Dra. Marta Vila Pueyo

Institutions of which it is part

I am a Neuroscientist specialized in preclinical models of migraine and other headaches. After obtaining a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Advanced Genetics at the UAB, I was awarded my PhD in "Genetics and Epigenetics in paroxysmal neurological disorders" at VHIR. Thanks to being awarded a grant from AGAUR and from the International Headache Society, I performed my Postdoctoral training at the Headache Group at King´s College London for 7 years under the supervision of Prof Goadsby and Dr Holland. There I focused my research on studying the pathophysiology of migraine in rodent preclinical models. In 2021 I returned to VHIR with a Sara Borrell contract and a Marie Curie Slodowska Action - Individual Fellowship (MSCA-IF2020).


“Genetics and epigenetics of neurological paroxysmal disorders”
Dept. of Neurosciences, Vall Hebron Research Institute
“Polymorphisms associated with tyroid cancer”
Dept. of Genetics, University Autonomous of Barcelona
2002-07 BSc in BIOLOGY
University Autonomous of Barcelona

Professional experience
1/10/21-current Senior Postdoctoral Researcher
Headache and Neurological Pain Group, Dept. Neurosciences, Vall Hebron Research Institute, Spain, PI Dr Pozo-Rosich
1/01/16-03/03/21 Senior Postdoctoral Researcher
Headache Group, Dept. Basic and Clinical Neurosciences, King’s College London (KCL), UK, PI Dr Holland
10/01/15-10/01/16 International Headache Society Postdoctoral Fellow
Headache Group, Dept. Basic and Clinical Neurosciences, KCL, UK, PI Dr Holland
01/07/14-31/12/14 PhD student – visiting fellow
Headache Group, Dept. Clinical Neurosciences, KCL, UK, PI Prof Goadsby
01/03/10-01/07/14 PhD Student
Paediatric Neurology group, Vall Hebron Research Institute(VHIR), Spain, PI Dr Macaya
01/09/09-01/03/10 Research Assistant
Headache and Neurological Pain group, VHIR, Spain, PI Dr Pozo-Rosich
01/10/08-01/01/10 Writer of Biology Textbooks for secondary school students
Editorial Vicens Vives, Spain
01/09/06-01/09/07 MSc Student - Research Internship
Molecular Genetics group, Dept. Genetics, University Autonomous Barcelona (UAB), Spain, PI Dr Velazquez
01/03/06-01/07/06 BSc Student - Research Internship
Molecular Genetics group, Dept. Genetics, Spain, PI Dr Castel

Career gaps
03/03/21-01/10/21 Maternity leave
15/06/18-01/03/19 Maternity leave
01/10/07-01/09/08 Sabbatical year

Prizes and awards
1. BNA Carers Grant (2022, British Neuroscience Application).
2. Early Career Researcher Award (2019, IoPPN, King’s College London).
3. Headache Trainees Excellence Tournament Award (2016, International Headache Society).
4. Extraordinary award for best PhD in Neurosciences (2015, UAB).

Competitive funding received: fellowships and grants
1. MSCA Individual Fellowship 2020 (2022-24, European Commission, 172,000€).
2. Sara Borrell Postdoctoral Fellowship (2021-23, ISCIII - Spanish Health Ministry, 80,000€).
3. FENS Grant and Voucher Program for the FENS Virtual Forum (2020, FENS, 75€).
4. Travel Grant for the 5th EHMTIC Conference (2016, Guarantors of Brain, £500).
5. IHS Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014, International Headache Society, £50,000).
6. Travel Grant for the 4th EHMTIC Conference (2014, International Headache Society, 500€).
7. Mobility grant (2013, AGAUR, 12,000€).
8. Predoctoral fellowship (2011-14, Vall Hebron Research Institute, 36,000€).

