Salvador A. Benitah

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de 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?

Selected publications

– Gawrzak S, Rinaldi L, Gregorio S, Arenas EJ, Salvador F, Urosevic J, Figueras-Puig C, Rojo F, del Barco Barrantes I, Cejalvo JM, Palafox M, Guiu M, Berenguer-Llergo A, Symeonidi A, Bellmunt A, Kalafatovic D, Arnal-Estape A, Fernandez E, Mullauer B, Groeneveld R, Slobodnyuk K, Stephan-Otto Attolini C, Saura C, Arribas J, Cortes J, Rovira A, Munoz M, Lluch A, Serra V, Albanell J, Prat A, Nebreda ARAznar Benitah SGomis RR 2018, ‘MSK1 regulates luminal cell differentiation and metastatic dormancy in ER+ breast cancer’, Nature Cell Biology, 20, 2, 211.

– Li H, Yao Q, Mariscal AG, Wu X, Hulse J, Pedersen E, Helin K, Waisman A, Vinkel C, Thomsen SF, Avgustinova A, Aznar-Benitah S, Lovato P, Norsgaard H, Mortensen MS, Veng L, Rozell B & Brakebusch C 2018, ‘Epigenetic control of IL-23 expression in keratinocytes is important for chronic skin inflammation’, Nature Communications, 9, 1420.

– Ladanyi A, Mukherjee A, Kenny HA, Johnson A, Mitra AK, Sundaresan S, Nieman KM, Pascual G, Aznar Benitah S, Montag A, Yamada SD,  Abumrad NA & Lengyel E 2018, ‘Adipocyte-induced CD36 expression drives ovarian cancer progression and metastasis’, Oncogene, 37, 17, 2285 – 2301.

– Avgustinova A, Symeonidi A, Solé L, Martín M, Castellanos A, Supek FLehner B & Benitah SA 2018, ‘Loss of G9a preserves mutation patterns but increases chromatin accessibility, genomic instability and aggressiveness in skin tumours, Nat Cel Biol, 20(12):1400-1409.

– Salzer M, Lafzi A, Avgustinova A, Solanas G, Peixoto F, Castellanos A, Prats N, Martin-Caballero J, Heyn H & Benitah SA 2018, ‘Identity noise and adipogenic traits characterize dermal fibroblast aging’, Cell, 175, 6, 1575.

– Pascual G, Domínguez D, Benitah SA 2018, ‘The contributions of cancer cell metabolism to metastasis’, Dis Model Mech. 11(8), dmm032920.