Camila Vicencio Esguerra

Image of Camila Vicencio Esguerra
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22840534
Visiting address Gaustadalléen 21 Forskningsparken 0349 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1137 Blindern 0318 OSLO

Current Positions

12/2014 – present: Group Leader, Chemical Neuroscience Group, Biotechnology Centre of Oslo, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

01/2015 - present: Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo

Academic Interests

- Novel molecular mechanisms underlying neurological disorders (e.g. Epilepsy, Schizophrenia, Alzheimer´s)

  • Pharmacoresistance
  • Seizure initiation (ictogenesis)
  • Seizure progression (epileptogenesis)
  • Comorbidities (e.g. cognitive and locomotor impairment, SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy Patients))

- Disease modeling in Zebrafish

- Influence of drug exposure on neural development

- Early-stage, preclinical drug discovery

  • Chemical Biology
  • In vivo, medium- to high-throughput chemical modifier screens
  • Natural product discovery
  • Pharmacological analysis of bioactive compounds
  • Toxicological assessment of drugs and potential therapeutic small-molecules
  • Mode of action/target identification of therapeutic lead compounds



University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium:

10/2008 – 11/2014: 

  • Senior Scientist and Industrial Research Fellow, Laboratory for Molecular Biodiscovery, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacology
  • Founder and Manager, Chemical Genetics Initiative @ KU Leuven
  • Project Coordinator, PharmaSea (EU FP7 Project, 2012-2014)                               

08/2006 – 01/2008:

  • Postdoctoral fellow, Laboratory of Catherine Verfaillie, Interdepartmental Stem Cell Institute                      

08/2006 – 01/2008:

  • Postdoctoral fellow, Laboratory of Frank Luyten, Laboratory for Skeletal Development and Joints, Department of Musculoskeletal Sciences                         

02/2003 – 04/2006: 

  • Senior Scientist and Doctoral Candidate, Laboratory of Desiré Collen, Molecular Cardiovascular Medicine Group, Faculty of Medical Sciences


2015 – present: 

Lecturer, School of Pharmacy, University of Oslo, Norway; Organic Chemically-Based Drug Design

01/2004 – 11/2014:

Lecturer, Biomedical Sciences Group, University of Leuven, Belgium; Principles of Genetics, Model Systems in Research, Laboratory Animal Science


02/2003-07/2007: Doctor of Medical Sciences (PhD), University of Leuven, Belgium

09/1992-08/1994: Master of Philosophy (MPhil) (Developmental Genetics)

  • Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany
  • MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, United Kingdom
  • Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

09/1986-06/1990: Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences (BA), Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, USA

Current collaborations




Press clippings

Zebrafish; a see-though favourite with researchers (Uniforum, in Norwegian)



Selected publications (pdf)

Tags: Pharmacology, Genetics, Epilepsy


  • Banono, Nancy Saana & Esguerra, Camila (2020). Pharmacological validation of the prepulse inhibition of startle response in larval zebrafish using a commercial automated system and software. Journal of Visualized Experiments.  ISSN 1940-087X.  161 . doi: 10.3791/61423 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Copmans, Daniëlle; Kildgaard, Sara; Rasmussen, Silas A.; Ślęzak, Monika; Dirkx, Nina; Partoens, Michèle; Esguerra, Camila Vicencio; Crawford, Alexander Dettmar; Larsen, Thomas O. & de Witte, Peter A.M. (2019). Zebrafish-based discovery of antiseizure compounds from the north sea: Isoquinoline alkaloids TMC-120A and TMC-120B. Marine Drugs.  ISSN 1660-3397.  17:607(11), s 1- 20 . doi: 10.3390/md17110607 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Abudu, Yakubu Princely; Pankiv, Serhiy; Mathai, Benan John; Lystad, Alf Håkon; Bindesbøll, Christian; Brenne, Hanne Britt; Ng, Matthew Yoke Wui; Thiede, Bernd; Yamamoto, Ai; Nthiga, Thaddaeus Mutugi; Lamark, Trond; Esguerra, Camila Vicencio; Johansen, Terje & Simonsen, Anne (2019). NIPSNAP1 and NIPSNAP2 act as “eat-me signal” for mitophagy. Developmental Cell.  ISSN 1534-5807.  49(4), s 509- 525.e12 . doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.03.013 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Gawel, Kinga Aurelia; Banono, Nancy Saana; Michalak, Agnieszka & Esguerra, Camila Vicencio (2019). A critical review of zebrafish schizophrenia models: Time for validation?. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.  ISSN 0149-7634.  107, s 6- 22 . doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.08.001
  • Nieoczym, Dorota; Socala, Katarzyna; Gawel, Kinga Aurelia; Esguerra, Camila Vicencio; Wyska, Elzbieta & Wlaz, Piotr (2019). Anticonvulsant Activity of Pterostilbene in Zebrafish and Mouse Acute Seizure Tests. Neurochemical Research.  ISSN 0364-3190.  44(5), s 1043- 1055 . doi: 10.1007/s11064-019-02735-2 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Sisodiya, Sanjay M.; Fowler, Hayley J.; Lake, Iain; Nanji, Rosemary Ogwen; Gawel, Kinga Aurelia; Esguerra, Camila Vicencio; Newton, Charles & Foley, Aideen (2019). Climate change and epilepsy: Time to take action. Epilepsia Open.  ISSN 2470-9239.  4(4), s 524- 536 . doi: 10.1002/epi4.12359 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Leclercq, K; Afrikanova, Tatiana; Langlois, M.; De Prins, A; Buenafe, OE; Rospo, CC; Van Eeckhaut, A; deWitte, P; Crawford, AD; Smolders, I; Esguerra, Camila Vicencio & Kaminski, RM (2015). Cross-species pharmacological characterization of the allylglycine seizure model in mice and larval zebrafish. Epilepsy & Behavior.  ISSN 1525-5050.  45, s 53- 63 . doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2015.03.019
  • Schubert, Julian; Siekierska, Aleksandra; Langlois, Melanie; May, Patrick; Huneau, Clément; Becker, Felicitas; Muhle, Hiltrud; Suls, Arvid; Lemke, Johannes R.; de Kovel, Carolien G.F.; Thiele, Holger; Konrad, Kathryn; Kawalia, Amit; Toliat, Mohammad Reza; Sander, Thomas; Ruschendorf, Franz; Caliebe, Almuth; Nagel, Inga; Kohl, Bernard; Kecskés, Angéla; Jacmin, Maxime; Hardies, Katia; Weckhuysen, Sarah; Riesch, Erik; Dorn, Thomas; Brilstra, Eva H.; Baulac, Stephanie; Møller, Rikke S.; Hjalgrim, Helle; Koeleman, Bobby P.C.; Jurkat-Rott, Karin; Lehmann-Horn, Frank; Roach, Jared C.; Glusman, Gustavo; Hood, Leroy; Galas, David J.; Martin, Benoit; De Witte, Peter A.M.; Biskup, Saskia; De Jonghe, Peter; Helbig, Ingo; Balling, Rudi; Nürnberg, Peter; Crawford, Alexander D.; Esguerra, Camila Vicencio; Weber, Yvonne G. & Lerche, Holger (2014). Mutations in STX1B, encoding a presynaptic protein, cause fever-associated epilepsy syndromes. Nature Genetics.  ISSN 1061-4036.  46, s 1327- 1332 . doi: 10.1038/ng.3130

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Published Dec. 17, 2015 10:21 AM - Last modified Dec. 30, 2016 6:59 PM

Research groups