Dr. Luis Alberto Baena-Lopez University of Oxford, UK2 Talks
Dr. Luis Alberto Baena-Lopez is a developmental biologist and geneticist by training who devoted most of the formative period to investigating the molecular mechanisms defining organ size and shape. His past research has provided key information to better understand the daily job of Wnt molecules while changing some of the... read moredogmas linked to them. It has also highlighted the orientation of cell division as a major regulatory component of organ shape. Since he started his research group in Oxford in 2014, he has been focusing his research on understanding the molecular mechanisms facilitating caspase functions. Although these evolutionarily conserved enzymes have traditionally been studied for their pivotal role during the implementation of the apoptosis program, their research is uncovering a new set of roles independent of apoptosis. Furthermore, these novel non-apoptotic roles appear to support a large variety of basic cellular routines such as cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and cell migration. Dr. Baena Lopez hope is to attain through this knowledge a comprehensive view not only of essential developmental processes regulated by caspases but also about the potential origin of multiple diseases triggered/sustained by caspase malfunction (e.g. cancer).
Dr. Baena Lopez started his scientific career under the supervision of Professor Antonio García-Bellido at the C.B.M.S.O (Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa) in Madrid. Besides obtaining a general overview of many developmental processes, Dr. Baena Lopez learned under his guidance many of the secrets of classical Drosophila genetics. After completing his DPhil, he moved to London where he expanded his technical and conceptual knowledge aided by the supervision of Professor Jean-Paul Vincent. Over the years, competitive fellowships from prestigious funding bodies have supported his work (EMBO, Welcome Trust, Cancer Research UK), while guaranteeing his independent research activity. Beyond his research responsibilities, Dr. Baena Lopez enjoys explaining his mission and the relevance of doing research to the general public.