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 933160810
Dr. Aiguader, 88 08003 Barcelona


Personal profile in our Scientific Output Portal (PPC)  


Short biographical sketch


Cristina López-Rodríguez is Full Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), where she leads her research group in the Immunology Unit and also directs the Master in Biomedical Research. Cristina obtained her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 1996 with the award of Extraordinary Thesis. She did her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Boston, where she got the position of Instructor in the Department of Pathology (2001), and received the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Research Special Fellow recognition. In 2004 she obtained a Ramon y Cajal grant and a Group Leader position at the Center for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, and in 2006 she transferred her group to the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS) of UPF at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB). In 2014 she got the ICREA Acadèmia award of Generalitat de Catalunya.


1991. Bachelor in Biology. Universidad de Santiago de Compostela.


1996. PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.


Research lines


Regulation of the gene expression by transcription factors. Study areas: innate immunity, inflammation, antitumor immunology.


Recognitions, distinctions and awards received throughout the career (selected)


2015. Advanced Research Accreditation (catedràtic d’universitat, corresponding to full professor), Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari (AQU), Generalitat de Catalunya.


2014. ICREA Acadèmia Award (Generalitat de Catalunya)


2007. Certificado I3, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (MEC).


2005. Research Accreditation (professor agregat, corresponding to tenured professor), Agència Catalana per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari (AQU), Generalitat de Catalunya.


2004-2008. Ramón y Cajal Programme, Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (MCYT).


2001-2003. Career Development Award, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, USA.


2001-2003. Instructor in Pathology, Harvard Medical School. Boston, United States of America. Academic appointment at the Department of Pathology (2001-2003), Harvard Medical School, USA.


1996. Premio Extraordinario de Tesis, Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, España.


Membership of scientific societies and professional associations


Member of the European Society of Macrophages and Dendritic Cells (EMDCS). Since 2012.


Member of the American association of Immunologists (AAI). Since 2011.


Member of the Federation of European Biochemistry Societies (FEBS) and Sociedad Española de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular (SEBB). Since 2004.


Member of the Europen Federation of Immunology Societies (EFIS) and Sociedad Española de Inmunología (SEI). Since 1992.


Funding agencies


Dates for currently active funding are indicated


- 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), Generalitat de Catalunya.


- Commission of the European Communities. Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) (2003-2008)


Experience in evaluation and review of R&D&I projects


Colaboradora del Área de Biomedicina, Subdivisión de Coordinación y Evaluación de la Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI, formerly ANEP), since 2019.


Reviewer of Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI, formerly ANEP) since 2004.


Other achievements


PhD Thesis director of: Jordi Minguillón Pedreño, Rosa Berga-Bolaños, Giulia Lunazzi, Maria Alberdi, Mónica Tellechea, Sonia Tejedor, Hector Huerga Encabo


4 Research periods (tramos) recognized by Comisión Nacional de Evaluación de la Actividad Investigadora, (CNEAI) and Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya (AQU).




Selected out of a total 42 contributions since 1993:


Hector Huerga Encabo; Laia Traveset; Jordi Argilaguet; Ana Angulo; Estanislao Nistal-Villán; Rahul Jaiswal; Carlos R Escalante; Christos Gekas; Andreas Meyerhans; Jose Aramburu; Cristina López-Rodríguez. The transcription factor NFAT5 limits infection-induced type I interferon responses. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 217, e20190449. 02/03/2020.


Jose Aramburu; Cristina López Rodríguez. Regulation of Inflammatory Functions of Macrophages and T Lymphocytes by NFAT5. Frontiers in Immunology.10, 535. 20/03/2019.


Maria Buxadé, Hector Huerga Encabo, Marta Riera-Borrull, Lucía Quintana-Gallardo, Pilar López-Cotarelo, Mónica Tellechea, Sara Martínez-Martínez, Juan Miguel Redondo, Juan Martín-Caballero, Juana María Flores, Elena Bosch, José Luis Rodríguez-Fernández, Jose Aramburu, Cristina López-Rodríguez. Macrophage-specific MHCII expression is regulated by a remote Ciita enhancer controlled by the transcription factor NFAT5. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 215, 2901-2918. 16/10/2018.


