Our lab is part of the Program of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer, at the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP), located in the Can Ruti Campus, jointly with the Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol and the Faculty of Medicine of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
The main focus of our research is the characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer cell programs and the identification of molecular markers with clinical applications. The specific topics we are currently developing in our lab include:
- Chromatin architecture in cell differentiation and cancer.
We are investigating the organization of chromatin in normal and cancer cells. We are especially interested in the characterization of the mechanisms determining long range interactions and genome compartmentalization.
- The role of repeat elements in genome structure and function.
About half of the human genome is composed by repeat sequences. We are analyzing the epigenetics of some of these elements in normal and cancer cells and trying to determine their contribution to regulate the structure of the chromatin and gene expression.
- Clinically oriented research on the epigenetic changes involved in human cancer.
Initiation and progression of cancer disease is accompanied by multiple molecular changes, including epigenetic alterations. We search for epigenetic markers appearing early in the disease to facilitate cancer detection and intervention. Our group also devotes a large effort to develop or adapt molecular techniques to clinical settings with the aim of translating science progress in a better management of patients. Most of our studies are focused on colorectal cancer.
- Epigenetic mechanisms during muscle lineage-commitment, cell activation and terminal differentiation.
Muscle development and regeneration is driven by myogenic factors and epigenetic changes. We investigate the mechanisms and crosstalk of the different elements involved in these processes in physiological and pathological models.
Moreover, our lab aims to contribute to the advance of Genomic Medicine by developing new technologies and bioinformatic tools (more info at maplab.cat). Our group has also created Aniling, a spin-off of the IGTP focused on the improvement of next generation genomic technologies to integrate molecular data into biologically and clinically meaningful information.