Salvador A. Benitah

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

- Benitah SA & Welz P-S 2020, 'Circadian Regulation of Adult Stem Cell Homeostasis and Aging', Cell Stem Cell, 26, 6, 817 - 831.

- Welz P-S & Benitah SA 2020, 'Molecular Connections Between Circadian Clocks and Aging', Journal Of Molecular Biology, 432, 12, 3661 - 3679.

- Lorenzo-Martin LF, Fernandez-Parejo N, Menacho-Marquez M, Rodriguez-Fdez S, Robles-Valero J, Zumalave S, Fabbiano S, Pascual G, Garcia-Pedrero JM, Abad A, Garcia-Macias MC, Gonzalez N, Lorenzano-Menna P, Pavon MA, Gonzalez-Sarmiento R, Segrelles C, Paramio JM, Tubio JMC, Rodrigo JP, Benitah SA, Cuadrado M & Bustelo XR 2020, 'VAV2 signaling promotes regenerative proliferation in both cutaneous and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma', Nature Communications, 11, 1, 4788.

Selected research activities

Founder of ONA Therapeutics to develop clinical grade antibodies for anti-metastasis therapies. Closed a Series A in July 2020 with an international syndicate for 30 million euros which allows us to reach clinical trials in 2023.  

Awarded Lilliane Bettencourt Award for Life Sciences in December 2020