Salvador A. Benitah

Salvador A. Benitah

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica

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

- Tartour K, Andriani F, Folco EG, et al. 2022, 'Mammalian PERIOD2 regulates H2A.Z incorporation in chromatin to orchestrate circadian negative feedback', Nat Struct Mol Biol, 29(6):549-562.

- Castro-Zavala A, Alegre-Zurano L, Cantacorps L, et al. 2022, 'Bmal1-knockout mice exhibit reduced cocaine-seeking behaviour and cognitive impairments', Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 153, 113333.

- Petrus P, Smith JG, Koronowski KB, et al. 2022, 'The central clock suffices to drive the majority of circulatory metabolic rhythms', Sci Adv, 8(26):eabo2896.

- Delaunay S, Pascual G, Feng B, et al. 2022, 'Mitochondrial RNA modifications shape metabolic plasticity in metastasis', Nature, 607(7919):593-603.

- Martin-Perez M, Urdiroz-Urricelqui U, Bigas C & Benitah SA 2022, 'The role of lipids in cancer progression and metastasis'. Cell Metab 34(11):1675-1699.

Selected research activities

- Recipient of the 2022 Lily Foundation Award for Life Sciences 

- Organizer of the IRB Barcelona Biomed Award of Dynamics of Aging