Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Control of Pluripotency


Dr. Michael Edel


Control of Pluripotency, Group Leader

Centre of Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, Adjunct Senior Fellow

University of Barcelona (Spain) and Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (WA)


Confocal microscope image of an early motor neuron (HB9, red positive) emerging from neuron stem cells (Nestin, green positive) derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. Nuclei are shown in blue (DAPI)

Area of Expertise

Dr. Michael Edel is a Group Leader and an accredited Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona, Faculty of Medicine with rolling Spanish national project grant funding. He is an expert in cancer genetics and cell pluripotency. His research is concerned with the role of the cell cycle in attaining a pluripotent state, neural stem cell development and the development of cancer. His work has appeared in Cell (2005), Nature Biotechnology (2008) and Genes & Development (2010) and two of his publications are in the world’s top 1% most cited. He leads a group dedicated to developing new methods to make genetically stable high quality clinical grade stem cells and pluripotent stem cells to study human cardiac, lung, limbal eye, and neural disease with an extensive international and national collaboration network of excellence in stem cell research. Consequently, he is affiliated as Senior Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia Department of Anatomy/Harry Perkins Institute (CCTRM) and adjunct International Research Fellow at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Sydney, Australia.

Education: The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia.

  • Jan-2000 Sep: Doctor of Philosophy (Pathology).
  • 1990 Jan–1991 Mar: Post-Graduate Diploma in Education.
  • 1985 Jan-1989 Mar: Bachelor of Science with Honours (Anatomy).

Publication Showcase


Overexpression of Human TLR3 Affects Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Immunity

Immune responses to human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)derived cells represents an ongoing concern regarding the clinical application of autologous cell replacement therapy. Now, new research from the laboratory of Dr. Michael J. Edel, Principle Investigator and leader of the International project  (UWA, CCTRM and University of Barcelona, Spain) has demonstrated that the overexpression of a toll-like receptor protein 3 (TLR3) isoform due to epigenetic effects (Epigenetics in collaboration with Dr. Manel Esteller) suppresses innate immune signal transduction in human iPSCNSCs due to the suppression of the NFKB p65 signaling pathway. Requena et al. propose screening human iPSC clones for these alterations as an essential step towards clinical applications. Click here for the PDF.


Recent Publications

  1. Michael J. Edel, Stephanie Boue, Cristina Menchon, Adriana Sanchez-Danes and Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte.  (2010) Rem2 GTPase controls proliferation and apoptosis of neurons during zebra fish embryo development. Cell Cycle, 9(14).
  2. McLenachan S, Zhang D, Palomo AB, Edel MJ, Chen FK (2013) mRNA transfection of mouse and human neural stem cell cultures. PLoS One. Dec 26;8(12).
  3. Edel, Michael J, Menchon C, Menendez S, Raya A, Izpisua Belmonte JC (2010) Rem2 GTPase maintains survival of human embryonic stem cells as well as enhancing reprogramming by regulating p53 and cyclin D1. Genes & Development. 24: 561-573
  4. Aasen T, Raya A, Barrero MJ, Garreta E, Consiglio A, Gonzalez F, Vassena R, Bilic J, Pekarik V, Tiscornia G, Edel MJ, Boué S, Izpisúa Belmonte JC. (2008) Efficient and rapid generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from human keratinocytes. Nat Biotechnol Nov;26(11):1276-84.
  5. Epping MT, Wang L, Edel MJ, Carlée L, Hernandez M, Bernards R. (2005) The human tumor antigen PRAME is a dominant repressor of retinoic acid receptor signaling. Cell Sep 23;122(6)835-47

Publications with CCTRM byline:

