Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

UJA Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - Individual Fellowships Hosting Offer 2019 (LIFE SCIENCES)

This hosting has expired

    14/06/2019 12:00 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Spain, Jaén
    Universidad de Jaén
    CTS-446 Cardiac and Skeletal Myogenesis Muscle Regeneration

Description of Hosting Institution (UJA – Spain)

Jaén University (UJA) was created in 1993 and is in the Top 50 of the world’s best young universities according to THE (Times Higher Education). This ranking analyzes aspects such as teaching, research work, the university’s international outreach, or integration into industry. Besides, the UJA has received the distinction of Campus of International Excellence in the fields of Agrifood (CEIA3) and Climate Change (CamBio), plus it also leads the Andalusian CEI project on historical heritage PatrimoniUN10.

Jaén University has five faculties (Social and Legal Sciences; Humanities and Education Sciences; Health Sciences; Experimental Sciences and Social Work) and two higher polytechnic schools for engineering (Linares and Jaén). In turn, these centers are organized into 35 departmentsIt also has three Postgraduate educational centers (Doctorate School, Advanced Study Center in Modern Languages and Postgraduate Study Center).

In regards to its research, there are five specialized centers at Jaén University. Besides, the full picture of the over 100 UJA groups covers the following research fields of expertise (https://www.ujaen.es/servicios/ofipi/uja-ri-expertise): Agrifood (AGR); Biology (BIO); Health (CTS); Social Sciences, Business, Law (SEJ); Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics (FQM); Humanities (HUM); Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (RNM); Information and Communications Technology (TIC); and Engineering Production Technology (TEP).

As far the UJA hosting offer is concerned, Prof. DIEGO FRANCO JAIME (dfranco@ujaen.es) would be willing to host post-doctoral researchers that are eventually funded through the H2020 MSCA-IF 2019 call for applications to be part of the following research team:


UJA hosting research group (https://bit.ly/2HTU9K6)

Our main research interests are focused on dissecting the cellular and molecular bases of muscle development, homeostasis and disease in cardiac and skeletal muscle. In particular, we are highly interested on understanding the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory networks using distinct experimental approaches in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo in chicken embryos and genetically modified mice. Our group is part of the Cellular Biology section of the Department of Experimental Biology having collaborative networks with other groups.

Our research group is formed by two senior scientists; Amelia Aránega (mainly focused on skeletal muscle) and Diego Franco (mainly focused on cardiac development and disease), and a recently recruited young investigator, Jorge N Dominguez (world expert on ex vivo mouse embryo lineage tracing). We regularly host 3-5 Master and Undergraduate students, 3-5 PhD students and 1-2 post-doctoral fellows.

Research facilities within our group encompasses state-of-the-art cellular and molecular biology equipment including cell culture facilities, conventional and UV microscopes, 96-well qPCR thermocyclers, basic molecular biology and histology equipment. In addition, we have also access to the University facilities at the CICT, including additional cell culture rooms, 384-well qPCR thermocycler, sequencing and molecular analysis laboratories and facilities (DNA, RNA, protein expression), TEM, SEM and confocal microscopes, mass spectrometry analyzer.


Project description

Pitx2 & arrhythmias

Recent genome wide association studies have proposed a plausible role for the homeobox transcription factor Pitx2 in the genesis of atrial fibrillation. Within our laboratory we generated tissue-specific conditional Pitx2 mutants and dissect the functional role of this transcription factor in AF onset. A complex gene regulatory network has been discovered, including modulation by Wnt signaling and multiple microRNAs. In addition, we have identified that cardiovascular risk factors such as hyperthryroidism, hypertension and oxidative redox imbalance distinctly impairs Pitx2-Wnt-microRNA signaling pathway.

Our main interests are now focused on dissecting the functional role of Wnt and non-coding RNAs, including herein newly identified lncRNAs, as substrates of electrical impairment leading to AF.

Muscle regeneration; Pitx2 & microRNAs

The homeobox transcription factor Pitx2, besides having a pivotal role in left-right signaling and cardiac development, it is also highly instrumental during skeletal muscle development. Our initial work provided evidences that Pitx2 can exert a determinant function balancing proliferation versus differentiation in skeletal myoblasts by regulating microRNAs. We are highly interesting on understanding the functional role of the Pitx2-microRNAs axis in this context, with particular interest on miR-106b.

Non-coding RNAs in cardiac development

Cardiac development is a highly regulated process. Multiple transcription factors play pivotal roles directing specific aspects of cardiac morphogenesis and our understanding of their role has been largely increased in recent years. Novel regulatory mechanisms have emerged with the discovery of non-coding RNAs. Our laboratory has identified an large number of microRNAs differentially expressed during cardiogenesis and has initiated a path to discovery the functional role of these microRNAs in distinct aspects of cardiac development, including cardiomyogenic commitment, valve EMT and proepicardium and epicardium development. We are currently  also interested on dissecting the functional of a novel class of non-coding RNAs, long non coding RNAs, in these developmental contexts.


Application procedure

CV, Motivation letter and Summary of project proposal (250 words) by 14th June 2019 to ofipi@ujaen.es. Further information regarding the application requirements can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/actions/individual-fellowships_en & https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/msca-if-2019.


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