Mirna Perez-Moreno

Mirna Perez-Moreno

Associate Professor

The Epithelial Cell Biology Group


Main research area: Our research interests are directed to understand the molecular events that govern the intercellular communication between skin progenitor cells and their stroma during development, homeostasis and cancer.


Challenges: One of the most fundamental biological questions in the stem cell (SC) field is to understand how intercellular interactions within the SC niche regulate SCs regenerative potential in homeostasis and disease. Interestingly, the most common cancers in the world, Squamous and Basal Cell Carcinomas, originate from deregulation of Hair Follicle SCs. However, the study of the regulation of SC by niche elements in the skin is just starting to emerge and the Perez-Moreno group has pioneered some of the current findings in this field.


Major findings: Using a comprehensive and integrated approach employing mouse genetic models, state of the art cell biology and live imaging techniques, our lab has uncovered novel molecular aspects underlying the regulation of skin progenitor cells behavior, including cell polarity, cell adhesion and cytoskeletal cues. In addition, we have opened a novel and expanding area of research in the field, addressing how immune cells regulate the regenerative properties of skin progenitor cells. This area has translational implications for immunotherapy in regenerative approaches, and cancer.


 - Potential opportunities are available in the laboratory for talented graduate students, postdocs, and undergraduates. Please contact Associate Professor Mirna Perez-Moreno directly providing the following:

  • Updated CV (including academic records and names of at least 2 references)
  • Cover letter expressing interest, educational/research background, and statement of research interests and goals

  Selected publications

  • Shahbazi MN, Peña-Jimenez D, Antonucci F, Drosten, M, Perez-Moreno M. 2017. Clasp2 ensures mitotic fidelity and prevents differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes. J Cell Sci. 130 (4): 683-688.
  • Fontenete S, Peña-Jimenez D, Perez-Moreno M. 2017. Heterocellular cadherin connections: coordinating adhesive cues in homeostasis and cancer. F1000Research. 6:1010. doi:10.12688/f1000research.11357.1.
  • Castellana D, Paus R and Perez-Moreno M. 2014. Macrophages contribute to the cyclic activation of adult hair follicle stem cells. PLoS Biology. 12(12):e1002002.
  • Epifano C, Megias D and Perez-Moreno M. 2014. p120-catenin differentially regulates cell migration by Rho-dependent intracellular and secreted signals. EMBOJ R. 15:592-600.
  • Shahbazi MN, Megias D, Epifano C, Akhmanova A, Gundersen GG, Fuchs E and Perez-Moreno M. 2013. CLASP2 interacts with p120-catenin and governs microtubule dynamics at Adherens Junctions. J Cell Biol. 203:1043/1061.
  • Martin-Belmonte F and Perez-Moreno, M. 2011. Epithelial cell polarity, stem cells and cancer. Nature Reviews Cancer. 12:23-38.
  • Perez-Moreno M, Song W, Pasolli HA, Williams SE, Fuchs E. 2008. Loss of p120 catenin and links to mitotic alterations, inflammation, and skin cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 105:15399-404.
  • Perez-Moreno M and Fuchs, E. 2006. Catenins: Keeping Cells from Getting Their Signals Crossed. Dev. Cell 11: 601-612.
  • Perez-Moreno M, Davis MA, Wong E, Pasolli HA, Reynolds A, Fuchs, E. 2006. p120-catenin mediates inflammatory responses in skin. Cell 124: 631-644. 

ID: 183889591