Cell and Developmental BiologyDevelopment and Growth Control Laboratory
ICREA Research Professor
We are interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of tissue growth during normal development, tissue homeostasis and tumorigenesis. We perform these studies in Drosophila melanogaster, because of its suitability for genetic and molecular manipulations and its well-described developmental biology. Our current work focuses on the following topics:
Growth control during normal development: The wing primordium is a monolayered epithelial sac that grows one-thousand folds in size and number of cells to give rise to the adult wing. It is subdivided into compartments, cell populations that do not mix during the proliferative stages, and interactions between these compartments induce the expression or activity of signaling molecules that organize growth and pattern formation. We are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that organize and coordinate growth and patterning, the gene regulatory networks involved in compartment boundary formation and the cellular mechanisms involved in generating the affinity barriers.
Coordination of tissue growth: In multi-cellular organisms, coordination of growth between and within organs contributes to the generation of well proportioned organs and functionally integrated adults and ensures adaptation to environmental conditions. We are currently analyzing the molecular mechanisms involved in these processes, with a particular interest on the role of Drosophila p53 and the micro-RNA machinery.
Drosophila epithelial cells as a model for cancer biology: Wing primordia have provided useful as model systems to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying tumorigenic growth. We are interested in identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to oncogene-mediated hyperplasic growth, cell delamination, basement membrane degradation and host invasiveness.
Group news & mentions
Researchers identify a key molecule in flies that adjusts energy use under starvation conditions
"Drosophila" is consolidated as a valid model in cancer and autoimmune syndromes
IRB Barcelona researchers discover mechanism that regulates steroid hormone production in Drosophila
Scientists in Catalonia study how a cell becomes cancerous
This group receives financial support from the following sources:
- European Commission
- Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (Spanish Ministry of Science and Education)
- Generalitat de Catalunya (DURSI)(Government of Catalonia)
- ICREA (Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies)
- EMBO Young Investigator Programme