• "Wisdom is the daughter of experience"

    "La sabiduría es  hija de la experiencia"

    Leonardo da Vinci

  • "If you want different results, do not do the same"

    "Si buscas resultados distintos, no hagas siempre lo mismo"

    "Albert Einstein"

  • "All truths are easy to understand, once discovered. The question is to discover them"

    "Todas las verdades son fáciles de entender, una vez descubiertas. La cuestión es descubrirlas"

    Galileo Galilei

  • "Wanderer, your footprints are the path, and nothing else; wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking..."

    "Caminante, son tus huellas el camino, y nada más; caminante, no hay camino, se hace el camino al andar..."

    Antonio Machado

  • "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"

    "La simplicidad es la máxima sofisticación"

    Leonardo da Vinci

  • "For the achievement of victory it has always been indispensable to go through the path of sacrifices"

    "Para el logro del triunfo siempre ha sido indispensable pasar por la senda de los sacrificios"

    Simón Bolívar

    Our group is interested on the processes of chromatin-mediated transcriptional regulation induced by non-histone chromatin-associated proteins, nuclear ncRNAs and DNA methylation. Our research activities have been centered on the epigenetic mechanisms during embryonic lung development that are recapitulated in several lung diseases, such as lung cancer and lung fibrosis. We work based on the hypothesis that insights on the processes during embryonic development, can be implemented to elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible for these lung diseases. Our work led us to novel scientific concepts, which are reflected on several landmark papers including seminal studies on:

    Transcription mediated by the high mobility group proteins requires the DNA damage marker γ-H2AX, thereby supporting that controlled chromatin opening during transcription initiation may involve intermediates with DNA breaks that may require mechanisms of DNA repair that ensure the integrity of the genome (Singh I et al., Cell Research, 2015).

    Exhaled breath condensates (EBCs) can be used for diagnosis of lung diseases, specifically for early diagnosis of lung cancer by detecting the expression of GATA6 and NKX2-1, two key regulators of lung embryonic development (Mehta A et la., EMBO Mol Med, 2016). Currently we are performing a clinical study with the participation of five different centers in Germany within the context of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) to confirm the clinical application of our technology.

    A novel mechanism of miRNA-induced transcriptional gene silencing based on the interaction of Mirlet7d with long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), the RNA exosome complex and the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) in the cell nucleus (Singh I et al., Nat Genet, 2018). So far, the function of miRNAs was primarily seen in the cytoplasm where miRNAs repress gene expression at the posttranscriptional level. Hence, our discovery that Mirlet7d plays a crucial role in the cell nucleus by directing the RNA exosome complex to specific gene loci tagged by the expression of ncRNAs is conceptually novel. We believe that our finding will open a new chapter in the understanding of miRNA biology tying together the function of miRNAs and lncRNAs for gene silencing.

    The common factors among all these biological processes are the key role of chromatin structure and the epigenetic mechanisms involved, thereby supporting one of the strategies of nature during evolution: the use of similar mechanisms of regulation within different biological contexts, further supported by phylogenetic conservation of proteins mediating and regulating these processes. I strongly believe that similar epigenetic mechanisms will play a key role during various neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, we will focus on confirming this hypothesis