Pura Muñoz-Cánoves

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

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

- Muñoz-Cánoves P & Huch M 2018, 'Definitions for adult stem cells debated', Nature. 563(7731):328-329.

- Sousa-Victor P, García-Prat L & Muñoz-Cánoves P 2018, 'New mechanisms driving muscle stem cell regenerative decline with aging'. Int J Dev Biol.; 62:583-590.

- Baar MP, Perdiguero E, Muñoz-Cánoves P & de Keizer PL 2018, 'Musculoskeletal senescence: a moving target ready to be eliminate', Current Opinion In Pharmacology, 40, 147 - 155.

- Chang NC, Sincennes MC, Chevalier FP, Brun CE, Lacaria M, Segalés J, Muñoz-Cánoves P, Ming H & Rudnicki MA 2018, 'The Dystrophin Glycoprotein Complex Regulates the Epigenetic Activation of Muscle Stem Cell Commitment', Cell Stem Cell, 22, 5, 755

Selected research activities

Conferences, Invited Speaker:

  • International Congress on Cell Biology (ICBB 2018), India.
  • Muscle Biology in Health and Disease Conference, Singapore.
  • Muscle Development, Regeneration and Disease Meeting, Berlin.
  • 2nd International Conference on Tissue Repair and Regeneration and Fibrosis, Greece.
  • 2018 AGE Meeting in Philadelphia, USA.
  • FASEB: Skeletal Muscle Satellite Cells and Regeneration, USA.
  • Jena Aging Meeting (JAM), Germany.
  • EMBO Workshop Cellular signalling and cancer therapy, Croatia.
  • Conference on Molecular mechanisms of muscle wasting during aging and disease, Switzerland.
  • 9th Annual Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging Conference, USA.
  • Stem Cell Seminar series of Columbia Stem Cell Initiative (CSCI), USA.
  • The 11th Guangzhou International Conference on Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine “Stem cell encounters by the Pearl River”,  China.