I graduated in Biology at the Universidad Complutense (Madrid, 1991) and obtained my PhD in the laboratory of Antonio García-Bellido at the CBM-Severo Ochoa (Madrid, 1995). A couple of years later, I joined the laboratory of Stephen M. Cohen at the EMBL-Heidelberg, where I got a position as Staff Scientist. In 2003, I got my present position as ICREA Research Professor at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) leading the Development and Growth Control Laboratory. Since 2007, I was also the Head of the Cell and Developmental Biology Programme at the IRB. In 2018, I was appointed Head of the Mechanisms of Disease Programme at the IRB. In 2007, I was elected EMBO Young Investigator. I was Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore in 2010. I am a member of the EMBO Journal, and Disease, Models and Mechanisms editorial boards. I have directed 9 PhD theses and published, as first or lead author, more than 70 papers.
Research in my lab is centered around the two following topics:
1. Cell and tissue biology of Chromosomal Instability (CIN): CIN, defined as an increased rate of changes in chromosome structure and number, is a feature of most, if not all, solid tumors. Our lab has recently developed an epithelial model of CIN in Drosophila where the relevant cell populations and pertinent cell interactions involved in the response of an epithelial tissue to CIN have been identified. We are currently characterizing at the genetic and molecular level CIN-induced cellular bahaviours such as epithelial to mesenchymal (EMT)-like cell fate transition, tissue invasiveness and senescence.
2. Regulation of tissue size: We use the epithelial primordium of the Drosophila wing to address how the size and fate of a developing organ is regulated by the activity of morphogens and their gradients.
– Santabarbara-Ruiz P, Esteban-Collado J, Perez L, Viola G, Abril JF, Milan M, Corominas M & Serras F 2019, ‘Ask1 and Akt act synergistically to promote ROS-dependent regeneration in Drosophila’, Plos Genetics, 15, 1, e1007926.
– Murcia L, Clemente-Ruiz M, Pierre-Elies P, Royou A & Milan M 2019, ‘Selective Killing of RAS-Malignant Tissues by Exploiting Oncogene-Induced DNA Damage’, Cell Reports, 28, 1, 119 -131.
– Sanchez JA, Mesquita D, Ingaramo MC, Ariel F, Milan M & Dekanty A 2019, ‘Eiger/TNF alpha-mediated Dilp8 and ROS production coordinate intra-organ growth in Drosophila’, Plos Genetics, 15, 8, e1008133.
Selected research activities
Co-organizer of the EMBL in SPAIN Alumni Meeting Barcelona (Spain), 2019