Mónica Tellechea, Maria Buxadé, Sonia Tejedor, Jose Aramburu and Cristina López-Rodríguez. NFAT5-regulated macrophage polarization supports the proinflammatory function of macrophages and T lymphocytes. The Journal of Immunology. 200, pp. 305-315. 17/11/2017


Maria Alberdi; Marcos Iglesias; Sonia Tejedor; Ramón Merino; Cristina Lopez-Rodriguez; Jose Aramburu. Context-dependent regulation of Th17-associated genes and IFNγ expression by the transcription factor NFAT5. Immunology & Cell Biology. 95, pp. 56-67. 01/01/2017


Brigid S. Boland, Christella E. Widjaja, Asoka Banno, Bing Zhang, Stephanie H. Kim, Samantha Stoven, Michael R. Peterson, Marilyn C. Jones, H. Irene Su, Sheila E. Crowe, Jack D. Bui, Samuel B. Ho, Yoshinaga Okugawa, Ajay Goel, Eric V. Marietta, Mahdieh Khosroheidari, Kristen Jepsen, Jose Aramburu, Cristina López-Rodríguez, William J. Sandborn,Joseph A. Murray, Olivier Harismendy; John T. Chang. The Journal of Immunology. 194, pp. 2551-2560. 15/03/2015.


Jose Aramburu; M Carmen Ortells; Sonia Tejedor; Maria Buxadé; Cristina Lopez-Rodríguez. Transcriptional Regulation of the Stress Response by mTOR. Science Signaling. 7, pp. re2. 01/07/2014.


Rosa Berga-Bolaños; Maria Alberdi; Maria Buxadé; Jose Aramburu; Cristina López-Rodríguez. NFAT5 induction by the pre-T cell receptor serves as a selective survival signal in T lymphocyte development. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110, pp. 16091 - 16096. 09/2013.


José Aramburu; Cristina López Rodríguez. Nuclear Factor of Activated T Cells (NFAT). Encyclopedia of Medical Immunology. In: Mackay I.R., Rose N.R., Diamond B., Davidson A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Medical Immunology. Springer, New York, NY. DOI: 07/2014.


M Carmen Ortells; Beatriz Morancho; Katherine Drews Elger; Keith R Laderoute; Benoit Viollet; Cristina López Rodríguez; José Aramburu. Transcriptional regulation of gene expression during osmotic stress responses by the mammalian target of rapamycin. Nucleic Acids Research. 40, pp. 4368 - 4384. 05/2012.


María Buxadé; Giulia Lunazzi; Jordi Minguillón; Salvador Iborra; Rosa Berga Bolaños; Margarita del Val; José Aramburu; Cristina López Rodríguez. Gene expression induced by Toll-like receptors in macrophages requires the transcription factor NFAT5. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 209, pp. 379 - 393. 02/2012.


Rosa Berga Bolaños; Katherine Drews Elger; José Aramburu; Cristina López Rodríguez. NFAT5 regulates Tlymphocyte homeostasis and CD24-dependent T cell expansion under pathologic hypernatremia. The Journal of Immunology. 185, pp. 6624 - 6635. 12/2010.


Anaïs Estrada Gelonch; José Aramburu; Cristina López Rodríguez. Exclusion of NFAT5 from mitotic chromatin resets its nucleo-cytoplasmic distribution in interphase. PLoS ONE. 4, pp. e7036. 09/2009.


Jose Aramburu; Cristina López Rodríguez. Brx shines a light on the route from hyperosmolarity to NFAT5. Science Signaling. 2, pp. pe20. 04/2009.


Katherine Drews Elger; M Carmen Ortells; Anjana Rao; Cristina López Rodríguez; José Aramburu. The transcription factor NFAT5 is required for cyclin expression and cell cycle progression in cells exposed to hypertonic stress. PLoS ONE. 4, pp. e5245. 2009.


