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Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut
Biología del Desarrollo

+34 933160839
[email protected]
Dr. Aiguader, 88 08003 Barcelona


Personal profile in our Scientific Output Portal (PPC)  

 Researcher ID F-7908-2014

I am Full Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. After getting my PhD in Biology from the Universitat de Barcelona in 1991, I went for a postdoctoral stay to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School (Boston) where I worked in cell adhesion receptors. Looking for a more holistic view of science, in late 1995 I moved to the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris to study the embryonic development of the Central Nervous System. I spent many years in Paris, first as a postdoctoral fellow at the ENS (1995-99), and then with an independent position at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (1999-2010). In 2002, I joined the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS) at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, where I have my research group. I have been Academic Secretary (2007-10) and Vice-Chair (2010-13) of the DCEXS. Currently, I am serving as Vicerector of Talent Recruitment and Retaining Policy. I got the ICREA Academia award by the Generalitat de Catalunya (2016-2020), which grants university professors excellent in research within the Catalan R&D system.


Our main goals are to unveil the heterogeneity of neural progenitors within the hindbrain and understand how spatiotemporally coordinated cell progenitor specification and differentiation occurs to construct a functional brain. Thus, we are interested in: i) elucidating how tissue growth and cell proliferation and differentiation are intertwined and influence cell fate; ii) unveiling how the heterogeneity of neural progenitors is generated; iii) revealing how individual progenitors behave throughout patterning and morphogenesis, and iv) dissecting the contribution of specific progenitor pools to specific circuits. We combine cutting-edge complementary approaches such as CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, state of the art 4D-imaging, cell tracking tools for cell lineage reconstruction, and transcriptional profiling for GRN signature. We use the zebrafish embryo as a model system. If you are interested in knowing more go to:; @CristinaPujades.


Most relevant publications from the lab (last 10 years)

Pujades C. The multiple functions of hindbrain boundary cells: Tinkering boundaries?
Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2020 May 21:S1084-9521(19)30238-1. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2020.05.002. Online ahead of print.

Belzunce, I, Belmonte-Mateos, C, and Pujades, C. The role of atoh1 genes in the development of the lower rhombic lip during hindbrain morphogenesis, PLoS ONE 2020 PONE-D-19-29016R1

Article chosen as Research Highlight by PLoS ONE


Voltes, A, Hevia, CF, Engel-Pizcueta, C, Dingare, C, Calzolari, S, Terriente, J, Norden, C, Lecaudey, S, Pujades, C. Yap/Taz-TEAD activity links mechanical cues to specific to cell progenitor behavior during hindbrain segmentation, Development Jul 22;146(14), 2019

Article chosen as Research Highlight by Development, The Company of Biologists


Letelier, J, Terriente, J, Voltes, A, Belzunce, I, Undurraga, C, Polvillo, R, Devos, L, Tena, J, Maeso, I, Retaux, S, Gomez-Skarmeta, JL, Martinez-Morales, JR, Pujades, C. The evolutionary emergence of the rac3b/rfng/sgca regulatory cluster refined mechanisms for hindbrain boundaries formation. PNAS Apr 17;115(16):E3731-E3740, 2018


Dyballa, S, Savy, T, Germann, P, Mikula, K, Remesikova, M, Spir, R, Zecca, A, Peyrieras, N, Pujades, C. Distribution of neurosensory progenitor pools during inner ear morphogenesis unveiled by cell lineage reconstruction.  eLife 2017;6:e22268, 2017


Terriente, J, Pujades, C. Cell segregation in the hindbrain: do boundaries matter? Invited review. Cell Mol Life Sci Oct 72(19):3721-30, 2015


Zecca, A, Dyballa, S, Voltes, A, Bradley, R, Pujades, C. The order and place of neuronal differentiation establish the topography of sensory projections and the entry points within the hindbrain, J Neuroscience 35(19): 7475-86, 2015


Calzolari, S, Terriente, J, Pujades, C. Cell segregation in the vertebrate hindbrain relies on actomyosin cables located at the interhombomeric boundaries. EMBO J Apr 1;33(7):686-701, 2014


Terriente, J, Pujades, C. The use of zebrafish embryos for small molecule screening related to cancer. Dev. Dyn. Feb;242(2):97-107, 2013


Sapède, D, Dyballa, S, Pujades, C. Cell lineage analysis reveals three different progenitor pools for neurosensory elements in the otic vesicle. J Neurosc, 32(46): 16424-16434, 2012


Jimenez-Guri, E, Pujades, C. An ancient mechanism of hindbrain patterning has been conserved in vertebrate evolution. Evol Dev, 13:1, 38–46, 2011


Jimenez-Guri, E, Udina, F, Colas, JF, Sharpe, J, Padrón, L, Torres M, Pujades, C. Clonal analysis in mice underlines the importance of positional information during hindbrain segmentation. PLoS ONE 5(4): e10112, 2010


Sapède, D., Pujades, C. Hedgehog signaling governs the development of sensory epithelium and its associated innervation in the zebrafish inner ear, J Neurosc 30: 3612-3623, 2010




The UPF strongly believes that public universities have an obligation to inform the public of their work, and to establish an open dialogue with society with regards to findings that may have a strong impact on health and society. Members of Pujades lab are highly committed to the Public Dissemination of Science and contribute to the dissemination of their findings to a larger non-specialized public.

We currently collaborate with sciences disseminations initiatives. Examples of our activities in the last 4 years are the following:

2019: BCN Maker Faire, Round Table about Circular Economy. 2018: Interview for the journal ARA; STEAM Conference, Round Table about STEAM and Gender. 2017: BCN Maker Faire; Master de Comunicació Científica UPF; YOMO Youth Mobile, World Mobile Congress; Amb Filosofia C33-TV3 La natura; The Node, Let’s move to 4D-biology: building the embryonic inner ear !; Interview to Cristina Pujades in EXCODRA, 2017.

Pujades C. The multiple functions of hindbrain boundary cells: Tinkering boundaries?
Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2020 May 21:S1084-9521(19)30238-1. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2020.05.002. Online ahead of print.