Invited faculty talks at international meetings
1. Aminergic mechanisms in migraine (Brain Conference, FENS, Denmark, June 2022).
2. Moderator of the Brain Prize Seminar (Virtual, March 2022).
3. Advances in preclinical research in headache (International Headache Conference, September 2021).
4. Mechanisms of action of verapamil in cluster headache (HeadStart – Teva, March 2021).
5. The role of the locus coeruleus in migraine, International Headache Conference, Vancouver 2017
6. Migraine: genetics or epigenetics? Cefabox-Allergan meeting, Madrid 2017
7. Benign paroxysmal torticollis of infancy, International Headache Conference, Valencia 2015
Collaboration in committees and journals
1. Junior Editor of the Cephalalgia Journal (since 2022).
2. Member of the Editorial Board of Headache, Frontiers in Pain Research (since 2021).
3. Reviewer of Project Grants for “La Caixa Foundation” – Spain (since 2020).
4. Member of the Journal Editorial Board of Journal of Headache and Pain (since 2019).
5. Reviewer for Cephalalgia (since 2017).
6. Reviewer of project grants of the British Spanish Society (since 2017).
7. Member of the postdoctoral committee of the Basic and Clinical Neuroscience Department, King’s College London (2017-19).
8. Member of the Fellowships Committee of the Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK (since 2016).
9. Member of the Scientific Committee of the Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK (since 2015).

Participation in industrial innovation projects
1. Efficacy of Lasmiditan and Galcanezumab in preclinical models of migraine and trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (Eli Lilly Ltd., PI Dr Holland, King’s College London, £250,000).
2. Efficacy of AMGEN compounds in a preclinical model of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (Amgen UK, PI Prof Goadsby, £200,000).
3. Screening of TSC1 and TSC2 mutations in tuberous sclerosis in Spain (Novartis, S.A., PI Dr Macaya).

Participation in funded research projects
1. Orexinergic mechanisms in preclinical models of migraine (Eli Lilly Ltd., PI Dr Holland, King’s College London, 2020-23, £350,000)
2. The role of circadian mechanisms in migraine-related pain (Medical Research Council, PI Dr Holland, King’s College London, 2017-20, £375,984)
3. Synaptopathies: genetics, biophysics and circuit mechanisms of paroxysmal neurological disorders (Welcome Trust, PI Prof Goadsby, King’s College London, 2015-21, £290,000)
4. Mechanisms and treatment of migraine and its chronification – EUROHEADPAIN (European Commission, PI Dr Holland, King’s College London, 2014-17, 386,594 €)
5. Exome sequencing for molecular analysis of epileptic encephalopathies (ISCIII, PI Dr Macaya Vall Hebron Research Institute, 2013-15)
6. Genetics, epigenetics, cellular electrophysiology and animal models in migraine and allied paroxysmal disorders (Micinn, PI Dr Macaya, Vall Hebron Research Institute, 2010-12, 90.750 €).
7. CHROMIG study: Genotyping the risk to develop chronic migraine (Fundació La Marató TV3, PI Dr Pozo-Rosich, Vall Hebron Research Institute, 2008-11, 199,413 €).

Academia experience
2020-current Teaching Fellow at the Applied Neurosciences MSc, King’s College London, UK
2020 PhD VIVA Examiner of Laura Andrés Rodríguez, Sant Joan de Déu Research Institute, Barcelona
2020 PhD VIVA Examiner of Laura Pineda Cirera, University of Barcelona
2019-20 Member of the Assessment & Feedback Panel of MSc Neurosciences, King’s College London, UK
2017-18 Tutor of Students of the MSc Neurosciences, King’s College London, UK
2017-18 Marker of exams and essays of the MSc Clinical Neurosciences, King’s College London, UK
2014-18 Marker of exams and essays of the MSc Neurosciences, King’s College London, UK

Other professional experience
2008-10 Writer of Biology textbooks for secondary school students, Editorial Vicens Vives, Barcelona, Sain