Beatriz Morancho; Jordi Minguillón; Jeffery D Molkentin; Cristina López Rodríguez; José Aramburu. Analysis of the transcriptional activity of endogenous NFAT5 in primary cells using transgenic NFAT-luciferase reporter mice. BMC Molecular Biology. 9, pp. 13. 01/2008.


José Aramburu; Katherine Drews Elger; Anaïs Estrada Gelonch; Jordi Minguillón; Beatriz Morancho; Verónica Santiago; Cristina López Rodríguez. Regulation of the hypertonic stress response and other cellular functions by the Rel-like transcription factor NFAT5. Biochemical Pharmacology. 72, pp. 1597 - 1604. 11/2006.


Jonhatan H Esensten; Alla V Tsytsykova; Cristina López Rodríguez; Filipa A Ligeiro; Anjana Rao; Anne E Goldfeld. NFAT5 binds to the TNF promoter distinctly from NFATp, c, 3 and 4, and activates TNF transcription during hypertonic stress alone. Nucleic Acids Research. 33, pp. 3845 - 3854. 07/2005.


Cristina López Rodríguez; Christopher L Antos; John M Shelton; James A Richardson; Fangming Lin; Tatiana I Novobrantseva; Roderick T Bronson; Peter Igarashi; Anjana Rao; Eric N Olson. Loss of NFAT5 results in renal atrophy and lack of tonicity-responsive gene expression Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 101, pp. 2392 - 2397. 02/2004.


Sebastien Jauliac; Cristina López Rodríguez; Leslie M Shaw; Lawrence F Brown; Anjana Rao; Alex Toker. The role of NFAT transcription factors in integrin-mediated carcinoma invasion. Nature Cell Biology. 4, pp. 540 - 544. 07/2002.


James C Stroud; Cristina López Rodríguez; Anjana Rao; Lin Chen. Structure of a TonEBP_DNA complex reveals DNA encircled by a transcription factor. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. 9, pp. 90 - 94. 02/2002. (Cover of the issue).


Cristina López Rodríguez; José Aramburu; Lei Jin; Andrew S Rakeman; Mayako Michino; Anjana Rao. Bridging the NFAT and NF-kappaB families: NFAT5 dimerization regulates cytokine gene transcription in response to osmotic stress. Immunity. 15, pp. 47 - 58. 07/2001.


Fernando Macián; Cristina López Rodríguez; Anjana Rao. Partners in transcription: NFAT and AP-1. Oncogene. 20, pp. 2476 - 2489. 04/2001.


José Aramburu; Michael B Yaffe; Cristina López Rodríguez; Lewis C Cantley; Patrick G Hogan; Anjana Rao. Affinity-driven peptide selection of an NFAT inhibitor more selective than cyclosporin A. Science. 285, pp.2129 - 2133. 09/1999.


Cristina López Rodríguez; José Aramburu; Andrew S Rakeman; Neal G Copeland; D J Gilbert; S Thomas; Christine M Disteche; Nancy A Jenkins; Anjana Rao. NFAT5: The NFAT family of transcription factors expands in a new direction. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology. 64, pp. 517 - 526. 1999.


Cristina López Rodríguez; José Aramburu; Andrew S Rakeman; Anjana Rao. NFAT5, a constitutively nuclear NFAT protein that does not cooperate with Fos and Jun. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 96, pp. 7214 - 7219. 06/1999.



Catedràtica d’Universitat (Full Professor) and Principal Investigator, Immunology Unit, Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona.


Coordinator of the Master in Biomedical Research, Universitat Pompeu Fabra. This master has been accredited with Excellence by the Agencia Nacional de Evaluación de la Calidad y Acreditación (ANECA) and Ministerio de Educación Cultura y Deporte of Spain, and by the Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari (AQU), Generalitat de Catalunya in 2015 (Ref: AQU413110682014) and 2019 (Ref: 41311068-72413-19).


Teacher and coordinator of three different courses within the master in Biomedical Research, the degree in Human Biology and the Medical School, UPF.


Member of the UPF Academic Commission of Postgraduate and Doctorate Studies.


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


Stays in R&D&I centers


1997-2003. Center for Blood Research and Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, USA.


1992-1996. PhD student of Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Hospital de la Princesa.


1993. Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA