Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo

Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo

Institut de Biologia Evolutiva

Life & Medical Sciences

Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo is an ICREA Research Professor at the Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF). His educational background includes a B.S. and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Barcelona. Funded by grants from EMBO and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, he completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University (Canada). He has also performed short term research projects at the Joint Genome Institute, the University of Arkansas and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. Iñaki has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles, most of them in high impact journals, such as Cell, Nature, Science, eLife, PNAS. He has lead several research projects, including 2 ERC grants. He is an EMBO member and has served on the editorial board of several journals. His current research interests include the origin of multicellular animals, the evolution of complex life forms, and the diversity of eukaryotes.

Research interests

The lab addresses one of the most important evolutionary transitions in the history of life: the origins of multicellularity. To this aim, we focus on the origin of multicellular animals. We perform comparative and functional genomic analyses between animals and their closest unicellular relatives. We reconstruct the nature of the unicellular ancestor that gave rise to animals. We have also developed the first "functional platform" to address animal origins, establishing several new model organisms specific to this question. Finally, we also unravel the hidden diversity of eukaryotes using metabarcoding data. 

Selected publications

- Ocaña-Pallarès E, Williams TA, López-Escardó D, et al. 2022, 'Divergent genomic trajectories predate the origin of animals and fungi', Nature 609, 747–753.

- Dudin O, Wielgoss S, New AM & Ruiz-Trillo I 2022, 'Regulation of sedimentation rate shapes the evolution of multicellularity in a close unicellular relative of animals', Plos Biology, 20, 3, e3001551.

- Leger MM, Ros-Rocher N, Najle SR & Ruiz-Trillo I 2022, 'Rel/NF-κB transcription factors emerged at the onset of opisthokonts', Genome Biology and Evolution, 14(1), evab289

- Grau-Bové X, Navarrete C, Chiva C, et al. 2022, 'A phylogenetic and proteomic reconstruction of eukaryotic chromatin evolution', Nature Ecology & Evolution, 6, 7, 1007 

- Urrutia A, Mitsi K, Foster R, et al. 2022, 'Txikispora philomaios n. sp., n. g., a micro-eukaryotic pathogen of amphipods, reveals parasitism and hidden diversity in Class Filasterea', Journal Of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 69(2), e12875.  

Selected research activities

Invited participant in the "Vamos Simbiosis" project to combine sciences and art.