Gerardo Jiménez graduated in biology from Universitat de Barcelona in 1988. He performed his doctoral studies at the Leukaemia Research Fund in London and at the Department of Biochemistry of Universitat de Barcelona, working on the structure and regulation of mammalian globin gene loci. After receiving his PhD degree in 1993, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Cancer Research UK, both in Oxford and in London. Since then, his research interests have focused on the transcriptional and cell signaling mechanisms controlling gene expression during animal development, mainly using Drosophila as a model system. After his postdoctoral training, he moved to the Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona-CSIC, where he is head of the Gene Expression and Signaling laboratory since 2002. He joined ICREA in 2003.
During animal development, the differentiation of cells, tissues and organs is tightly regulated through specific gene expression programs. Our research addresses the transcriptional and cell signaling mechanisms responsible for this control. Most of our work uses the fruit fly, Drosophila, which allows us to combine classical genetic, cell biological and biochemical approaches with recently developed genome-editing technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9. One main line of research focuses on Ras-Erk signaling and its downstream effector Capicua (Cic), an evolutionarily conserved transcriptional repressor with key roles in normal development and human diseases. We discovered this factor in Drosophila and are studying its function from different perspectives, including the analysis of its basic mechanism of repression and its interaction with Erk signaling and other signal transduction pathways. In addition, we have a long-term interest in transcriptional corepressors such as the conserved Groucho/TLE and Atrophin proteins, which we are analyzing from a functional and mechanistic point of view. In the long term, our studies are designed to characterize basic cell biological mechanisms that are relevant to human disorders.
Selected research activities
* Principal investigator of research project “Transcriptional interpretation of RTK signaling” funded by MICINN (2018-2020).
* Co-investigator in research project “Chromatin and Gene Expression” funded by AGAUR (2017-2020).
* Invited speaker at Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo (CABD, Seville).
* Director of Master thesis by Clàudia Lagares Martín (Universitat de Barcelona, July 2019).
* Ad-hoc grant reviewer for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and peer reviewer for international scientific journals (e.g. Current Biology, Genetics, iScience).