  1. Samuel McLenachen, Erwei Hao, Dan Zhang, Ling Zhang, Michael Edel and Fred Chen. Bioengineered Bruchs-like extracellular matrix promotes retinal pigment epithelial differentiation. Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports, April, 2017.
  2. Martín-Ibáñez R, Pardo M, Giralt A, Miguez A, Guardia I, Marion-Poll L, Herranz C, Esgleas M, Barriga GG, Edel MJ, Vicario-Abejón C, Alberch J, Girault JA, Chan S, Kastner P, Canals JM. Helios expression coordinates the development of a subset of striatopallidal medium spiny neurons. Development. 2017 Apr 15;144(8):1566-1577.
  3. Clara López-Serrano, Abel Torres-Espín Joaquim Hernández, Ana B Alvarez-Palomo, Jordi Requena, Xavier Gasull Michael J. Edel, Xavier Navarro. Effects of the spinal cord injury environment on the differentiation capacity of human neural stem cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. Cell Transplantation, April 2016.
  4. Ana Belen Alvarez Palomo1, Stuart Hodgetts, Michaela Lucas, Rodney J. Dilley, Samuel McLenachan, Fred Kuanfu Chen, Lindsey Da Cruz, Jordi Requena, Andrew Lucas, Micha Drukker and Michael J. Edel. Prospects for clinical use of reprogrammed cells for autologous treatments of macular degeneration. Invited Review: Journal of Fibrogenesis and Tissue Repair, 2015 May 15;8:9
  5. Ricardo P. Casaroli-Marano, Núria Nieto-Nicolau, Eva M. Martínez-Conesa, Michael Edel and Ana B.Álvarez-Palomo. Potential Role of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPSCs) for Cell-Based Therapy of the Ocular Surface. J. Clin. Med. 2015, 4(2), 318-342.
  6. Isart Roca, Jordi Requena, Michael J. Edel and Ana Belen Alvarez Palomo. Myogenic Precursors from iPS Cells for Skeletal Muscle Cell Replacement Therapy. J. Clin. Med. 2015, 4(2), 243-259.
  7. Fred Kuanfu Chen, Samuel McLenachan, Michael Edel, Lyndon Da Cruz, Peter Coffey, David Mackey. “iPS Cells for Modelling and Treatment of Retinal Diseases “. J. Clin. Med. 2014,
  8. Hodgetts S, Stagg K, Sturm M, Edel M, Blancafort P. Long Live the Stem Cell: The Use of Stem Cells Isolated from Post Mortem Tissues for Translational Strategies. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2014 Oct 6.
  9. Ana Belen Alvarez Palomo,  Michaela Lucas, Rodney J. Dilley, Samuel McLenachan, Fred Kuanfu Chen, Jordi Requena, Marti Farrera Sal, Andrew Lucas, Inaki Alvarez , Dolores Jaraquemada and Michael J. Edel. The power and the promise of cell reprogramming: Personalized autologous body organ and cell transplantation. J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 373-387. 

Recent Grant Successes

  1. 2016-2017: La Caxia Impulse grant 00017. To develop clinical applications of stem cells for commercial use and start up companies. 60,000Euros.
  2. 2016-2018: Spanish Ministry of Science, I3 program grant: Chief Investigator. Spanish government grant (top up for salary). 130,000 euros over 3 years.
  3. 2015-2017: Spanish Ministry of Science, MINECO BFU2014-54467-P: Improving the quality and characterisation of iPS cell production by replacement of oncogenes with cell cycle genes and analysing genomic stability and immune response. Chief Investigator. 144,200 Euros.
  4. *2015-2016: Australian NH&MRC project grant application APP1086332 was awarded the UWA near miss scheme in 2014 to develop further entitled: “Tissue engineering cardiac muscle from induced pluripotent stem cells for assessment of safety, function and tissue engraftment in vivo”. We will resubmit in 2016. Team: Chief Investigator A: Dr. Michael Edel (iPSC and cardiomyocytes), CIB Dr. Rod Dilley (Heart tissue bioengineering), CIC Dr. Angel Raya (iPSC and cardiomyocytes), CID Dr. Michaela Lucas (Immune response), CIE Dr. Fred Chen (Stem cell technology) and CIF Dr. David Winlaw (Paediatric cardiac surgeon). $75,000AUD.
  5. 2011-2014: Spanish Ministry of Science, MINECO project start up grant for 3 years 2011 to 2014 (BFU2011-26596). Chief Investigator. Title “Investigation into the role of the cell cycle and apoptosis in human clinical-grade induced pluripotent stem cells and adult stem cells for future application to treat spinal cord injury” 196,000 euros.

*CCTRM affiliated grant

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