Stem Cells and Cancer

Research group

Group Leader

Anna Bigas Salvans

Our research group studies the molecular mechanisms involved in the generation and maintenance of stem cells and their differentiation from functional cells. We particularly focus in studying signaling pathways and their activation effects that control the hematopoietic system. Our goal is to understand how these signals are important in the generation of hematopoietic stem cells during embryonic development, maintenance of these cells in adulthood and how these signals are perturbed in leukemic processes.


Cristina Porcheri (Researcher)

Cristina Ruiz Herguido (Technician)

Roshani Sinha (PhD Student)


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Main Publications

• Bigas A, Waskow C. Blood stem cells: from beginning to end. Development 2016 oct 1; 143 (19): 3429-3433 Review PMID: 27702782 IF 6.059 D: 1.

• Engert A, Balduini C, Brand A, Coiffier B, Cordonnier C, Döhner H, de Wit TD, Eichinger S, Fibbe W, Green T, de Haas F, Iolascon A, Jaffredo T, Rodeghiero F, Salles G, Schuringa JJ, other authors of the EHA Roadmap for European Hematology Research (...,Bigas A,...). The European Hematology Association Roadmap for European Hematology Research: a consensus document. Haematologica 2016; 101(2): 115-208. IF 6.671. Q1

• García-Alegría E, Lafita-Navarro MC, Aguado R, García-Gutiérrez L, Sarnataro K, Ruiz-Herguido C, Martín F, Bigas A, Canelles M, León J. NUMB inactivation confers resistance to imatinib in chronic myeloid leukemia cells. Cancer Lett 2016; 375(1): 92-99. IF 5.992. Q1

• Gekas C, D'Altri T, Aligué R, González J, Espinosa L, Bigas A. Beta-Catenin is required for T cell leukemia initiation and MYC transcription downstream of Notch1. Leukemia 2016; 30(10): 2002-2010. IF 12.104. Q1.

• Sanjuan-Pla A, Romero-Moya D, Prieto C, Bueno C, Bigas A, Menéndez P. Intra-bone marrow transplantation confers superior multi-lineage engraftment of murine aorta-gonad mesonephros cells over intravenous transplantation. Stem Cells Dev 2016; 25(3): 259-265. IF 3.777. Q1.

Ongoing Research Projects

• Exploring Mechanisms of Resistance in Adult and Pediatric T-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

− Fundación científica de la Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (GC16173697BIGA)

− From 2016 to 2021

− Principal investigator: Bigas Salvans, Anna


• Especificación de célula madre hematopoyética y leucémica

− Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (SAF2016-75613-R)

− From 2016 to 2019

− Principal investigator: Bigas Salvans, Anna


• Diseccionando el proceso de especificación de células madre hematopoyéticas normales y leucémicas

− Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (SAF2013-40922-R)

− From 2014 to2017

− Principal investigator: Bigas Salvans, Anna


• Notch1 and B-Catenin Crosstalk in T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

− Association for International Cancer Research-AICR (13-0064)

− From 2013 to2016

− Principal investigator: Bigas Salvans, Anna

Participation in Research Networks

• CIBERONC, Program of Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Progression. Program Co-coordinator: Bigas Salvans, Anna

Group’s Recognitions

• Officially recognised as a consolidated research group by the Generalitat de Catalunya: Grup de Recerca en Cèl·lules Mare i Càncer (2014-2017)

− Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (SGR 124)

− Principal investigator: Bigas Salvans, Anna


• López-Arribillaga E. Notch signalling in intestinal homeostasis and cancer: orchestrator of stemness. Pompeu Fabra University

Directors: Espinosa Blay, Lluís; Bigas Salvans, Anna

− Date of defense: 17/06/2016


• Sinha R . Understanding the development of MLL-rearranged leucemias

− Directors: Bigas Salvans, Anna; Porcheri,Cristina

− Date of defense: 16/12/2016

C/ Doctor Aiguader, 88

08003 Barcelona

(+34) 93 316 04 00