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Ignacio Sancho-Martinez


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Personal profile

Biographical details

Ignacio Sancho-Martinez pursued his undergraduate and Master degrees in Spain at the University of Oviedo.  He conducted his PhD studies at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and obtained his Dr.rer. nat  from the Univeristy of Heidelberg, Germany. He next carried out postdoctoral research at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, USA. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine.

Research interests

The life of an individual can be seen as three major processes affecting cell functionality and identity: “generation” (development and stem cell differentiation), “degeneration” (aging and disease) and “regeneration” (maintenance of tissue homeostasis and tissue repair). With the advent of reprogramming technologies it has become clear that epigenetic and genetic manipulation of the mammalian genome allows for the generation of cell lineages a la carte, being those differentiated somatic cells, partially dedifferentiated progenitor cells or induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs).

We focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying nuclear reprogramming and cell fate with the ultimate goal of defining reliable and safe strategies for the future regenerative medicine. We are interested in the spatio-temporal interaction of signals defining cell fate and facilitating the generation of functional and mature cell lineages for cell transplantation and disease modeling. To this end, we rely on the use of in vitro strategies mimicking human development as well as the establishment of novel reprogramming strategies bypassing the use of pluripotent cells. In addition, we have a major interest on the experimental activation of organ regeneration in higher vertebrates. Ultimately, we believe that unveiling the mechanisms defining cell fate in vitro alongside the in vivo study of naturally regenerating organisms (e.g.: zebrafish) might shed new light onto the mechanisms preventing adult mammalian regeneration and facilitate the establishment of strategies for the experimental induction of mammalian regeneration in situ.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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