Alejo Rodriguez Fraticelli

Alejo Rodriguez Fraticelli

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica

Life & Medical Sciences

Alejo Rodriguez-Fraticelli received his PhD from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in 2014, working with Miguel Alonso and Fernando Martin-Belmonte on epithelial morphogenesis. In 2015, Alejo moved to Harvard University to train as a postdoc with Fernando Camargo in hematopoietic development and lineage tracing. During this time, Alejo began a long-lasting collaboration with Caleb Weinreb and Allon Klein at Harvard Medical School, characterizing blood stem cells using single-cell lineage tracing. In 2021, Alejo was recruited as a junior group leader at IRB Barcelona, expanding the Programme of Aging and Metabolism. During his career, Alejo received major grants and awards, including the LSRF "Merck" Fellowship, the ASH Scholar Award, the LLS Special Fellowship, the NHLBI K99/R00 Award, the Cris Excellence Award, and the ERC Starting Grant. Since 2023, Alejo is an ICREA Research Professor.       

Research interests

Hematopoiesis has long been modeled as a stepwise hierarchical process, where all blood arises from a group of rare multipotent stem cells. In recent years, we have made major contributions that have challenged this paradigm, revealing an extensive heterogeneity among individual stem cells and their differentiation trajectories. To study heterogeneity, our lab develops advanced genetic tools that allow us to simultaneously record the progeny and state of thousands of single cells at a time. Using these single-cell lineage tracing methods, we have uncovered distinct gene regulatory states linked with heritable fates during regeneration. More recently, we have been focused on how these differences in fate behaviors arise during development and how they influence cellular responses to leukemic mutations and aging. We propose that mapping cellular phylogenetics across systems will lead to a revolution in the ways we understand and treat most diseases.

Selected publications

Rodriguez-Fraticelli AE 2023, ‘HSCs “shift and drift” during transplantation‘. Blood. 142(1):3-4. 
Bloom M, Malouf C, Rodriguez-Fraticelli A, Wilkinson AC, Sankaran VG & Cvejic A 2023, ‘Exploiting somatic mutations to decipher human blood production: a natural lineage-tracing strategy’, Exp Hematol, 121, 2-5.

Selected research activities

In 2023, Alejo welcomed a new daughter to his family, Shira! After coming back from the parental leave, Alejo co-organized the Barcelona Hub of the European Developmental Biology Conference. The conference had a very inclusive fee, allowing it to bring the whole community of developmental biology researchers in Barcelona together to share our science and participate in a hybrid format. It was a resounding success. Then, Alejo presented the lab’s work at a prestigious conference in Melbourne, Australia, OZ Single Cell, which brought together the community of clonal tracing. Alejo then participated in the stem cell school at Institut Curie, and then he presented a lecture at the Karolinska Institute (where he was also invited as a thesis opponent for the lab of Jonas Frisen, a pioneer of lineage tracing and developmental neurobiology). Finally, Alejo was selected for the ASEICA Junior Award in Basic Research, an important recognition from the Spanish community of cancer researchers.