Pura Muñoz-Cànoves

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)

Life & Medical Sciences

Pura Muñoz-Cánoves studied Pharmacology in the University of Valencia. She obtained her PhD in 1990 in the Autonomous University of Madrid for work carried out at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, USA). She did postdoctoral work at the University of California-San Diego and The Scripps Research Institute, and in 1994 she joined the Cancer Research Institute in Barcelona as a postdoc, becoming an independent group leader in 1997. In 2002 her group moved to the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, and she became a senior scientist in 2007 in that Institution. Late 2008 she moved to the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) after becoming an ICREA Research Professor. Through the UPF, she holds a collaborative agreement with the Spanish National Center on Cardiovascular Research. Her research focuses on deciphering the mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle regeneration and growth, in physiology and disease.

Research interests

Our main objective is to understand the mechanisms regulating stem cell homeostasis and regenerative functions: how stem cells maintain quiescence, are activated, transit to proliferative expansion and differentiation, and finally self-renew, and how they interact with the external inflammatory environment. Research is specially focused on stem cells of skeletal muscle. Recent studies from the laboratory have shed light on 1) age-associated muscle decline and wasting (sarcopenia) and loss of stem-cell regenerative functions with aging; and 2) the physiopathology of muscular dystrophies, with a specific interest in the contribution of inflammation and fibrosis to dystrophy progression. These findings are relevant for regenerative medicine.

Selected publications

– García-Prat L, Martínez-Vicente M, Perdiguero E, Ortet L, Garcia-Ubreva J, Rebollo E, Ruiz-Bonilla V, Gutarra S, Ballestar E, Serrano AL, Sandri M & Muñoz-Cánoves P 2016, ‘Autophagy maintains stemness by preventing senescence’, Nature, 529: 37-42.

– García-Prat L, Martínez-Vicente M & Muñoz-Cánoves P 2016, ‘Autophagy: a decisive process for stemnes’, Oncotarget (Autophagy and Cell Death section), 7:12286-8.

– Segalés J, Islam AB, Kumar R, Liu QC, Sousa-Victor P, Dilworth FJ, Ballestar E, Perdiguero E & Muñoz-Cánoves P 2016, ‘Chromatin-wide and transcriptome profiling integration uncovers p38α MAPK as a global regulator of skeletal muscle differentiation’, Skelet Muscle, 6:9.

– Gómez-Del Arco P, Perdiguero E, … Muñoz-Cánoves P & Redondo JM 2016, ‘The Chromatin Remodeling Complex Chd4/NuRD Controls Striated Muscle Identity and Metabolic Homeostasis’, Cell Metab., 23:881-92.

– Brack AS & Muñoz-Cánoves P 2016, ‘The ins and outs of muscle stem cell’, Skel. Muscle, 6:1.

– Sousa-Victor P & Muñoz-Cánoves P 2016, ‘Regenerative decline of stem cells in sarcopeni’, Mol. Aspects Med., 50:109-17.

– Segalés J, Perdiguero E & Muñoz-Cánoves P 2016, ‘Regulation of Muscle Stem Cell Functions: A Focus on the p38 MAPK Signaling Pathway’, Front Cell Dev Biol., 4:91.

Selected research activities

Conferences (Invited Speaker):

– Francis Crick Institute. London

– IFOM-IEO. Milan

– Workshop on Skeletal & Cardiac Myogenesis. Weizmann Inst. Rehovot

– International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). San Francisco

– Sanford Burnham Discovery Inst. La Jolla

– International Conference on Oxidative Stress. Pasteur Inst. Paris

– Cell Symposia on Aging and Metabolism. Sitges

– Conference on Cellular Senescence. Weizmann Inst. Rehovot

– FASEB Conference on Skeletal Muscle Satellite Cells. Keystone

-International Conference on Tissue Repair, Regeneration and Fibrosis. Rhodes

– International Conference on Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition. Zhejiang Univ, Hangzhou

– The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. Hong Kong

– Institute of Molecular Medicine. Lisbon