Cancer, Neural Cell Fate and Cell Pluripotency

ORCID Research Profile


Position: Talent Retention

(Ramón y Cajal fellow)

AQU Prof. Agregado

Research team


Ana Belen Alvarez Palomo

Postdoctoral researcher

b.alvarez (at) ub.edu


Jordi Requena


jordi.requena (at) ub.edu


Contact details


Dr. Michael Edel

Department of Biomedicina

Faculty of Medicine, 143 Casanova

08036 Barcelona (Spain)

93 402 4518

michaeledel (at) ub.edu


Research Interests


Dr. Michael Edel is a Group Leader and an accredited Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona, Faculty of Medicine with rolling Spanish national project grant funding. He is an expert in cancer genetics and cell pluripotency. His research is concerned with the role of the cell cycle in attaining a pluripotent state, neural stem cell development and the development of cancer. His work has appeared in Cell (2005), Nature Biotechnology (2008) and Genes & Development (2010) and two of his publications are in the world’s top 1% most cited. He leads a group dedicated to developing new methods to make genetically stable high quality clinical grade stem cells and pluripotent stem cells to study human cardiac and neural disease with an extensive international and national collaboration network of excellence in stem cell research. Consequently, he is affiliated as Senior Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia Department of Anatomy/Harry Perkins Institute (CCTRM) and adjunct International Research Fellow at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Sydney, Australia.

Education: The University of Western Australia, NEDLANDS, WA 6009, AUSTRALIA.

Jan-2000 Sep: Doctor of Philosophy (Pathology). 1990 Jan–1991 Mar: Post-Graduate Diploma in Education. 1985 Jan-1989 Mar: Bachelor of Science with Honours (Anatomy).

Current Research Lines


  • Induced pluripotency stem cells (iPSC)
  • Neural Stem Cells
  • Cardiac Stem Cells
  • Direct cell reprogramming with synthetic mRNA
  • Cancer and cell cycle

Technologies / methods


  • Advanced state of the art clinical grade cell reprogramming to iPSC (human, rat and mouse). Generation of stem cells by direct reprogramming using synthetic mRNA production and transfection. Characterization of generated stem cells.
  • Assessment of cell cycle and genetic stability.
  • Differentiation to neural stem cells and to neurons, oligodendrocytes, motor neurons. Study of function in vivo animal models of neuronal disease (SCI, SMA, MD). Differentiation to cardiomyocytes (CM). Differentiation to endothelian cells (EC)

Highlighted publications


· Michael J. Edel, Stephanie Boue, Cristina Menchon, Adriana Sanchez-Danes and Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte.  (2010) Rem2 GTPase controls proliferation and apoptosis of neurons during zebra fish embryo development. Cell Cycle, 9(14).


· McLenachan S, Zhang D, Palomo AB, Edel MJ, Chen FK (2013) mRNA transfection of mouse and human neural stem cell cultures. PLoS One. Dec 26;8(12).


· Edel, Michael J, Menchon C, Menendez S, Raya A, Izpisua Belmonte JC (2010) Rem2 GTPase maintains survival of human embryonic stem cells as well as enhancing reprogramming by regulating p53 and cyclin D1. Genes & Development. 24: 561-573.


· Aasen T, Raya A, Barrero MJ, Garreta E, Consiglio A, Gonzalez F, Vassena R, Bilic J, Pekarik V, Tiscornia G, Edel MJ, Boué S, Izpisúa Belmonte JC. (2008) Efficient and rapid generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from human keratinocytes. Nat Biotechnol Nov;26(11):1276-84.


· Epping MT, Wang L, Edel MJ, Carlée L, Hernandez M, Bernards R. (2005) The human tumor antigen PRAME is a dominant repressor of retinoic acid receptor signaling. Cell Sep 23;122(6)835-47.