James Sharpe

Centre de Regulació Genòmica

Life & Medical Sciences

1997: PhD MRC National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill, London (UK). "Cis-regulatory mechanisms of the Hox genes in mouse development". Lab of Dr. Robb Krumlauf.
1997-1998: Postdoc on Xenopus development, University of Chile.
1998: MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh. Postdoc on computational approaches to study mouse limb development.
2001: Development of a 3D optical imaging technique and introduction of the term "Optical Projection Tomography", commercialised under the name Bioptonics.
2003: Group Leader in Edinburgh.
2006: Senior Group Leader at the Centre de Regulació Genòmica, Barcelona (Spain).
2011: Acting Coordinator of the EMBL-CRG Systems Biology Program.
2014: Coordinator of the EMBL-CRG Systems Biology Program.
2017: Head of the EMBL Barcelona. 

Research interests

The physical complexity of a human being, or even a single organ, is truly astounding. The goal of my lab is to understand how the activities of gene networks controls the millions of cells which make up our organs - allowing them to communicate with each other, to decide what to do at each moment during embryo development: whether to divide, which way to move, and which cells types to become (cartilage, bone, connective tissue, etc.) We believe this will only be achieved by integrating information into a computer model, and to this end we are developing new imaging and computational methods to understand one example of organogenesis - vertebrate limb development. We combine various systems biology approaches to integrate data on cell activities and gene networks into a realistic 4D computer simulation of the process. This is a truly interdisciplinary endeavour, and the lab is therefore composed of physicists, engineers and computer scientists as well as biologists.

Selected publications

- Diego X, Marcon L, Mueller P & Sharpe J 2018, 'Key Features of Turing Systems are Determined Purely by Network Topology', Physical Review X, 8, 2, 021071.

- Musy M, Flaherty K, Raspopovic J, Robert-Moreno A, Richtsmeier JT & Sharpe J 2018, 'A quantitative method for staging mouse embryos based on limb morphometry', Development, 145, 7, UNSP dev154856.

- Moalli F, Ficht X, Germann P, Vladymyrov M, Stolp B, de Vries I, Lyck R, Balmer J, Fiocchi A, Kreutzfeldt M, Merkler D, Iannacone M, Ariga A, Stoffel MH, Sharpe J, Baehler M, Sixt M, Diz-Munoz A & Stein JV 2018, 'The Rho regulator Myosin IXb enables nonlymphoid tissue seeding of protective CD8(+) T cells', Journal Of Experimental Medicine, 215, 7, 1869 - 1890.

- Schaerli Y, Jimenez A, Duarte JM, Mihajlovic L, Renggli J, Isalan M, Sharpe J & Wagner A 2018, 'Synthetic circuits reveal how mechanisms of gene regulatory networks constrain evolution', Molecular Systems Biology, 14, 9, e8102.

- Mayer J, Robert-Moreno A, Sharpe J & Swoger J 2018, 'Attenuation artifacts in light sheet fluorescence microscopy corrected by OPTiSPIM', Light-science & Applications, 7, 70.

- Martinez-Abadias N, Mateu Estivill R, Sastre Tomas J, Perrine SM, Yoon M, Robert-Moreno A, Swoger J, Russo L, Kawasaki K, Richtsmeier J & Sharpe J 2018, 'Quantification of gene expression patterns to reveal the origins of abnormal morphogenesis', Elife, 7, e36405.