2 octobre 2014: Prof. Eduardo Moreno
Thursday, 2 October 2014 - 12h30
Prof. Eduardo MORENO
Institute of Cell Biology
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Bern
«Cell Fitness: From Basic Biology to Biomedical Research»
Humans are able to detect fitness decay in other colleagues by simply looking at the greying of the hair or the wrinkles in their faces. Work from my laboratory in the last few years showed that cells can also detect fitness levels of neighbouring cells using a molecular code. This molecular code is composed by different isoforms of a transmembrane protein called Flower that creates a novel mechanism used to reveal the fitness of a cell to its neighbours. Those "fitness fingerprints" can be used to mediate cell selection by recognizing and eliminating less fit cells. In terms of basic biology, we are currently interested in the molecular and genetic mechanisms that drive active cell selection within tissues. In terms of more applied science, we want to explore how disruption of the mechanisms that mediate cell selection create tissue degeneration, including neurodegeneration, cancer and ageing.
I was born and studied molecular biology in Madrid. I did my PhD on homeotic genes at the laboratory of Gines Morata in the Molecular Biology Center Severo Ochoa in Madrid. After my PhD I stayed one more year in Gines Morata´s lab to start the molecular and genetic study of cell competition. I then took that project with me to do a postdoc in Zurich in the laboratory of Konrad Basler. In 2005 I started my own lab in Madrid at the Spanish National Cancer Center (CNIO) where my team and I discovered the existence of fitness fingerprints in the surface of animal cells. Since 2011 I am Professor and group leader at the IZB of the University of Bern, where I was recently awarded an ERC consolidator grant to study the molecular mechanisms of cell selection based on "fitness fingerprints" during development, cancer and neurobiology.