeneration Research

2011-Present     World Journal of Pharmacology

2011-Present     Frontiers in Neuropharmacology

2012                   Journal of Alzheimer’s disease (Associate Editor)

2012-Present     American Journal of Neurodegenerative Disease

2013-Present     International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal

2014-                  Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience


Ad Hoc Reviewer

2005-Present, American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 2006-Present Neuroscience, 2007-Present,         Journal of Neurotrauma, 2008-Present, Alzheimer’s Association; BMC-Neuroscience; Neurotoxicity Research; Journal of Neuroimmunology, 2009-Present, Experimental Neurology; Neuroscience Letters,2010-Present, Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs; Neural Regeneration Research, 2011-Present, World Journal of Pharmacology;Current Alzheimer Research; Frontiers in Pharmacology; Journal of Alzheimer’s disease; The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine; Addiction Research & Therapy, 2012-Present,  Journal of Neural Transmission; Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry; American Journal of Neurodegenerative Disease; International Journal of Nanomedicine, 2013-Present,  Alzheimer’s & Dementia; Journal of Molecular Cell biology (Oxford University Press); International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal, 2014-Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience




  1. 1.   Echeverría V, Mondaca MA, Montoya R, Bunster M, Cid H. Characterization of a plasmid codifying the synthesis of a  beta-lactamase produced by Shigella flexneri. Microbios 76:161–166, 1993.
  2. 2.   Echeverría V, Olate J, Cid H. Partial DNA Sequence of a beta-lactamase produced by a Shigella    flexneri  strain.  Microbios.  83: 107–117, 1995.
  3. 3.   Torrejón M, Echeverría V, Retamales G, Herrera L, Hinrichs M, Olate J.  Molecular cloning and expression of an adenylyl cyclase from Xenopus laevis oocytes. FEBS Letters.  404: 91–94, 1997.
  4. 4.   Torrejón M, Geneviere A.M, Echeverría V, Guzmán L, Hinrichs M, Olate J. The C2 cytosolic  loop of adenylyl cyclase interacts with the   activated form of Gsalpha. FEBS Letters. 441: 437-440, 1998.
  5. 5.   Echeverría V, Hinrichs MV, Torrejón M, Ropero S, Toro MJ, Olate J. Mutagenesis in the switch IV of  the helical  domain of the human Gsreduces its GDP/GTP exchange rate. J Cell Biochem. 76(3): 368-375, 1999.
  6. 6.   Ledo F, Link W, Carrión A, Echeverría V, Mellstrom B, Naranjo JR. The DREAM-DRE interaction:key nucleotides  and dominant negative  mutants. Biochemica et Biophysica Acta. 14676: 1-7, 2000.
  7. 7.   Echeverria V, Cuello AC. Intracellular Abeta amyloid, a sign for worse things to come? Mol Neurobiol. 26(2-3): 299-316, 2002.
  8. 8.   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. Alzheimers Dis. 6(3): 209-19, 2004.
  9. 9.   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. 129(3): 583, 2004.
    1. 10.  Cuello AC, Bell KFS, Echeverria V, Lopez E, Ribeiro-da-Silva A, Szyf, M. The impact of extracellular amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides on cortical neurotransmitters and of intracellular Abeta accumulation on protein expression. In Recent Progress in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases. Hanin, I, Cacabelos R and Fisher A Ed. Taylor & Francis London and NY.44: 347-354, 2005.
    2. 11.  Echeverria V, Greenberg LD, Doré, S. Expression of prostaglandin E2 synthases in mouse postnatal cortical neurons. Ann NY Acad Sci. 1053:460-71, 2005.
    3. 12.  Echeverria V, Ducatenzeiler A, Chen CH, Cuello AC. Endogenous beta- amyloid peptide synthesis modulates cAMP response element-regulated gene expression in PC12 cells. Neuroscience. 135(4): 1193-202, 2005.
    4. 13.  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 Neuroscience. 22(9): 2199-206, 2005.
    5. 14.  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. 23(1):35-42, 2006.
