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James Sharpe

James Sharpe

Centre de Regulació Genòmica

Life & Medical Sciences

1997: PhD in Genetics & Development, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK ("Cis-regulatory mechanisms of the Hox genes in mouse development") 1997-1998: Postdoc. Fellow on Xenopus development, University of Chile. 1998-2000: Postdoc. Fellow, MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh, UK (computational approaches to study mouse limb development) 2001: Development of a 3D optical imaging technique and introduction of the term "Optical Projection Tomography", commercialized under the name Bioptonics.  2002-2006: Tenure-track Group Leader, MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh, UK. 2006: Senior Group Leader at the CRG  and  ICREA Research Professor, Barcelona, Spain 2011-2017: Coordinator of the CRG Systems Biology Program. 2017: Head of  EMBL Barcelona (Tissue Biology & Disease Modelling Unit) and  Senior Scientist (Sharpe Group: Multicellular systems biology), Barcelona, Spain

Research interests

The physical complexity of a human being, or even a single organ, is truly astounding. The goal of my lab is to understand how the activities of gene networks controls the millions of cells which make up our organs – allowing them to communicate with each other, to decide what to do at each moment during embryo development: whether to divide, which way to move, and which cells types to become (cartilage, bone, connective tissue, etc.) We believe this will only be achieved by integrating information into a computer model, and to this end we are developing new imaging and computational methods to understand one example of organogenesis – vertebrate limb development. We combine various systems biology approaches to integrate data on cell activities and gene networks into a realistic 4D computer simulation of the process. This is a truly interdisciplinary endeavour, and the lab is therefore composed of physicists, engineers and computer scientists as well as biologists.

Selected publications

– Starbuck, John M.; Llambrich, Sergi; Gonzalez, Ruben; Albaiges, Julia; Sarle, Anna; Wouters, Jens; Gonzalez, Alejandro; Sevillano, Xavier; Sharpe, James; De La Torre, Rafael; Dierssen, Mara; Vande Velde, Greetje; Martinez-Abadias, Neus 2021, ‘Green tea extracts containing epigallocatechin-3-gallate modulate facial development in Down syndrome’, Scientific Reports, 11, 1, 4715.

ICREA Memoir 2021