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Torres-Padilla, Maria Elena

Prof. Dr. Maria Elena Torres-Padilla

Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells (IES), Helmholtz Zentrum München


Vice Chair of the CRC 1064
Project A24: Systematic screening for factors controlling heterochromatin formation in the mouse embryo and their role in modulating cellular plasticity


Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells (IES)
Helmholtz Zentrum München
Marchioninistrasse 25
81377 Munich

Phone: +49 (0)89 3187 3317 (office)

Website: Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells (IES)

Work group

Project A24

Curriculum Vitae

Academic Education

  • 1994-1998 University Degree in Biology. Faculty of Sciences, National University of Mexico

Advanced Professional Degrees

  • 2008 Habilitation. Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France
  • 2002 Ph.D. Université Réné Descartes-Paris V. Paris, France, Advisor: Mary C. Weiss, Institut Pasteur

Positions Held

  • since 2016 Director, Institute of Epigenetics & Stem Cells,Helmholtz Zentrum Munich
  • 2016 Professor (W3). Chair of Stem Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
  • 2012 Nominated Director of Research (INSERM)
  • 2010-2012 Deputy Director of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Department, IGBMC, Strasbourg
  • 2009 Independent Group leader, IGBMC, Strasbourg, France
  • 2007 Nominated Chargee de Recherche (INSERM)
  • 2006-2008 Senior Scientist with Dr. Laszlo Tora, IGBMC, Strasbourg, France
  • 2002-2006 Postdoctoral EMBO fellow with Dr. Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2001 Visitor at the University of California, Riverside with Dr. Frances M. Sladek

Honours and Awards

  • since 2019 Honorary Professor, University of Aarhus Denmark
  • 2018 Female Award of the German Stem Cell Network
  • 2015 Elected EMBO Member
  • 2015 Selected as Extraordinary Young Scientist by the World Economic Forum
  • 2014 Prize Fondation Schlumberger pour l’Education et la Recherche
  • 2014 Prize Fondation Université de Strasbourg-Cercle Gutenberg
  • 2011 EMBO Young Investigator
  • 2011 ERC Starting Grant awarded
  • 2011 EpiGeneSys Network of Excellence FP7 (elected RISE1 member)
  • 2009 Avenir Grant (for Young Group Leaders)
  • 2003-2005 EMBO long-term postdoctoral fellowship
  • 1999-2001 Doctoral fellowship from CONACYT awarded
  • 1998 Gabino Barreda Award, National University of Mexico

Editorial Activities

  • since 2021 Editorial Board Member; Science
  • since 2021 Editorial Board Member; Cell Stem Cell
  • since 2019 Editorial Board Member; Development
  • since 2016 Editorial Board Member, Genes & Development
  • since 2014 Guest Associate Editor, Public Library of Sciences (PLOS) Biology and PLOS Genetics
  • 2018-2021 Editorial Board Member; Journal of Cell Biology
  • 2011-2015 Editorial Board Member, Scientific Reports Nature

Other selected Professional Activities

  • 2019-2020 Work Package Leader and Founder Member of the LifeTime European Initiative
  • since 2018 Co-coordinator of the EpiGene2Sys Network
  • since 2018 Steering Board Member, Single Cell Omics, Germany
  • since 2018 Member of the Think Tank of the Helmholtz Association
  • since 2016 Founder and Board Member of epigenetics@hmgu
  • 2016 Foreign coordinator of the International Research Group (GDRi) on Epigenetics
  • 2012-2015 Founder and Coordinator of the Nuclear Dynamics and Signalling Programme, IGBMC, Strasbourg
  • 2010-2016 Member of the ‘Laboratory of Excellence’ INRT Integrated Biology: Nuclear Dynamics, Regenerative and Translational Medicine
  • 2013-2015 Member of the Steering Committee of the International Ph.D Programme of the IGBMC
  • 2003-2006 Member of the of the Faculty of Biology, University of Cambridge
  • 2011 Founding organiser for the EMBO Workshop Series on Histone Variants & Genome Organiser
  • 2010 Member of the Steering Committee for the Master Programme on Developmental Biology, University of Strasbourg

Selected CRC project-related publications

Burton A, Brochard V, Galan C, Ruiz-Morales ER, Rovira Q, Rodriguez-Terrones D, Kruse K, Le Gras S, Udayakumar VS, Chin HG, Eid A, Liu X, Wang C, Gao S, Pradhan S, Vaquerizas JM, Beaujean N, Jenuwein T, Torres-Padilla ME (2020) Heterochromatin establishment during early mammalian development is regulated by pericentromeric RNA and characterized by non-repressive H3K9me3. Nature Cell Biology, Jul; 22(7):767–778.

Rodriguez-Terrones D, Hartleben G, Gaume X, Eid A, Guthmann M, Iturbide A,  Torres-Padilla ME (2020) A distinct metabolic state arises during the emergence of 2-cell-like cells. EMBO Reports, Jan 7;21(1):e48354.

Guthmann M, Burton A,  Torres-Padilla ME (2019) Expression and phase separation potential of heterochromatin proteins during early mouse development. EMBO Reports, Dec 5;20(12):e47952. doi: 10.15252/embr.201947952

Borsos M*, Perricone SM*, Schauer T, Pontabry J, de Luca KL, de Vries SS, Ruiz-Morales ER, Torres-Padilla ME§ ‡, Kind J§ (2019) Genome-lamina interactions are established de novo in the early mouse embryo. Nature. May 30; 569:729-733. (*equal contribution; §co-corresponding authors; lead contact)

Rodriguez-Terrones D, Gaume X, Ishiuchi T, Weiss A, Kopp A, Kruse K, Penning A, Vaquerizas JM, Brino L, Torres-Padilla ME (2018) A molecular roadmap for the emergence of early-embryonic-like cells in culture. Nature Genetics, Jan; 50(1): 106-119.