Atrás Pujades Corbi, Cristina


Departamento de Medicina y Ciencias de la Vida
Biología del Desarrollo

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, now Sorbonne Université (1999-2010). In 2002, I joined the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (currently Medicine and Life Sciences, MELIS) at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, where I have my research group (Neurodevelopmental Dynamics). I have been Academic Secretary (2007-10) and Vice-Chair (2010-13) of the MELIS. I served as Vicerector of Professorate and Vicerector for Talent Recruitment and Retaining Policy (2017-2021). Since 2023 I am serving as Vicerector for Research. I was awarded with the ICREA Academia by the Generalitat de Catalunya (2016-2020, 2021-2025), which grants university professors excellent in research within the Catalan R&D system.


Our main scientific 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, and iii) dissecting the contribution of specific progenitor pools to functional neuronal circuits. We combine cutting-edge approaches such as CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, state of the art 4D-imaging, cell tracking tools for cell lineage reconstruction, and transcriptional profiling for Gene Rregulatory Networks signature. We use the zebrafish embryo as a model system. If you are interested in knowing more, you can go to and @CristinaPujades.


Belmonte-Mateos*, C, Meister*, L and Pujades C. Hindbrain rhombomere centers harbor an heterogenous population of dividing progenitors relying on Notch-signaling. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 11:1268631. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2023.1268631, 2023

Espinosa-Medina, I, Feliciano, D, Belmonte-Mateos, C, Garcia-Marques, J, Foster, B, Pujades, C, Koyama, M, Lee, T. TEMPO enables sequential genetic labeling and manipulation of vertebrate cell lineages. Neuron 111, 1-17,, 2023

Blanc, M, Dalmasso, G, Udina, F, Pujades, C. A dynamic and expandable Digital 3D-Atlas MAKER for monitoring the temporal changes in tissue growth during hindbrain morphogenesis; eLife 11:e78300. doi: 10.7554/eLife.78300, 2022

Hevia, CF, Engel-Pizcueta, C, Udina, F, Pujades C. The neurogenic fate of the hindbrain boundaries relies on Notch3-dependent asymmetric cell divisions. Cell Reports Jun 7; 39(10): 110915. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110915, 2022

Belmonte-Mateos, C, Pujades, C. From cell states to cell fates: how cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation are coordinated? Invited review for the Special Issue in Neuronal Identity: from Fate Specification to Function. Ed: Filipe Pinto, Luisa Cochella, Simon Hippenmeyer, Marisa Karow, Nikolaos Konstantinides. Frontiers in Neurosciences, 15:781160. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.781160, 2022

Carrillo-Garcia, J, Herrera-Fernández, V, Serra, SA, Rubio-Moscardo, F, Vogel-Gonzalez, M, Doñate-Macian, P, Hevia, CF, Pujades, C, Valverde, MA. The mechanosensitive Piezo1 channel controls endosome trafficking for an efficient cytokinetic abscission. Science Advances Oct 29; 7(44):eabi7785. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abi7785, 2021

Engel-Pizcueta, C, Pujades C. The interplay between mechanical cues and Notch-pathway in the regulation of cell fate during embryo development. Invited review for the Special Issue in Mechanics of Embryonic Development and Stem Cell Differentiation. Ed: Philippa Francis-West, Andrea Münsterberg. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 9: 711531. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2021.711531, 2021

Pujades, C. The multiple functions of hindbrain boundary cells: tinkering boundaries? Invited review for the Special Issue in Cell Sorting at Embryonic Boundaries. Editor: François Fagotto. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology Nov;107:179-189. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2020. 05.002, 2020

Belzunce I, Belmonte-Mateos C, Pujades C. The interplay of atoh1 genes in the lower rhombic lip during hindbrain morphogenesis. PLoS ONE 3; 15(2): e0228225, 2020

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): dev176735, 2019

Pant DC, Dorboz I, Schluter A, Fourcade S, Launay N, Joya J, Aguilera-Albesa S, Yoldi ME, Casasnovas C, … Pujades C, Fatemi A, Boespflug-Tanguy O, Pujol A. Loss of the sphingolipid desaturase DEGS1 causes hypomyelinating leukodystrophy. J Clin Invest Mar 1;129(3):1240-1256, 2019

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, Mikuls, 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 Jan 4; 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


I am a strong advocate of open science, by using open source and with open access publications as a model to promote universal access to our developed tools and share them with the scientific community through availability in an open repository (

I am highly committed to Public Dissemination of Science following the guidelines of the Horizon Europe Responsible Research and Innovation. Thus, we are regularly involved in events devoted to this matter. All published work in my laboratory is disseminated through press releases in web pages and social networks, including several Twitter accounts (@CristinaPujades @UPFBiomedia @UPFBarcelona, with 0.7K, 2.9K and 44.7K followers, respectively) and the lab web site.

Recent PDS activities that I have been invited to participate in include:

  • hosting young students from the program Joves i Ciència, Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera, 2021.
  • invited scientist in scientific PODCAST such as La mare de la ciència, PRBB 2021; Disseccionem la ciència, Neurones fregides 2022.
  • participating in the dialogs with Ferran Adrià about innovation and creativity, ARA newspaper 2021
  • giving talks at the Associació cultural Casa Orlandai 2024, La invisible salut de les dones; Institut d’Estudis Catalans 2023: Humans o robots; Brain Awareness Week, 2022; Escola Europea d’Humanitats, 2020 with 3000 attendants during COVID-19 pandemics)     
  • writing opinion articles in the ARA newspaper
  • participating in round tables (100xCiencia.6, SOMMa 2022; Ciutat oberta – Biennal del Pensament 2020; Maker Faire 2017, 2019, 2020, 2022; STEAM Conference 2018)    
  • being interviewed (Amb filosofia, TV3 2017; EXCODRA, 2017; ARA newspaper, 2018)    
  • coordinating science dissemination courses (Academia La Central Bookstore 2018, BCN Civic Centers 2017)     
  • giving scientific courses for young people (YOMO: Youth Mobile, World Mobile Congress 2017; Summer School of Molecular and Theoretical Biology, HHMI-CRG-UPF 2016)

My dedication to PDS is fully supported by my host institution: UPF strongly believes that public universities have an obligation to inform the public of their work.