Appointment of Rafel Oliva, Group leader
Research is our only tool for discovering the normal functioning of the human organism, the causes of disease, and for developing strategies for prevention and treatment. This is science, and science will discover the truth

Current research

Problem

Sterility, and alterations in cellular development and differentiation, are very common medical problems that affect 1 in 5 couples of reproductive age and a very large proportion of the adult population. Most causes are still unknown, a fact which has a negative effect on the success of reproduction treatments.

The group is investigating the molecular causes of male sterility and alterations in the differentiation of germ cells, embryonic development, and the transmission of information to subsequent generations. Thus, it will be possible to obtain a correct diagnosis and prognosis, as well as open the door to new strategies for prevention and treatment.

Approach

The group applies genetic, genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic and proteomic description strategies to the study of the male germinal line. Its objective is to identify both normal molecular mechanisms and alterations in the reproductive function, embryonic development, and the transmission of information, that can affect the health of the following generations.

Impact

The group has been a pioneer group in the molecular description of the normal male germinal line and of the alterations associated with sterility and reproductive failures. Its research has enabled it to identify embryo proteins exclusively from the father.

The group is currently investigating parental contribution to embryogenesis (embryo formation and development), the health of offspring from the perspective of RNA, proteins and epigenetic information – which could explain many of the alterations associated with reproductive failure – to metabolic problems or cell differentiation in adulthood.