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Marco Milán

Marco Milán

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica

Life & Medical Sciences

Graduated in Biology at the Universidad Complutense in 1991, I obtained my PhD in the laboratory of Antonio García-Bellido at the CBM-Severo Ochoa in 1995. In 1997, I joined the laboratory of Stephen M. Cohen at the EMBL-Heidelberg where I got a position as Staff Scientist. Since 2003, I am ICREA Research Professor at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine leading the Development and Growth Control Laboratory. Since 2007, I am also Head of the Cell and Developmental Biology (2007-2018) and Mechanisms of Disease (2018-) Programmes. I was elected EMBO Young Investigator in 2007 and Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore in 2010. I am also Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona since 2020, and member of the Disease, Models and Mechanisms editorial (2016-) and European Drosophila Society (2021-) boards. I have directed 12 PhD theses and published, as first or lead author, more than 70 papers.

Research interests

Research in my lab is centered around two topics: (1) cell and tissue biology of chromosomal instability (CIN), defined as an increased rate of changes in chromosome structure and number and a feature of most solid tumors, and (2) regulation of organ size in development and under stress conditions. We use the highly proliferative wing epithelium of Drosophila as model system to characterize at the genetic and molecular level CIN-induced cellular behaviors such as epithelial to mesenchymal (EMT)-like cell fate transition, tissue invasiveness, senescence and malignancy and to understand how the size and fate of a developing organ is regulated by the activity of morphogens and other signaling molecules. Interestingly, conserved mechanisms drive the development of vertebrate and invertebrate limbs and similar tumor-like behaviors have been shown to emerge in fly and mammalian tissues subjected to CIN.

Selected publications

– Joy J, Barrio L, Santos-Tapia C, Romao D, Giakoumakis NN, Clemente-Ruiz M & Milan M 2021, ‘Proteostasis failure and mitochondrial dysfunction leads to aneuploidy-induced senescence’, Developmental Cell, 56, 14, 2043–2058.

– Romao D, Muzzopappa M, Barrio L & Milan M 2021, ‘The Upd3 cytokine couples inflammation to maturation defects in Drosophila’, Current Biology, 31, 8, 1780-1787

ICREA Memoir 2021