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Carazo Salas Group

Integrative cell biology of pluripotency and differentiation

Research Interests

Research in our group seeks to elucidate how the gene and protein networks that control basic or disease-related processes like cellular growth, division and differentiation operate in space and in time within cells, and how those networks allow cells to function as integrated systems. We develop and use a range of interdisciplinary quantitative cell biology methods, including 3D high-throughput/high-content microscopy pipelines and Big Data approaches.

In the past few years, we have successfully used this strategy with yeast to systematically discover hundreds of novel genes and pathways controlling and linking diverse biological functions, like cell shape control, cytoskeletal organization, cell cycle progression and cell polarity.

Recently, we began porting our mindset and know-how to investigate how pluripotency and differentiation decisions are controlled both at the cell biological level and at the single-cell level, using human Embryonic Stem (ES) cells and induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells as experimental paradigms. Our goal is to understand how to specifically, efficiently and safely reprogram heterogeneous populations of stem cells for therapeutic applications.

Selected publications

  1. Antal B, Chessel A, Carazo Salas RE. Mineotaur: a tool for high-content microscopy screen sharing and visual analytics. Genome Biol. 2015 Dec 17;16(1):283. doi: 10.1186/s13059-015-0836-5.
  2. Abenza JF, Couturier E, Dodgson J, Dickmann J, Chessel A, Dumais J, Salas RE. Wall mechanics and exocytosis define the shape of growth domains in fission yeast. Nat Commun. 2015 Oct 12;6:8400. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9400.
  3. Jeffares DC, Rallis C, Rieux A, Speed D, Převorovský M, Mourier T, Marsellach FX, Iqbal Z, Lau W, Cheng TM, Pracana R, Mülleder M, Lawson JL, Chessel A, Bala S, Hellenthal G, O'Fallon B, Keane T, Simpson JT, Bischof L, Tomiczek B, Bitton DA, Sideri T, Codlin S, Hellberg JE, van Trigt L, Jeffery L, Li JJ, Atkinson S, Thodberg M, Febrer M, McLay K, Drou N, Brown W, Hayles J, Carazo Salas RE, Ralser M, Maniatis N, Balding DJ, Balloux F, Durbin R, Bähler J. The genomic and phenotypic diversity of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Nat Genet. 2015 Mar;47(3):235-41. doi: 10.1038/ng.3215. Epub 2015 Feb 9.
  4. Graml V, Studera X, Lawson JL, Chessel A, Geymonat M, Bortfeld-Miller M, Walter T, Wagstaff L, Piddini E, Carazo-Salas RE. A genomic Multiprocess survey of the machineries that control and link cell shape, microtubule organisation and cell-cycle progression. Dev Cell. 2014 Oct 27;31(2):227-39. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.09.005.
  5. Vaggi F, Schiavinotto T, Lawson JL, Chessel A, Dodgson J, Geymonat M, Sato M, Carazo-Salas RE, Csikász-Nagy A. A network approach to mixing delegates at meetings. Elife. 2014;3:e02273. doi: 10.7554/eLife.02273. Epub 2014 Feb 4

>> Full list of publications on PubMed

Page updated 26 Jan 2016


Contact details

Group Leader : Dr Rafael Carazo Salas

Address :
C/O Department of Pharmacology,
University of Cambridge,
Tennis Court Road,
Cambridge CB2 1PD,
United Kingdom
Please use the above address during
Department refurbishment


Tel: +44 (0)1223 761267

Group members