Dr Francesc Miralles was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in 2006. He has been involved in various educational roles covering generic and specialised teaching. Alongside teaching he has studied signal transduction or transcription coupled mechanisms that control normal cell growth and differentiation, as well as their deregulation in disease.
Since 2000, and before his appointment at St George’s, Dr Miralles pursued postdoctoral training at the Transcription Laboratory at the London Research Institute (Cancer Research UK) where he studied the molecular mechanisms that link actin dynamics to transcriptional regulation. During that period, he was awarded an EU Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship.
In 1998, he obtained his PhD from the University of Barcelona. His research focussed on the molecular mechanisms underlying extracellular protease gene expression during skeletal muscle differentiation and in response to genotoxic agents. He was subsequently awarded a highly competitive EMBO long term postdoctoral fellowship to pursue further interests in post-transcriptional gene regulation at the Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University. Whilst there, he characterised novel nucleoplasmic proteins involved in the intranuclear transport of Messenger RNAs (mRNAs) to the nuclear pores, and became interested in the role of actin in gene expression.
Dr Miralles is the module lead for Genes and Gene Expression, a module offered to year 3 Biomedical Science BSc students and intercalated BSc students. He also contributes specialised lectures to medical, biomedical, pharmacology and master students. His lectures relate to gene expression, cell signalling, cell death and its relation to cancer.
Dr Miralles delivers small group tutorials and offers library-based projects. In year 2, he is the organiser for the year 1 tutorials, and supervises year 3 students during their research projects as well as Master's degree students. He has also experience at supervising both PhD students and visiting Erasmus students.
- Schilling T, Miralles F, Eder C (2014). TRPM7 channels regulate proliferation and polarisation of macrophages. J Cell Sci. 127, 4561-4566.
- Guettler S, Vartiainen MK, Miralles F, Larijani B, Treisman R (2008). RPEL motifs link the serum response factor cofactor MAL but not myocardin to Rho signaling via actin binding. Mol Cell Biol. 28, 732-42.
- Miralles F, Visa N (2006). Actin in transcription and transcription regulation. Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 18, 261-266.
- Miralles F, Posern G, Zaromytidou AI, Treisman, R (2003). Actin dynamics control SRF activity by regulation of its coactivator MAL. Cell. 113, 329-342.
- Miralles F, Ofverstedt LG, Sabri N, Aissouni, Y, Hellman U, Skoglund U, Visa N (2000). Electron tomography reveals post-transcriptional binding of pre-mRNPs to specific fibers in the nucleoplasm. The Journal of Cell Biology. 148, 271-282.
Dr Claudia Eder (St George's, University of London)
Dr Ferran Valderrama (St George's, University of London)
Dr Anthony Albert (St George's, University of London)
Dr Dan Osborn (St George's, University of London)
Dr Sue Cotterill (St George's, University of London)
Dr Neus Visa (Stockholm University)
Dr Anastassia Mylona and Dr Richard Treisman (Francis Crick Institute)
Professor Adrienne Flanagan (UCL)
Dr Miralles acts as a reviewer for several journals. He also reviews grants for UK, Catalan and Spanish science funding bodies.
Dr Miralles's research involves understanding the molecular biology mechanisms that regulate the formation of fat tissue. Understanding this process is essential for the development of potential therapeutic targets aimed at the treatment of obesity, given it is closely linked to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In particular, work in the laboratory aims to determine the role of the MRTF/actin signalling pathway in this process. Dr Miralles is also interested in understanding how deregulation of this pathway may lead to the development of tumours of the fat tissue (chondroid lipomas).