Maria-Elena did her undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Sciences of the UNAM, Mexico and obtained her Ph.D at the Institut Pasteur in Paris in 2002. She was a postdoctoral fellow at The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, UK between 2002 and 2006. She then worked as senior scientist with Laszlo Tora until 2008. She leads the team “Epigenetics and cell fate in early mammalian development’ at the IGBMC in Strasbourg, France since december 2008.
Research in Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla’s laboratory focuses on understanding how early mouse development is regulated by chromatin-mediated changes in gene regulation, that is, by epigenetic information. In particular, she is interested in understanding how the transitions in cell potency and cell fate are regulated by chromatin-mediated processes. Torres-Padilla has become a leader in the fields of developmental biology and epigenetics. By using early mouse embryo as a unique model system she studies totipotency in vivo and the de novo establishment of chromatin domains and how chromatin regulates cell fate decisions and the consequent generation of pluripotent cells in the embryo.
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