Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut


Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut

+34 933160809
Dr. Aiguader, 88 08003 Barcelona



Personal profile in our Scientific Output Portal (PPC)  


Brief biography note

Jose Aramburu obtained his PhD in Biology (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 1992. He did his postdoctoral first at Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, USA, 1993-1995) and then at Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA, 1995-2000).

He joined the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS) of Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in 2000, where he has been involved in teaching and coordination in different subjects, and served as vice-director of the DCEXS from 2013 to 2019. Currently he develops most of his teaching activity in the master of Biomedical Research and pre-graduation courses in the degree of Human Biology.

Current research in our group studies signaling and transcription regulatory mechanisms used by immune cells to maintain functional competency and adapt to diverse stress conditions they may encounter while functioning in complex microenvironments. 


Research lines

Regulation of the gene expression by signaling pathways and transcription factors. Study areas: innate and adaptive immunity, inflammation, stress responses.


Funding agencies

Currently active funding from the following agencies:

- Worldwide Cancer Research UK (WWCR) Research Grant (2020-2022)

- Plan Estatal de I+D+I, Gobierno de España (2019-2021)

- Fundació la Marató de TV3 (2018-2021)

- Grup Consolidat de Recerca (SGR 2017 888) by the Agència de Gestió d’Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (AGAUR)



Selected publications (for full list see ORCID 0000-0001-9279-9523,

Huerga Encabo H, Traveset L, Argilaguet J, Angulo A, Nistal-Villán E, Jaiswal R, Escalante CR, Gekas C, Meyerhans A, Aramburu J, López-Rodríguez C. The transcription factor NFAT5 limits infection-induced type I interferon responses. (2019). The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 217, e20190449.

Aramburu J and López Rodríguez C. Regulation of Inflammatory Functions of Macrophages and T Lymphocytes by NFAT5. (2019). Frontiers in Immunology.10, 535.

Buxadé M, Huerga Encabo H, Riera-Borrull M, Quintana-Gallardo L, López-Cotarelo P, Tellechea M, Martínez-Martínez S, Redondo JM, Martín-Caballero J, Flores JM, Bosch E, Rodríguez-Fernández JL, Aramburu J, López-Rodríguez C. Macrophage-specific MHCII expression is regulated by a remote Ciita enhancer controlled by the transcription factor NFAT5. (2018). The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 215: 2901-2918.

Tellechea M, Buxadé M, Tejedor S, Aramburu J, López-Rodríguez C. NFAT5-regulated macrophage polarization supports the proinflammatory function of macrophages and T lymphocytes (2017). The Journal of Immunology. 200: 305-315.

Alberdi M, Iglesias M, Tejedor S, Merino R, López-Rodríguez C, Aramburu J. Context-dependent regulation of Th17-associated genes and IFNγ expression by the transcription factor NFAT5. (2016). Immunology & Cell Biology. 95: 56-57. 

Aramburu J, Ortells MC, Tejedor S, Buxadé M, López-Rodríguez C. Transcriptional Regulation of the Stress Response by mTOR. (2014). Science Signaling, 7: re2

Berga-Bolaños R, Alberdi M, Buxadé M, Aramburu J, López-Rodríguez C. NFAT5 induction by the pre-T-cell receptor serves as a selective survival signal in T-lymphocyte development. (2013). Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110:16091-16096.

Ortells MC, Morancho B, Drews-Elger K, Viollet B, Laderoute KR, López-Rodríguez C, Aramburu J. Transcriptional regulation of gene expression during osmotic stress responses by the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). (2012) Nucleic Acids Res. 40: 4368-4384.

Buxadé M, Lunazzi G, Minguillón J, Iborra S, del Val M, Aramburu J, López-Rodríguez C. Gene expression induced by Toll-like receptors in macrophages requires the transcription factor NFAT5.  (2012). The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 209: 379-393.

Berga-Bolaños R, Drews-Elger K, Aramburu J, López-Rodríguez C. NFAT5 regulates T lymphocyte homeostasis and CD24-dependent T cell expansion under pathologic hypernatremia. (2010) The Journal of Immunology. 185: 6624-6635.

Estrada-Gelonch A, Aramburu J, López-Rodríguez C. Exclusion of NFAT5 from mitotic chromatin resets its nucleo-cytoplasmic distribution in interphase. (2009). PLoS ONE, 4: e7036.

Drews-Elger K, Ortells MC, Rao A, López-Rodríguez C, Aramburu J. The transcription factor NFAT5 is required for cyclin expression and cell cycle progression in cells exposed to hypertonic stress. (2009). PLoS ONE, 4: e5245.

