Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo (CABD/CSIC/UPO/JA)

A María de Maeztu unit since 2017

The Andalusian Center for Developmental Biology (CABD) was jointly funded in 2003 by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Andalusian Regional Government (Junta de Andalucía), and the Pablo de Olavide University (UPO) in Seville. The CABD mission is to reveal general principles of development and identify mechanisms that control how cells coordinate their behavior to build an individual. This includes projects ranging from evolution of gene regulatory networks and protein structures to control of fundamental cellular processes, such as gene expression, cell cycle regulation and oxidative stress. Other examples include the signaling events that lead to formation of different cell types and their complex interaction during cell migration.

The CABD is a dynamic institute, housing now 25 groups that use a broad range of organisms to address pending biological questions in the most relevant manner. CABD teams have a very strong background in Developmental Genetics and Molecular Biology, and their projects make use of all major multicellular model organisms (C. elegans, Drosophila, Xenopus, Zebrafish, Medaka, and mouse). Some groups have promising projects using emerging animal models such as Mayfly, Astyanax (cavefish) and Killifish. Several groups use uni- and multicellular fungal species, cultured mammalian cells (primary cultures, induced human pluripotent stem cells, etc.) and, most recently, organoids. Moreover, CABD researchers also employ bacteria to study their complex behavior in natural environments and biofilms.

A major asset of the CABD are its technological platforms, that have been developed through the joint efforts of the CABD funding patrons (CSIC, Universidad Pablo de Olavide and Junta de Andalucía). They serve as core, state of the art technological support across most research operations. Currently these are the Advanced Light Microscopy and Image Analysis (ALMI), Functional Genomics of Aquatic Vertebrates (FGAV), Mouse Transgenesis and Genome Editing (MTGE) and Proteomics (PMiCS). Moreover, the previous María de Maeztu award enabled the reinforcement of ALMI’s team with the incorporation of a physicist and the creation of a Bioinformatics platform, which is essential to support the growing number of CABD groups that generate and analyze large genomics and proteomics datasets.

The previous María de Maeztu award (2017-2021) aimed at understanding how cells coordinate their behavior during development, homeostasis and evolution of animals to generate, sustain and modify organ form and function. The specific objectives of the project were accomplished with success. Through the new project entitled Decision Making in Cell Collectives Across Scales (2022-2025) the CABD research groups aim to improve our understanding of self-organization principles across different levels of biological complexity.

Key Facts of CABD

77% Q1 Publications
Percentage of publications in first quartile journals.
9 Multicellular Models
Number of different multicellular models used, by a total of 13 PIs of the institution.
6 Core Facilities
Core facilities (ALMI, FGAV, MTGE and PMiCS) available to users.
20 Different Nationalities
Number of nationalities represented, out of a total of 150 researchers.
Juan Pablo Couso
Director María de Maeztu Unit