Salvador A. Benitah

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (IRB Barcelona)

Life & Medical Sciences

Salvador Aznar Benitah is a group leader at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). He holds a BSc/MSc in Biochemistry from the University of McGill (Montreal, Canada), from where he moved to the Biomedical Research Institute (Madrid, Spain) to obtain a PhD in Molecular Biology. His professional career continued at the London Research Institute (Cancer Research UK) in the laboratory of Prof. Fiona Watt where he acquired extensive knowledge on adult stem cells. He started as a Junior ICREA researcher at the CRG in 2007 where he studied the role of adult stem cells in tissue homeostasis and cancer. Since September 2012 he is an ICREA Research Professor. In September 2013 he became a Senior Researcher in the Oncology Department at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona).

Research interests

Our global aim is to characterize the molecular pathways that regulate the behaviour of normal stem cells during homeostasis, and how they become deregulated during carcinogenesis and ageing. Research Lines: – What intrinsic mechanisms regulate adult stem cell function, and how are they deregulated during ageing and cancer? – How do adult stem cells communicate with their local environment and how is the system coordinated to dictate stem cell function? – What systemic cues communicate with adult stem cells and how do distant adult stem cells coordinate their function at the level of the whole organism? – How does deregulation of pathways that control stem cell behaviour contribute to the maintenance and progression of carcinomas (SCC)?

Selected publications

– Mardaryev AN, Liu B, Rapisarda V, Poterlowicz K, Malashchuk I, Rudolf J, Sharov AA, Jahoda CA, Fessing MY, Benitah SA, Xu GL & Botchkarev VA 2016, ‘Cbx4 maintains the epithelial lineage identity and cell proliferation in the developing stratified epithelium’, J. Cell Biol., vol. 212(1), pp 77-89.

– Avgustinova A & Benitah SA 2016, The epigenetics of tumour initiation: cancer stem cells and their chromatin’, Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev., vol. 36, pp 8-15.

– Avgustinova A & Benitah SA 2016, ‘Epigenetic control of adult stem cell function’, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 17, 10, 643 – 658.

– Rinaldi L, Datta D, Serrat J, Morey L, Solanas G, Avgustinova A, Blanco E, Pons JI, Matallanas D, Von Kriegsheim A, Di Croce L & Benitah SA 2016, ‘Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b Associate with Enhancers to Regulate Human Epidermal Stem Cell Homeostasis’, Cell Stem Cell, vol.19 no. 4, pp 491-501.