    6. 15.  Echeverria V, Powell D, Arancio O. Oligomers of beta-amyloid peptide block BDNF-induced Arc expression in cultured cortical neurons. Current Alzheimer Research. 4 (5):518-52, 2007.
    7. 16.  Citron, B A., Dennis, J S., Zeitlin, RS., Echeverria V. Transcription factor Sp1 dysregulation in Alzheimer’s Disease. J  Neuroscience Res. Aug 15:86(11): 2499-504, 2008.
    8. 17.  Echeverria V, Burgess S, Dickson A, Arendash WG, Citron AB. Raf inhibition is Neuroprotective against Amyloid beta toxicity. Neuroscience Lett. Oct 17; 444 (1):92-96, 2008.
    9. 18.  Arendash WG, Mori T, Mamcarz M, Dickson A, Runfeldt M, Rezai-Zadeh K, Citron B, Tan J, Lin X, Cao    Ch, Echeverria V, and  Potter H. Caffeine reverses cognitive impairment and decreases brain Aβ levels in aged  Alzheimer’s mice. J. Alzheimer’s Disease 17(3)661-80, 2009.
    10. 19.  Echeverria V, Burgess S, Gamble-George J, Zeitlin RS, Mamcarz M, Cao C, Arendash WG. Sorafenib inhibited cRaf-1/NF-kappaB pathway and restored working memory in aged APPswe mice. Neuroscience. 162, (4):1220-31, 2009.
    11. 20.  Burgess S and Echeverria V. Raf Inhibitors as Therapeutic Agents against Neurodegenerative Diseases CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets. R. 9(1):120-7, 2010.
    12. 21.  Echeverria V, Zeitlin R, Burgess S, Patel S, Barman A, Thakur G, Mamcarz M, Wang L, Sattelle DB, Kirschner DA, Mori T, Leblanc R,  Prabhakar R, and Arendash G.  Cotinine Reduces Amyloid beta Aggregation and Improves Memory in Alzheimer’s Mice. J. Alzheimer’s Disease, 24(4), 817-835, 2011.
    13. 22.  Zeitlin R, Patel S, Burgess S, Arendash G W, Echeverria V. Caffeine Induces Beneficial Changes in PKA Signaling and JNK and ERK Activities in the Striatum and Cortex of Alzheimer’s Transgenic Mice”. Brain research. 1417:127-36. 2011.
    14. 23.  Burgess S, Zeitlin R, and Echeverria V. Cotinine reduced Amyloid beta peptide Neurotoxicity. J Clinical Toxicology.6:8. 2011
    15. 24.  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.  Behavioral Brain Research. 228(2):284-93. 2012
    16. 25.  Echeverria V, and Zeitlin R.  Cotinine:  a potential new therapeutic agent against Alzheimer’s disease. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutic. 18(7):517-23. 2012.
    17. 26.  Moran Echeverria V. Cotinine: Beyond that Expected, More than a Biomarker of Tobacco Consumption. Front Pharmacol. 3:173. 2012.
    18. 27.  Moran Echeverria V. In: Brain effects of Nicotine and Derived Compounds. Frontiers in Pharmacology .Research topic. 2013. http://www.frontiersin.org/books/all_books. In progress. 2013.
    19. 28.  Echeverria Moran V. Brain effects of Nicotine and derived compounds. Front.Pharmacol.4:60. 2013.
    20. 29.  Iarkov A and Echeverria V.Potential Mechanisms Underlying the Facilitation of Fear Memory

      Extinction by Cotinine. British Journal Biomedical Medical Research. . 2013.

  1. 30.  Moran Echeverria V. 2013. Editorial. In: Brain effects of Nicotine and Derived Compounds. Frontiers

      Research topic. 2013.

  1. 31.  GrizzellJA, IarkovA, HolmesR, T MoriT, Echeverria V. Cotinine reduces depressive-like behavior, working memory deficits, and synaptic loss associated with chronic stress in mice. Behavioral Brain Research. 268:55-65. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2014.03.047. 2014
  2. 32.  GrizzellJA and Echeverria V. New Insights into the Mechanisms of Action of Cotinine and its Distinctive Effects from Nicotine” Neurochemical Research. 2014. In Press.2014
  3. 33.  Patel,S., Grizzell, J A., Holmes, R.,  ZeitlinR., Solomo, 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. 2014. Frontiers in Aging Neurosci. | doi:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00162
  4. 34.  Grizzell, JA., Mullins,  M.,  Iarkov, A.,  Rohani, A., Charry, L., and Echeverria,  V. Cotinine reduces depressive-like behavior after forced swim stress and increases hippocampal VEGF in mice. 2014.Behavioral Neuroscience. In Press.


