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Pura Muñoz-Cánoves

Pura Muñoz-Cánoves

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Life & Medical Sciences

Pura Muñoz-Cánoves studied Pharmacology in the University of Valencia and obtained her PhD in 1990 in the Autonomous University of Madrid for work carried out at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, USA). She did postdoctoral work at the University of California-San Diego and The Scripps Research Institute, and in 1994 joined the Cancer Research Institute in Barcelona as a postdoc, becoming an independent group leader in 1997. In 2002 she moved to the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona where became a senior scientist in 2007. Late 2008 she moved to the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) after becoming an ICREA Research Professor. Through the UPF, she holds a collaborative agreement with the Spanish National Center on Cardiovascular Research. She is Member of EMBO and the Academia Europaea. Her research focuses on deciphering the mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle regeneration and growth, in physiology and disease.

Research interests

Our main objective is to understand the mechanisms regulating tissue regeneration in aging and disease. Research is specially focused on skeletal muscle. Recent studies from the laboratory have shed light on how skeletal muscle maintains its regenerative capacity throughout life. In particular, we have uncovered age-associated changes that muscle resident stem cells (and niche cells) undergo that modify their response to injury as well as new strategies to reverse these changes. Slowing or inhibiting the aging-related decline in tissue function is one of the most fascinating challenges in regenerative medicine.

Selected publications

– Roman W, Pinheiro H, Pimentel MH, Segalés J, Oliveira LM, García-Domínguez E, Gómez-Cabrera MC, Serrano AL, Gomes ER, Muñoz-Cánoves P. ‘Stem cell-independent muscle repair after physiological damage relies on nuclear migration for reconstruction’. Science 374:355, 2021

– Sreenivasan K, Rodríguez-delaRosa A, Kim J, Mesquita D, Segalés J, Arco PG, Espejo I, Ianni A, Di Croce L, Relaix F, Redondo JM, Braun T, Serrano AL, Perdiguero E, Muñoz-Cánoves P. ‘CHD4 ensures stem cell lineage fidelity during skeletal muscle regeneration’. Stem Cell Reports. 16:2089, 2021

– Chen X, Yuan J, Xue G, Campanario S, Wang D, Wang W, Liew SW, Isern J, Zhao Y, He L, Li Y, Mann CJ, Yu X, Wang L, Perdiguero E, Nagamine Y, Kwok CK, Sun H, Muñoz-Cánoves P*, Wang H 2021 ‘Translational control by DHX36 binding to 5’UTR G-quadruplex is essential for muscle stem-cell regenerative functions‘. Nature Commun. 12:5043. (* co-corresponding)

Selected research activities


– President of Fundamental Myology Commission of Association Française pour les Myopathies (AFM), Paris, France

– Member of Cell Stem Cell Advisory Board

– National Research Prize “Santiago Ramón y Cajal” 2021

– Milky Way Research Foundation Project Award on Aging and Rejuvenation

– ERC Adv Grant Evaluation Panel

– Member of several Editorial Boards (journals) and Advisory boards (research institutes)

Invited Speaker:

– Keynote Lecture at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (invited by Dr. D. Glass)

– Frontiers Conference on “Skeletal muscle regeneration and disease” (invited by Drs. E. Chen, R. Perlingeiro and S. Tedesco)

ICREA Memoir 2021