Miguel Juliá Molina

  • IBBTEC. C/ Albert Einstein 22, PCTCAN, 39011 Santande​r
  • miguel.julia@unican.es
  • 942 206799 ext. 25910
  • Regulation of Gene Expression During Development
  • Developmental Biology
  • Department of Cell & Molecular Signalling

​Math major at the University of Salamanca in 2013, Master in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the National School of Health in 2014, and PhD in Computational Biology at the University of Kent in 2019. He was a predoctoral researcher at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (Switzerland) and at the University of Kent (United Kingdom), and bioinformatic technician and later postdoc at the Carlos III Health Institute.

At all stages of his career, he focused on the analysis of biological data related with health and development. Starting at SIB, where he worked on the study of immune system cell differentiation process after HIV infection by using single-cell RNAseq data. Subsequently, he developed his thesis at the UKC focusing on the importance of genomic variations in the development and prognosis of neuroblastoma and the pathogenicity of Ebola Virus in humans, through the study of genomic sequencing data. During his time as a technician in the ISCIII's Bioinformatics Unit, he worked on the analysis of omic data for hospitals and researchers in the health system, in particular analyzing exomes and human genomes for rare disease diagnosis, and bacterial and viral genomes for solving epidemic outbreaks. Later, as a postdoc researcher in the Department of Environmental Toxicology of the National Center for Environmental Health of the ISCIII, he worked on the design of human biomonitoring studies for the evaluation of exposure and characterization of the risk in populations derived from environmental contamination; he has also performed statistical analysis of exposure data from human health studies, as well as the development and implementation of statistical analysis protocols for the priority substances of the European project HBM4EU.

He is currently part of the laboratory of Dr. Marian Ros, where he studies developmental and evolutionary genomics on the genes involved in the formation of dorso-ventral differentiation of limbs by analyzing omic data.

​Regulation of Gene Expression during Development


Research lines 

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. During embryonic development, a major challenge is to understand how the formation of a particular structure is genetically and molecularly controlled. This approach also 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, the Ros’ lab has contributed to the molecular characterization of the limb signaling centers and to the understanding of the function of key transcription factors such as the Hox and Hand2 proteins. The group also has made important contributions towards elucidating the mechanisms underlying digit patterning, how the number and identity of the digits is established and controlled during limb development. Our study of the extreme polydactyly phenotypes observed in Gli3;5’Hox compound mutants provided support for a self-organizing 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 molecular, cellular, and developmental mechanisms. In particular, the implementation of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in mice through the electroporation of zygotes has permitted the analysis of the functional contribution of regulatory genomic regions in a very efficient manner. The Ros’ group has contributed more than 90 original papers, several of them in international prestigious journals including Cell, Nature, and Science. The major topics currently under investigation in the lab are: 

  • the role of Lmx1b regulation in dorso-ventral limb patterning and its implication in morphogenesis, evolution and disease (the Nail Patella syndrome). 
  • the regeneration of the digit tip and the influence of dorso-ventral polarity. 
  • the functional role of Sp6 and Sp8 transcription factors in limb development, their implication in the Split Hand/Foot Malformation, and their interaction with Dlx transcription factors.


Funding

Spanish Government. Ministry of Science and Innovation

Marian Ros (IP)

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Alejandro Castilla Ibeas

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Thais Ealo Rodríguez

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Laura Galán

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Sara Lucas Toca

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Sofía Zdral Noguero

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