M. Mar Albà is an ICREA Research Professor at the Hospital del Mar Research Institute (IMIM) and head of the Evolutionary Genomics group of the joint IMIM-UPF Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB) at Barcelona (Spain). She holds a PhD in Biological Sciences (University of Barcelona, 1997) and a MSc in Bioinformatics and Molecular Modeling (Birkbeck College, London, 1999).
She worked as a postdoctoral researcher with John Hancock, at the MRC Clinical Research Centre, as well as with Paul Kellam, at University College London (UCL). She was a Ramón y Cajal scientist at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) from 2002-2005. M. Mar Albà is also assistant professor at the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences at UPF and coordinates the subject Principles of Bioinformatics in the MSc in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences. She has taught in several international courses, such as the EMBO World Practical Course on Comparative Genomics 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, has directed 8 doctoral theses and is author of more than 70 publications.
M. Mar Albà group is interested in understanding how new functional elements appear in genomes and how they subsequently evolve. The group is using deep RNA sequencing strategies to identify expressed genes in related species and elucidate the processes behind the emergence of new genes. They also investigate the role of repetitive sequences in the expansion of coding sequences and the formation of novel protein domains. They group is also involved in several projects to understand the biology and population dynamics of different mammalian species using genomics data.