Eduard Batlle

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (IRB Barcelona)

Life & Medical Sciences

Eduard Batlle joined the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) as ICREA Research Professor and Head of the Oncology Program in 2004. His research activity has focused on the mechanisms that drive colorectal cancer (CRC) initiation and progression. Amongst other findings, his research originally identified the transcription factor Snail as a repressor of E-Cadherin gene expression during the EMT (2000); the connection between intestinal stem cells and CRC (2002-2011); and more recently a key role for TGF-beta signaling in stromal cells during metastatic colonization (2012-2015). His track record has been recognised through several awards/honours such as the Sabadell Banc Award for Biomedical Research (2010), Josef Steiner Award (2013), ERC Starting and Advanced Grants (2007, 2013), the Pezcoller foundation-EACR award (2014), the Lilly Foundation Award for Pre-clinical research (2016) and the Carmen & Severo Ochoa Foundation Prize (2016).

Research interests

The inner layer of the intestinal tube, the intestinal epithelium, is in a constant process of renewal. Hundreds of millions of terminally differentiated intestinal cells are replaced by new cells every day during the life of an adult organism. This tremendous regenerative power is ultimately sustained by a small population of intestinal stem cells. It is believed that alterations in the functioning of intestinal stem cells account for the pathophysiology of various bowel disorders. Our laboratory studies the connection between the biology of Intestinal Stem Cells and Colon Cancer. We have recently achieved for the first time the isolation of stem cells of the human colonic epithelium as well as of tumor stem cells from colon cancers. We are currently analyzing the features of these two cell types with the aim of designing new therapeutic and diagnostic tools for the management of colon cancer.

Selected publications

– Mora-Buch R, Dotti I, Planell N, Calderón-Gómez E, Jung P, Masamunt MC, Llach J, Ricart E, Batlle E, Panés J & Salas A 2016, ‘Epithelial IL-1R2 acts as a homeostatic regulator during remission of ulcerative colitis’, Mucosal Immunol., 9, 4, 950 – 959.

– Tauriello DVF & Batlle E 2016, ‘Targeting the Microenvironment in Advanced Colorectal Cancer’, Trends in Cancer, vol. 2 n.9, pp 495-504.

Selected research activities

Awards and Honors

  •  2016 Carme and Severo Ochoa Foundation Prize
  •  2016 Lilly Foundation Award for Preclinical Research in Biomedicine

Organization of conferences

  •  Co-organizer (with Salvador Aznar-Benitah and Raúl Méndez, IRB Barcelona) of the B. Debate Conference “Beyond Cancer Genomes”

Invited Talks (selection)

  • 28th Pezcoller Symposium. Trento. Italy.
  • American Assoc. for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting. Major Symposium on “Microenvironment and Cancer Stemness”. New Orleans. USA.
  • EMBO symposium: Tumor microenvironment. Heidelberg. Germany