Welcome to Franco Laboratory

The Franco lab aims to understand the signaling mechanisms by which reactive oxygen species (ROS) regulate cellular fate. Distinct cell death pathways (apoptosis, necrosis and autophagy) have been associated to the etiology of human diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration. ROS accumulation and oxidative stress have been implicated in the induction of cell death, but the molecular mechanisms that link ROS and the activation of cell death pathways remain elusive. We strive to identify those mechanisms and provide and insight into potential therapeutic approaches.

Dr. Rodrigo Franco
Dr. Rodrigo Franco

News & Events




  • Recent publication: Anandhan A, Rodriguez-Rocha H, Bohovych I, Griggs AM, Zavala-Flores L, Reyes-Reyes EM, Seravalli J, Stanciu LA, Lee J, Rochet JC, Khalimonchuk O, Franco R. Overexpression of alpha-synuclein at non-toxic levels increases dopaminergic cell death induced by copper exposure via modulation of protein degradation pathways. Neurobiol Dis. 2014 (accepted)

  • Dr. Franco becomes Editorial Board Member of Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity

  • Dr. Carlos F. Arias (Sciences and Arts National Award 2014, Instituto de Biotecnologia UNAM), will present the seminar titled “Rotavirus cell entry: A deep journey into the cell”, at the SVMBS. September 9th, 2015

  • Dr. Franco was invited to participate as part of the Scientific Committee for the XIV International Congress of Toxicology (IUTOX) in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, from 2-6 of October, 2016. “Toxicology and Global sustainability”

  • Dr. Franco will chair the Minisymposium:. Redox Signaling in Neurological Dysfunction at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. October 17-21, 2015, Chicago, IL.

  • Drs. Anand and Hernandez-Franco present their work at the 54th Annual Meeting. Society of Toxicology. San Diego, CA. March 22-26, 2015. Dopaminergic cell death induced by gene-environment interactions involving alpha-synuclein is mediated by nuclear factor-kappa B and p38 signaling. Hernandez-Franco P, Anadhan A, Franco R. Glucose metabolism and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-dependent signaling regulate the toxicity of paraquat (environment) and alpha-synuclein (gene) interactions. Anadhan A, Franco R.


Research Chart
  • Research Interests

    Redox signaling with an emphasis in thiol-redox homeostasis and oxidative protein cysteine modifications

    Cell death pathways regulated by oxidative stress and redox signaling including apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis

    Neuronal cell death associated with neurodegenerative disorders, ischaemia and brain injury

  • Education & Training

    1996-2000. National University of Mexico (UNAM). School of Sciences. B. S. in Biology

    2000-2004. National University of Mexico (UNAM). Cell Physiology Institute. Ph.D. in Sciences (Biomedical sciences) Advisor: Prof. Herminia Pasantes Morales

    2004-2009. Postdoctoral Fellow. Laboratory of Signal Transduction, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH. Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Supervisor: Dr. John A. Cidlowski

  • Awards, Fellowships and Recognitions

    2001 and 2003. Young Investigator Travel Award. International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN)

    2001. Basic Neurochemistry School (Scholarship). International Society for Neurochemistry.

    2002. Young Investigator Travel Award. American Society for Neurochemistry (ASN)

    2005. Marie Curie Scholarship. European Cell Death Organization

    2007 and 2009. Travel Award. American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Experimental Biology

    2007 Martin Rodbell Travel Award, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health

    2008 Travel Award. Keystone Symposia Scholarship. Cell Death in the Immune System.

    2009. Travel Award. American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Experimental Biology

    2006-present. National Program of Researchers (SNI) Level II. CONACYT, Mexico

    2010. Layman Award. Office of Research. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    2014 SIGMA XI Outstanding Young Scientist Award (University of Nebraska Chapter)

  • Professional Memberships

    2009-present. Active Member of the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine

    2012-present. Regular Member of the Society for Neuroscience

    2013-present. Full Member of the Society of Toxicology

  • Editorial Boards

    2015-present. Editorial Board. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity

    2014-present. Academic Editor. PLOS ONE

    2009-present. Editorial Board. Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods.

    2011-present. Editorial Board. Chemico-Biological Interactions.

  • Other professional experience

    2003-2004. Teaching Professor in Physiology. Bachelor in Biology Program. School of Sciences. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Av. Insurgentes Sur 3000, Circuito Exterior. Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico D.F. C.P. 04510.

    2001 Visiting Scientist. Biochemical Department. August Krogh Institute, University of Copenhaguen, Copenhaguen, Denmark.

    2009. Principal Investigator. Department of Toxicology. Center of Advanced Studies and Research of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV). Mexico City, D.F. Mexico.