1. Mínguez-Olaondo A, Quintas S, Morollón Sánchez-Mateos N, López-Bravo A, Vila-Pueyo M, Grozeva V, Belvís R, Santos-Lasaosa S, Irimia P. Cutaneous Allodynia in Migraine: A Narrative Review. Front Neurol. 2022 doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.831035. eCollection 2022.
2. Grozeva V, Mínguez-Olaondo A, Vila-Pueyo M. Experiment in vivo: How COVID-19 Lifestyle Modifications Affect Migraine. Front Neurol. 2021 Oct 5;12:744796. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2021.744796. eCollection 2021.
3. Vila-Pueyo M, Page K, Murdock PR, Loraine HJ, Woodrooffe AJ, Johnson KW, Goadsby PJ, Holland PR. The selective 5-HT1F receptor agonist lasmiditan inhibits trigeminal nociceptive processing: Implications for migraine and cluster headache. Br J Pharmacol. 2021 Oct 2. doi: 10.1111/bph.15699. Online ahead of print.
4. Bryois J, Skene NG, Hansen TF, Kogelman LJA, Watson HJ, Liu Z; Eating Disorders Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium; International Headache Genetics Consortium; 23andMe Research Team, Brueggeman L, Breen G, Bulik CM, Arenas E, Hjerling-Leffler J, Sullivan PF. Genetic identification of cell types underlying brain complex traits yields insights into the etiology of Parkinson's disease. Nat Genet. 2020 May;52(5):482-493. doi: 10.1038/s41588-020-0610-9. Epub 2020 Apr 27.
5. Siewert KM, Klarin D, Damrauer SM, Chang KM, Tsao PS, Assimes TL, Davey Smith G, Voight BF; The International Headache Genetics Consortium. Cross-trait analyses with migraine reveal widespread pleiotropy and suggest a vascular component to migraine headache. Int J Epidemiol. 2020 Jun 1;49(3):1022-1031. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyaa050.PMID: 32306029.
6. Holland PR, Sureda-Gibert P, Vila-Pueyo M. Rapid uptake of sumatriptan into the brain: An ongoing question of blood-brain barrier permeability. Cephalalgia. 2020 Jan 30:333102420905131. doi: 10.1177/0333102420905131.
7. Harriott AM, Strother LC, Vila-Pueyo M, Holland PR. Animal models of migraine and experimental techniques used to examine trigeminal sensory processing. J Headache Pain. 2019 Aug 29;20(1):91. doi:10.1186/s10194-019-1043-7.
8. Vila-Pueyo M, Strother LC, Kefel M, Goadsby PJ, Holland PR. Divergent influences of the locus coeruleus on migraine. Pain. 2019 Feb;160(2):385-394.
9. Gormley P, Kurki MI, Hiekkala ME, Veerapen K, Häppölä P, Mitchell AA, Lal D, Palta P, Surakka I, Kaunisto MA, Hämäläinen E, Vepsäläinen S, Havanka H, Harno H, Ilmavirta M, Nissilä M, Säkö E, Sumelahti ML, Liukkonen J, Sillanpää M, Metsähonkala L, Koskinen S, Lehtimäki T, Raitakari O, Männikkö M, Ran C, Belin AC, Jousilahti P, Anttila V, Salomaa V, Artto V, Färkkilä M; 23andMe Research Team; International Headache Genetics Consortium (IHGC), Runz H, Daly MJ, Neale BM, Ripatti S, Kallela M, Wessman M, Palotie A. Common Variant Burden Contributes to the Familial Aggregation of Migraine in 1,589 Families. Neuron. 2018 Sep 5;99(5):1098.
10. Vila-Pueyo M, Hoffmann J, Romero-Reyes M, Akerman S. Brain structure and function related to headache: Brainstem structure and function in headache. Cephalalgia 2018 Epub ahead of print.
11. Holland PR, Saengjaroentham C, Vila-Pueyo M.The role of the brainstem in migraine:Potential brainstem effects of CGRPand CGRP receptor activation inanimal models. Cephalalgia. 2019 Mar;39(3):390-402.
12. Vila-Pueyo M. Targeted 5-HT1F therapies for migraine. Neurotherapeutics 2018 Apr;15(2):291-303.
