Martinez-Arias Lab

The unbearable lightness of being a developmental biologist at the start of XXI century

Let us play a game. Here you have three selections from the recent indexes of three famed journals publishing in the area of Developmental Biology. See if you guess which belongs to which (sure you can put the titles in … 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 Nicole Gorfinkiel (Centro Biologia Molecular, Madrid, Spain), Anne Grapin-Botton (Danish stem cell center:, Ana Katerina Hadjantonakis (Sloan Kettering Institute, New York, USA), Kathryn Lilley (Department of Biochemistry), Jenny Nichols (Cambridge Centre for Stem Cell Research), 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 Jordi Garcia Ojalvo (Universidad Pompeu Fabra: and Jeremy Gunawardena (Department of Systems Biology)