Tissue Biology and Disease Modelling

Scientists at EMBL Barcelona focus on Tissue Biology and Disease Modelling

An organ or a tissue is much more than just a collection of different cell types. It has genetic patterns, 3D geometry, coordinated spatial arrangements and large-scale feedback across thousands of cells, leading to emergent collective functions. Scientists at EMBL Barcelona study and engineer tissue-level processes both in vitro and in silico to understand how they work in health and disease, and to explore whether we can control, modify or fix them. We combine approaches from tissue engineering and multicellular transcriptomics, to 3D mesoscopic imaging, and computer modelling. Using these interdisciplinary approaches, our research currently covers embryonic organoids, organ development,* in vitro* vascular models and disease modelling.

Located in the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), one of the largest infrastructures in Southern Europe dedicated to biomedical and translational research, EMBL Barcelona benefits from this highly collaborative, interdisciplinary and international environment. In particular we have an alliance with the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), and close relationships with the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC). Perched on the Barcelona seafront, and within walking distance of the city's iconic architecture, the site is bathed in the energy of this bustling, creative metropolis.

Groups in this unit

Bernabeu group

In vitro 3D blood-brain barrier model and cerebral malaria

Ebisuya group

Synthetic developmental biology: gene circuit and organoid zoo

Haase group

Engineering vascularised tissue-specific disease models


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The 74 research groups at EMBL are organised into nine units spanning six European sites.