13. Sintas C, Carreño O, Fernàndez-Castillo N, Corominas R, Vila-Pueyo M, Toma C, Cuenca-León E, Barroeta I, Roig C, Volpini V, Macaya A, Cormand B. Mutation spectrum in the CACNA1A gene in 49 patients with episodic ataxia. Scientific Reports 2017 May 31;7(1):2514.
14. Sintas C, Fernàndez-Castillo N, Vila-Pueyo M, Pozo-Rosich P, Macaya A, Cormand B.Transcriptomic Changes in Rat Cortex and Brainstem after Cortical Spreading Depression with or Without Pre-Treatment with Migraine Prophylactic Drugs.The journal of pain 2017 Apr;18(4):366-375.
15. Gormley P, Anttila V, Winsvold BS, Palta P, Esko T, International Headache Genetics Consortium et al. Meta-analysis of 375,000 individuals identifies 38 susceptibility loci for migraine. Nature Genetics 2016 Aug;48(8):856-66.
16. Sintas C, Fernández-Morales J, Vila-Pueyo M, Narberhaus B, Arenas C, Pozo-Rosich P, Macaya A, Cormand B. Replication study of previous migraine GWAS findings in a Spanish sample. Cephalalgia 2015 Aug;35(9):776-82.
17. Louter MA, Fernandez-Morales J, de Vries B, Winsvold B, Anttila V, Fernandez-Cadenas I, Vila-Pueyo M, Sintas C, van Duijn CM, Cormand B, Álvarez-Sabin J, Montaner J, Ferrari MD, van den Maagdenberg AMJM, Palotie A, Zwart JA, Macaya A, Terwindt GM, Pozo-Rosich P. Candidate gene association study searching for genetic factors involved in migraine chronification. Cephalalgia 2015 May;35(6):500-7.
18. Vila-Pueyo M, Pons R, Raspall-Chaure M, Marcé-Grau A, Carreño O, Sintas C, Cormand B, Pineda-Marfà M, Macaya A.Clinical and genetic analysis in alternating hemiplegia of childhood: Ten new patients from Southern Europe. Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2014 Sep 15;344(1-2):37-42.
19. Vila-Pueyo M, Gené GG, Flotats-Bastardes M, Elorza X, Sintas C, Valverde MA, Cormand B, Fernández-Fernández JM, Macaya A. A loss-of-function CACNA1A mutation causing benign paroxysmal torticollis of infancy. European Journal of Pediatric Neurology 2014 May;18(3):430-3.
20. Basel-Vanagaite L, Hershkovitz T, Heyman E, Raspall-Chaure M, Kakar N, Smirin-Yosef P, Vila-Pueyo M, Kornreich L, Thiele H, Bode H, Lagovsky I, Dahary D, Haviv A, Hubshman MW, Pasmanik-Chor M, Nürnberg P, Gothelf D, Kubisch C, Shohat M, Macaya A, Borck G.SZT2 mutations in infantile encephalopathy with epilepsy and callosal dysgenesis. American Journal of Human Genetics 2013 Sep 5;93(3):524-9.
21. Carreño O, Corominas R, Serra SA, Sintas C, Fernández-Castillo N, Vila-Pueyo M, Toma C, Gené GG, Pons R, Llaneza M, Sobrido MJ, Grinberg D, Valverde MÁ, Fernández-Fernández JM, Macaya A, Cormand B.Screening of CACNA1A and ATP1A2 genes in hemiplegic migraine: clinical, genetic and functional studies. Molecular Genetics and Genomic Medicine 2013 Nov;1(4):206-22.
22. Freilinger T, Anttila V, de Vries B, Malik R, Kallela M, Terwindt GM, Pozo-Rosich P, Winsvold B, Nyholt DR, van Oosterhout WPJ, Artto W, Todt U, Hämäläinen E, Fernandez-Morales J, Louter MA, Kaunisto MA, Schoenen J, Raitakari O, Lehtimäki T, Vila-Pueyo M, Göbel H, Wichmann E, Sintas C, Uitterlinden AG, Hofman A, Rivadeneira F, Heinze A, Tronvik E, van Duijn CM, Kaprio J, Cormand B, Wessman M, Frants RR, Meitinger T, Müller-Myhsok B, Zwart J-A, Färkkilä M, Macaya A, Ferrari MD, Kubisch C, Palotie A, Dichgans M, van den Maagdenberg AMJM.Genome-wide association analysis identifies susceptibility loci for migraine without aura. Nature Genetics 2012 Jun 10;44(7):777-82.
Marta Vila Pueyo


Vall Hebron Institut de Recerca

Main researcher

Headache and Neurological Pain

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