Manuel Serrano

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona

Life & Medical Sciences

Manuel Serrano obtained his PhD in 1991 for his research at the Centre for Molecular Biology (CSIC/UAM, Madrid)) of M. Salas. From 1992 to 1996 he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of D. Beach at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, USA. In 1997, he returned to Spain to start his own research group at the Spanish National Biotechnology Centre (CSIC, Madrid). He moved to the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (Madrid) in 2003 to lead the Tumour Suppression Group, where he also served as Director of the Molecular Oncology Programme (2012-2017). In May 2017, he relocated to the Institute for Biomedical Research-IRB Barcelona to establish the Cellular Plasticity and Disease Group within the Molecular Medicine Research Programme. He has accomplished important scientific contributions to the understanding of ageing from different perspectives: Cancer & Ageing, Metabolism & Ageing, Regeneration & Ageing.

Research interests

The unifying concept that has guided our research is that tumour suppressors protect the organism from many types of damage and regardless of the pathology that damage may cause. Protection from cancer is just one of the outcomes of tumour suppressors, others being protection from chronic diseases, nutritional overload, tissue injuries, or aging. Tumour suppressors often trigger a cellular state known as cellular senescence, and we have pioneer the concept that cellular senescence is critical to signal tissue damage and to elicit tissue regeneration. The key emerging paradigm is that tumour suppressors, by triggering cellular senescence, recruit inflammatory cells and create a tissue microenvironment that favours tissue repair and regeneration. Damage → Tumour Suppressors → Cellular Senescence → (secreted factors) → Cellular Plasticity → Tissue Repair

Selected research activities


– Marion RM, Lopez de Silanes I, Mosteiro L, Gamache B, Abad M, Guerra C, Megias D, Serrano M & Blasco MA 2017, ‘Common telomere changes during in vivo reprogramming and early stages of tumorigenesis’, Stem Cell Rep., 8, 460-475.

– Evangelou K, Lougiakis N, 
 Rizou SV, Kotsinas A, Kletsas D, Muñoz-Espín D, Kastrinakis NG, Pouli N, Marakos P, Townsend P, Serrano M, Bartek J & Gorgoulis VG 2017, ‘Robust, universal biomarker assay to detect senescent cells in biological specimens’, Aging Cell, 16, 192-197.

– Kannappan K, Matsuda A, Ferreira-Martins J, Zhang E, Palano G, Czarna A, Castro Cabral-Da-Silva M, Bastos-Carvalho A, Sanada F, Ide N, Rota M, Blasco MA, Serrano M, Anversa P & Leri A 2017, ‘P53 modulates the fate of cardiac progenitor cells ex vivo and in the diabetic heart in vivo’, EBioMedicine, 16, 224-237.