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.


Roshana Thambyrajah (Researcher)

David Arambilet Morilla (PhD Student)

Jessica González Miranda (Technician)

Arnau Iglesias Piqueras (Technician)

Cristina Ruiz Herguido (Technician)

Main Publications

• Dzierzak E, Bigas A. Blood Development: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Dependence and Independence. Cell Stem Cell 2018; 22(5): 639-651. IF 23.29. D1.

• López-Arribillaga E, Rodilla V, Colomer C, Vert A, Shelton A, Cheng JH, Yan B, González-Pérez A, Junttila MR, Iglesias M, Torres F, Albanell J, Villanueva A, Bigas A, Siebel CW, Espinosa L. Manic Fringe deficiency imposes Jagged1 addiction to intestinal tumor cells. Nat Commun 2018; 9(1): 2992. IF 12.353. D1.

• Gallardo F, Bertran J, López-Arribillaga E, González J, Menéndez S, Sánchez I, Colomo L, Iglesias M, Garrido M, Santamaría-Babí LF, Torres F, Pujol RM, Bigas A, Espinosa L. Novel phosphorylated TAK1 species with functional impact on NF-κB and β-catenin signaling in human Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Leukemia 2018; 32(10): 2211-2223. IF 10.023. D1.

• Bigas A, Espinosa L. The multiple usages of Notch signaling in development, cell differentiation and cancer. Curr Opin Cell Biol 2018; 55: 1-7. IF 10.015. D1.

• Colomer C, Margalef P, González J, Vert A, Bigas A, Espinosa L. IKKα is required in the intestinal epithelial cells for tumour stemness. Br J Cancer 2018; 118(6): 839-846. IF 5.922. Q1.

Ongoing Research Projects

• Regeneració hematopoètica a partir de cèl·lules mare pluripotents.

- Financing institution: Departament de Salut de la Generalitat de Catalunya (SLT002/16/00299)

- Period: from 2017 to 2019

- Principal investigator: Bigas Salvans, Anna

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

- Financing institution: Fundación Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (GC16173697BIGA)

- Period: from 2016 to 2021

- Principal investigator: Bigas Salvans, Anna

• Especificación de célula madre hematopoyética y leucémica

- Financing institution: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (SAF2016-75613-R)

- Period: from 2016 to 2019

- Principal investigator: Bigas Salvans, Anna


Participation in Research Networks

• CIBER Cancer

- Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (CB16/12/00244)

- Period: from 2017 to 2019

- Principal investigator: Bigas Salvans, Anna

• Network Metabocancer

- Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades, RED2018-102379-T9

- Period: from 2018 to 2019

- Investigator: 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. 2017 to 2020

- Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (SGR 135)

- Principal investigator: Bigas Salvans, Anna









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