19-01-2014

Angel Raya, the new director of the Barcelona Center of Regenerative Medicine

As we explained in a previous research new, Dr.  Juan Carlos Izpisúa left the management of the Barcelona Center of Regenerative Medicine  (CMRB), and the new director will be Dr. Angel Raya, a former post-doc of Dr. Izpisúa. Given the importance of CMRB in the current context of research in Catalonia, the bet for a person at charge of this center is not an easy task.

Dr. Angel Raya Chamorro was born in Argamasilla de Calatrava (Puertollano, Ciudad Real). He graduated (1990) and did his PhD (1995) at the University of Valencia. Then enjoyed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Cytological Research of Valencia (Príncipe Felipe Research Centre), and in 2000 began a postdoc in the lab of gene expression of Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. There he worked under Dr. Izpisúa’s supervision, with whom he has shared much of his research ever since. In 2006 he joined ICREA at the CMRB, leading the CIBER group Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine. Already in 2009, he joined Bioengineyeria Institute of Catalonia (IBEC), which until now has assumed leadership of the “Control of Stem Cell Potency” group.

He is currently the Main Investigator of the following research areas: heart regeneration in the zebrafish, Mechanisms of induced reprogramming to pluripotency and bioengineering approach to heart muscle differentiation the differentiation of myocardic cells.

Raya’s work aims to understand the tissue, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that determine the regenerative response in certain species of vertebrates, as well as genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that control cellular reprogramming. This provides a link between the traditional study of epimorphic regeneration and induced pluripotent strategies of regenerative medicine. His research was therefore focused to biomedical applications of induced pluripotent stem cells. In this way, he has currently obtained funds from four sources: the John Hopkins Institute, the Basque Foundation for Health Research and Innovation, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the Institute of Health Carlos III. With these grants, Dr. Raya wants to continue his research on specific applications, like neurofibromatosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiomyopathy and hemophilia.

Additionally, he has contributed to a great number of publications in several scientific journals. Some to be mentioned: Stem Cells, EMBO, Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Protocols and Nature Biotechnology.

We are proud to have such a distinguished figure leading one of our best research institutions, and so we appreciate their commitment to the responsibility that entails. We honestly wish him all the success in his new workplace at the CMRB.

“The continuation of Ángel’s research line at IBEC, linked to the biomaterials and cell engineering activities, while he takes up his directorate duties at CMRB offers stability to the Catalan and Spanish research system, and will allow the consolidation of the research programme in regenerative medicine that it has been developing in recent years in different research centres,” says Josep Samitier, Director of IBEC.

Elena Escubedo (Universitat de Barcelona)

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