Morancho B, Minguillón J, Molkentin JD, López-Rodríguez C, Aramburu J. Analysis of the transcriptional activity of endogenous NFAT5 in primary cells using transgenic NFAT-luciferase reporter mice. (2008). BMC Molecular Biology. 9: 13.

Aramburu J, Drews-Elger K, Estrada-Gelonch A, Minguillón J, Morancho B, Santiago V, and López-Rodríguez C. Regulation of the hypertonic stress response and other cellular functions by the Rel-like transcription factor NFAT5. (2006). Biochemical Pharmacology. 72: 1597-1604.

Minguillón J, Morancho B, Kim S-J, López-Botet M, Aramburu J. The immunosuppressant cyclosporin A does not affect the biosynthesis of TGF-b1 induced by T cell receptor stimulation in human T cells but it can trigger the secretion of preformed TGF-b1 by inducing apoptosis. (2005). The Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 77: 748-758.

López-Rodríguez C, Aramburu J, Jin L, Rakeman AS, Michino M, Rao A. Bridging the NFAT and NF-kappaB families: NFAT5 dimerization regulates cytokine gene transcription in response to osmotic stress. (2001). Immunity.15:47-58.

Okamura H, Aramburu J, García-Rodríguez C, Viola JP, Raghavan A, Tahiliani M, Zhang X, Qin J, Hogan PG, Rao A. Concerted dephosphorylation of the transcription factor NFAT1 induces a conformational switch that regulates transcriptional activity. (2000). Molecular Cell. 6: 539-550.

Aramburu J, Yaffe MB, López-Rodríguez C, Cantley LC, Hogan PG, Rao A. Affinity-driven peptide selection of an NFAT inhibitor more selective than cyclosporin A.(1999). Science 285:2129-2133.

Aramburu J, Garcia-Cózar F, Raghavan A, Okamura H, Rao A, Hogan PG. Selective inhibition of NFAT activation by a peptide spanning the calcineurin targeting site of NFAT. (1998). Molecular Cell. 1: 627-637.

Aramburu J, Azzoni L, Rao A, Perussia B. Activation and expression of the nuclear factors of activated T cells, NFATp and NFATc, in human natural killer cells: regulation upon CD16 ligand binding. (1995). The Journal of Experimental Medicine.182: 801-810.


Theses direction

PhD Thesis director of: Jordi Minguillón Pedreño (co-director, 2008), Beatriz Morancho (2008), Katherine Drews-Elger (2008), Mari Carmen Ortells (2012), Maria Alberdi (co-director, 2015), Sonia Tejedor (co-director, 2018), Hector Huerga Encabo (co-director, 2019)


Evaluator and reviewer activity

2001-present: Evaluator for Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI, formerly ANEP) since 2004.

2008-present: Evaluator for Agència de Gestió d’Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (AGAUR).

Ad hoc evaluator of the National Research Agency (ANR) of CNRS, France.

Ad hoc reviewer for the following Journals: Journal of Cell Biology, Science Signaling, Journal of Immunology, Blood, EMBO Molecular Medicine, Nucleic Acid Research, Frontiers in Immunology, Biochemical Pharmacology, BBA-Gene Regulatory Mechanisms, Cell Cycle, PLoS ONE, Journal of Molecular Medicine, European Journal of Biochemistry, FEBS Letters, Experimental Cell Research, Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy.


Institutional responsibilities and teaching

2013-2019: Vice-director of the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).

2006-2013: director of the University Master in Biomedical Research (UPF), accredited with Excellence by the Ministerio de Educación and AQU in 2015 (Ref: AQU413110682014) and 2019 (Ref: 41311068-72413-19).

2000-current: professor and coordinator of several courses in the Licenciatura de Biología, Grado en Biología Humana, Grado en Medicina, Biomedicine PhD program, and Master in Biomedical Research of Universitat Pompeu Fabra.


Awards and recognitions

Last 10 years

2018: 5 positively evaluated six-year research tracks (sexenios de investigación)

2016: Award of the Social Council, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, for teaching trajectory.

2015: 3 positively evaluated 5-year teaching tracks (quinquenios de docencia).

2015: Recognition of Excellence in teaching activity, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.


Previous to 2008

2006: Award from the Social Council, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, for teaching merits.

2003: Award of Generalitat de Catalunya for the Promotion of University Research.

2000: Instructor, Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School.

1996-1999: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Arthritis Foundation.

1995-1996: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Lady Tata Foundation.

1992-1994: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia de España.

1988-1991: Predoctoral Fellowship FPU,  Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia de España.