Martinez-Arias Lab

Grasping at straws

“let us hope that it is not true but, if it is true, let us make sure that it is not widely known” Anonymous comments to the idea of Evolution. A pdf of this blog can be downloaded here. Nature has … Continue reading

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We are interested in the structure and function of Living Matter with a special focus on the processes that generate tissues and organs from single cells through interactions between protein and gene regulatory networks. Cells use these networks to create and read programmes of gene expression and use these to interact with each other and differentiate into the multiple cell types that configure the building blocks of an organism. Our research is focused on how the activity of molecular networks is transformed into tissues for organ building. We address this problem through a combination of classical genetics, quantitative cell biology, image analysis and modelling.

We use mouse Embryonic Stem (ES) cells and Drosophila Intestinal Stem Cells (ISC) to ask questions about:

Stochastic and deterministic processes in cell fate decisions

Cell and tissue dynamics during morphogenesis

Cell and tissue dynamics during morphogenesis

Wnt/Notch signalling in developmental homeostasis

Wnt/Notch signalling in developmental homeostasis


The lab has strong collaborations with Richard Adams and Guy Blanchard (Department of PDN ), Jenny Nichols (Cambridge Centre for Stem Cell Research), Kathryn Lilley (Department of Biochemistry), Nicole Gorfinkiel (Centro Biologia Molecular, Madrid, Spain), Ana Katerina Hadjantonakis (Sloan Kettering Institute, New York, USA), Jeremy Gunawardena (Department of Systems Biology, Harvard, USA), Barry Rosen (Sanger), and Emma Rawlins (Gurdon Institute).

We also have strong collaborations with physicists and engineers which respond to the increasing need to trascend the data that is generated by classical biological approaches. In particular we have close interactions with Ben Simons (The Cavendish Laboratory) and Jordi Garcia Ojalvo (Departament de Fisica I Enginyeria Nuclear Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Terrassa, Spain).