Marco Milán

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (IRB Barcelona)

Life & Medical Sciences

Marco Milán graduated in Biology at the Universidad Complutense (Madrid, 1991) and obtained his PhD in the laboratory of Antonio García-Bellido at the Center of Molecular Biology (Madrid, 1995). A couple of years later, he joined the laboratory of Stephen M. Cohen at the EMBL in Heidelberg, where he got a position as Staff Scientist until 2003. In 2003, he got his present position as ICREA Research Professor at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) leading the Development and Growth Control Laboratory. Since 2007, he is the Head of the Cell and Developmental Biology Programme of the IRB. In 2007, he was elected EMBO Young Investigator. He was Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore in 2010. He is member of the editorial boards of EMBO Journal, EMBO reports, and Disease, Models and Mechanisms.

Research interests

My lab is interested in how the size of a developing organ is controlled by the activity of morphogens, growth promoting genes and systemic hormones. We use the Drosophila wing because of its suitability for genetic and molecular manipulations, its well-described developmental biology and its simple epithelial architecture. We take an integrative approach as we address how size is regulated not only during normal development but also in stress conditions. In this regard, we are dissecting the molecular mechanisms underlying the homeostatic capacity of the tissue to several insults (with a special interest in genomic instability) and its potential impact in tumorigenesis. This integrative approach unravels the interplay between morphogens, growth promoting genes and systemic hormones in normal development or upon stress, and contributes to identify emerging stress signalling molecules involved in regeneration and tumorigenesis.

Selected publications

– Clemente-Ruiz M, Murillo-Maldonado JM, Benhra N, Barrio L, Pérez L, Quiroga G, Rodríguez Nebreda AMilán M 2016, ‘Gene dosage imbalance contributes to chromosomal instability-induced tumorigenesis’, Developmental Cell, 36(3):290-302.

– Tosi S & Milán M 2016, ‘Developing epithelia: What the eye cannot grasp’, Developmental Cell, 36 (1), 7–8.

Selected research activities

Organization of international congresses & workshops

3rdDrosophila Growth and Regeneration Meeting’, Girona (Spain) 2016

Development: From limbs to miRNAs’, EMBL, Heidelberg (Germany) 2016


Editorial Board

EMBO Journal, EMBO reports and DMM (Disease, Models and Mechanisms)