M. Mar Albà

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    M. Mar Albà
    ICREA Research Professor, Head of the Evolutionary Genomics group and Director of GRIB (IMIM)
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M. Mar Albà is an ICREA Research Professor at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM)head of the Evolutionary Genomics group and Director of GRIB (IMIM side). 

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. Since 2005 she coordinates the subject Principles of Bioinformatics in the MSc in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences at UPF. She has taught in several international courses, such as the EMBO World Practical Course on Comparative Genomics 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, has directed 11 doctoral theses and is author of more than 100 publications.

Research interests

M. Mar Albà's group is interested in understanding the regulation and evolution of the transcriptome and the proteome. The group uses high throughput sequencing of mRNAs as well as ribosome profiling techniques to measure the levels of protein expression in the cells and to discover new, non-annotated, translation events. Mar Albà and her collaborators have pioneered the field of de novo gene evolution, a process by which new protein-coding genes emerge from previously non-coding sequences of the genome. They have identified hundreds of species-specific transcripts in different organisms and established that a large fraction of them contain translated open reading frames. The group is also studying the expression of new transcripts and proteins in cancer cells and developing methods for the identification of neoantigens that may trigger an immune response.

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