Josema Torres, PhD
Josema Torres obtained his PhD in 2002 from the Universitat de Valencia under the supervision of Dr. Rafael Pulido at the former Centro de Investigaciones Citológicas. During his PhD he studied the modulation of MAPKs by Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases and the regulation of the tumour suppressor PTEN by postranslational modifications. Throughout this period he learned about the molecular mechanisms whereby the cell responds to external stimuli as well as the implication of these signal transduction pathways in human disease, such cancer. After his PhD in cell signalling he decided to move onto an expanding research field with a great impact in human welfare, the physiology of Stem Cells, and he joined the laboratory of Dr. Fiona Watt at the London Research Institute of Cancer Research UK in 2003. During his posdoc he studied the molecular mechanisms underlying the process of self-renewal of pluripotent cells and found that the homeodomain-containing protein Nanog modulated the NFkB and LIF/Stat3 signalling pathways to regulate the pluripotency of Embryonic Stem (ES) cells. He joined the Departament of Cellular Biology and Parasitology at the Universitat de Valencia in 2008 with a Ramón y Cajal award to continue his research using pluripotent stem cells as model systems.
Our major research goal is in understanding how pluripotency is acquired and how this property can be modulated to produce cell lineages of biomedical interest. We use Embryonic Stem (ES) cells and patient-derived induced-Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells to study the molecular mechanisms underlying both neurodegenerative diseases, such Parkinson's Disease and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder, and the reprogramming of somatic cells. We are particularly interested in the role of MAPK and HIF signaling pathways in the regulation of cell fate decisions.