Alejandro received his bachelor's degree in Biotechnology from University of San Pablo CEU and a master's degree in Translational Medicine from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. His research has focused mainly on molecular biology, participating in diverse research groups on metabolic, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Currently, he is completing a master's in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics while he is pursuing his PhD in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine, on the study of digit tip regeneration in mouse models. What he most enjoys in his spare time is nature and extreme exports such as surfing and snowboarding.
A fundamental question in biology is how tissues and organs are built or repaired. Progress in this area is relevant not only for understanding morphogenesis in animal development, but also for potential applications in the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine using stem-cell-based therapy.
During embryonic development, a major challenge is to understand how the formation of a particular structure is genetically and molecularly controlled. This approach needs to consider that individual cells interact with each other and that the final morphology and function of an organ ultimately result from the coordinated integration of many individual cell events.
Using the developing limb as model system, our group has contributed to the molecular characterization of the limb signaling centers and to the understanding of the function of key transcription factors such as Hand2 and Hox products. We have made important contributions towards elucidating digit patterning, how the number and identity of the digits is established and controlled during limb development, and reported mutant phenotypes that support a Turing-type mechanism underlying digit patterning. Through mouse genetics, and more recently using functional genomic technologies, we have generated and characterized murine models of human congenital malformations to identify the underlying genetic and cellular defects. In particular, the implementation in the lab of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in mice through the electroporation of zygotes has permitted the analysis of the functional contribution of genomic regions in an efficient, rapid and high-throughput manner.
The group has contributed more than 90 original papers, several of them in international prestigious journals including Cell, Nature, and Science.
Topics under current research in the lab include:
Spanish Government. Ministry of Science and Innovation
Instituto de Biomedicina y Biotecnología de Cantabria.
PCTCAN - Cl. Albert Einstein, 22