• Title Assistant Professor
  • Education PhD: University of Barcelona, Spain
    Postdoctoral training: Yale University
  • Office K420
  • Phone 617-638-4159
  • Area of Interest Embryonic programming, developmental biology

The beginning of a new life is one of the most enigmatic and dynamic events in Biology. Upon fertilization, two highly specialized cells, sperm and oocyte, fuse together to develop into a new organism. However, it requires a vast reorganization of gene expression to render all the different tissues and cell types of the developing embryo from these primordial cells.

cifuenteslabmodelThe long term goal of my laboratory is to understand how post-transcriptional regulation of RNA and proteins orchestrates development of a single cell oocyte into a whole embryo and how these mechanisms can be extrapolated to other biological transitions such as cellular reprogramming or malignant transformation.

In the laboratory we use zebrafish as a model system to dissect the process of reprogramming in vivo within the context of a whole organism. The combination of fish embryo microinjection together with powerful genetic, genomic, and proteomic approaches provides a unique platform to address this central question in biology.


Dmitry Kretov – Postdoctoral Associate
Andrew Shafik – Postdoctoral Associate

  • Hoffman EJ, Turner KJ, Fernandez JM, Cifuentes D, Ghosh M, Ijaz S, Jain RA, Kubo F, Bill BR, Baier H, Granato M, Barresi MJ, Wilson SW, Rihel J, State MW, Giraldez AJ. Estrogens Suppress a Behavioral Phenotype in Zebrafish Mutants of the Autism Risk Gene, CNTNAP2. Neuron. 2016 Feb 17; 89(4):725-33. PMID: 26833134.
    View in: PubMed
  • Yoda M, Cifuentes D, Izumi N, Sakaguchi Y, Suzuki T, Giraldez AJ, Tomari Y. Poly(A)-specific ribonuclease mediates 3′-end trimming of Argonaute2-cleaved precursor microRNAs. Cell Rep. 2013 Nov 14; 5(3):715-26. PMID: 24209750.
    View in: PubMed
  • Zhu C, Smith T, McNulty J, Rayla AL, Lakshmanan A, Siekmann AF, Buffardi M, Meng X, Shin J, Padmanabhan A, Cifuentes D, Giraldez AJ, Look AT, Epstein JA, Lawson ND, Wolfe SA. Evaluation and application of modularly assembled zinc-finger nucleases in zebrafish. Development. 2011 Oct; 138(20):4555-64. PMID: 21937602.
    View in: PubMed
  • Sander JD, Dahlborg EJ, Goodwin MJ, Cade L, Zhang F, Cifuentes D, Curtin SJ, Blackburn JS, Thibodeau-Beganny S, Qi Y, Pierick CJ, Hoffman E, Maeder ML, Khayter C, Reyon D, Dobbs D, Langenau DM, Stupar RM, Giraldez AJ, Voytas DF, Peterson RT, Yeh JR, Joung JK. Selection-free zinc-finger-nuclease engineering by context-dependent assembly (CoDA). Nat Methods. 2011 Jan; 8(1):67-9. PMID: 21151135.
    View in: PubMed
  • Cifuentes D, Xue H, Taylor DW, Patnode H, Mishima Y, Cheloufi S, Ma E, Mane S, Hannon GJ, Lawson ND, Wolfe SA, Giraldez AJ. A novel miRNA processing pathway independent of Dicer requires Argonaute2 catalytic activity. Science. 2010 Jun 25; 328(5986):1694-8. PMID: 20448148.
    View in: PubMed
  • Pescador N, Villar D, Cifuentes D, Garcia-Rocha M, Ortiz-Barahona A, Vazquez S, Ordoñez A, Cuevas Y, Saez-Morales D, Garcia-Bermejo ML, Landazuri MO, Guinovart J, del Peso L. Hypoxia promotes glycogen accumulation through hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-mediated induction of glycogen synthase 1. PLoS One. 2010; 5(3):e9644. PMID: 20300197.
    View in: PubMed
  • Flores E, Cifuentes D, Fernández-Novell JM, Medrano A, Bonet S, Briz MD, Pinart E, Peña A, Rigau T, Rodríguez-Gil JE. Freeze-thawing induces alterations in the protamine-1/DNA overall structure in boar sperm. Theriogenology. 2008 Jun; 69(9):1083-94. PMID: 18359506.
    View in: PubMed
  • Cifuentes D, Martínez-Pons C, García-Rocha M, Galina A, Ribas de Pouplana L, Guinovart JJ. Hepatic glycogen synthesis in the absence of glucokinase: the case of embryonic liver. J Biol Chem. 2008 Feb 29; 283(9):5642-9. PMID: 18165236.
    View in: PubMed
  • Vilchez D, Ros S, Cifuentes D, Pujadas L, Vallès J, García-Fojeda B, Criado-García O, Fernández-Sánchez E, Medraño-Fernández I, Domínguez J, García-Rocha M, Soriano E, Rodríguez de Córdoba S, Guinovart JJ. Mechanism suppressing glycogen synthesis in neurons and its demise in progressive myoclonus epilepsy. Nat Neurosci. 2007 Nov; 10(11):1407-13. PMID: 17952067.
    View in: PubMed
  • Rezende GL, Logullo C, Meyer L, Machado LB, Oliveira-Carvalho AL, Zingali RB, Cifuentes D, Galina A. Partial purification of tightly bound mitochondrial hexokinase from maize (Zea mays L.) root membranes. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2006 Sep; 39(9):1159-69. PMID: 16981044.
    View in: PubMed

Complete list can be found at BU Profiles

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