Book Chapters

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 Science Pub. 2011.

2. Echeverria V and Zeitlin R. Neuroinflammatory Factors as Targets Against Neurological and Psychiatric Conditions. In: Neuroinflammation: Pathogenesis, Mechanisms and Management. NOVA Science Pub. 2011.




  1. 256.  Echeverria Moran V (Principal Investigator) 2013

Bay Pines Foundation Inc.

“Cotinine and High Energy compounds to decrease cognitive impairment in mice”

This project investigated cotinine and high energy compounds as an agent to prevent or reduce working memory impairment during aging.


  1. 2913. Echeverria Moran V (Principal Investigator) 2013

Bay Pines Foundation Inc.

“Cotinine to reduce Chemotherapy-induced Cognitive Impairment”

This project investigatedcotinine as an agent to prevent or reduce working memory impairment induced by Chemotherapy.

  1. 10KG-03  Echeverria Moran V (Principal Investigator) 2010-July 2013                                                        

James and Esther King Florida Biomedical Research Program

“Investigating Cotinine to Improve Memory and Prevent Tobacco Abuse in Subjects with Cognitive Impairment due to Psychiatric Disorders” This project was directed to investigate the use of cotinine on memory impairment in mouse models of stress/PTSD and schizophrenia.

  1. 07KN-04  Echeverria Moran V (Principal Investigator)  2007-2010                                                       

James and Esther King Florida Biomedical Research Program

“Role of cRaf-1/ERK pathway on cotinine neurotoxicity” 

This project investigated the effect of cotinine on the cRaf/ERK/Sp1 pathway and its effect on Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

  1. NIRG-08-91031 Echeverria Moran V (Principal Investigator) 2008-2010                                            

Alzheimer’s Association

“Molecular Mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective actions of cotinine”

This project defined whether cotinine can restore cognitive abilities and reduce neuroinflammation in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. NIH Subaward No. 6111-1017-93-A   Echeverria Moran V (Principal Investigator) 2008-2010         

Florida  Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

“Cotinine as a Therapeutic Tool Against Alzheimer’s disease”

This project determined whether cotinine treatment can prevent cognitive impairment in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. ARG-2007-07  Echeverria Moran V (Principal Investigator) 2007-2008                                                 

Johnnie B. Byrd Sr. Institute of Alzheimer’s Center and Research Institute

“Cell Signaling Factors as Therapeutic Targets in Alzheimer’s Disease”

This project examined the effect of Sp1 and Raf inhibition on Alzheimer’s disease pathology. 



 PATENTS (from 7 filled)

1. Materials and methods for diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of stress disorders and   conditions associated with Abeta peptide aggregation. US 20100104504, filed April 29th, 2010. (The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/194,064, filed Sep. 24, 2008, and U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/099,746, filed Sept. 24, 2008).




2013. Mentor

Master in Biomedical sciences student

Research thesis. (6 mo)

University of South Florida

2012. Graduate internship.

Pharmacy student intern.

Bay Pines VAHCS


2010 Graduate Students Mentorship

University of South Florida

Patent application ( 5 Students) (6 mo)


2008-2009 Mentor

Master in Biomedical Sciences student

Research Thesis (24 mo)

University of South Florida


2007 Research in Biomedical Sciences

Student from the University of Florida (6 mo)


1991-1999 Graduate Student Professorships.

Biochemistry (3h/week, two semesters a year)

University of Concepcion, Chile.


LANGUAGES Spanish (native language), English (Fully proficient), Italian (Basic speaking, advanced written and oral comprehension), French and Portuguese (Only written and oral comprehension).  



Roger Leblanc, Ph.D.


Department of Chemistry

University of Miami

Tel, 305-284-2194


Email: rml@miami.edu


Sylvain Dore, Ph.D.


University of Florida

Tel, 352-273-9663



Jose Ramon Naranjo, Ph.D.


Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CSIC), Spain

Darwin3, campus de Cantoblanco

Madrid 28049

Tel, +34 915854682 (office)

Email: naranjo@cnb.uam.es



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