Clocks and Rulers in Life

ares 2018


Saúl Ares

Group Leader



We are interested in spatiotemporal phenomena in living systems: oscillations, pattern formation and dynamics of gene expression.




Val-Calvo J, Luque-Ortega JR, Crespo I, Miguel-Arribas AM, Abia D, Sánchez-Hevia DL, Serrano E, Gago-Córdoba C, Ares S, Alfonso C, Rojo F, Wu LJ, Boer DR and Meijer WJJ Novel regulatory mechanism of establishment genes of conjugative plasmids Nucleic Acids Res 2018; 46: 11910-11926

Muñoz-García J, Saúl Ares Formation and maintenance of nitrogen fixing cell patterns in filamentous cyanobacteria Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2016; 113, 6218-6223

Rodríguez-Tornos FM, Briz CG, Weiss LA, Sebastián-Serrano A, Ares S, Navarrete M, Frangeul L, Maria Galazo M, Jabaudon D, Esteban JA and Nieto MCux1 Enables Interhemispheric Connections of Layer II/III Neurons by Regulating Kv1-Dependent Firing Neuron 2016; 89, 494-506

Formosa-Jordan P, Ibañes M, Ares S, Frade JM Regulation of neuronal differentiation at the neurogenic wavefront Development 2012; 139, 2321-2329

Ares S, Morelli LG, Jörg DJ, Oates AC, Jülicher FCollective Modes of Coupled Phase Oscillators with Delayed Coupling, Physical Review Letters 2012; 108, 204101


We are interested in spatiotemporal phenomena in living systems: oscillations, pattern formation and dynamics of gene expression. We work in collaboration with experimentalists to build theories of these spatiotemporal phenomena, using ideas from physics and mathematics to build models and computer simulations that help us understand the nature of the interactions underlying the dynamics of life.

We pursue this goal on a variety of research lines. Cyanobacteria are important organisms for the environment for their photosynthetic activity and their capacity to fix nitrogen into chemical forms usable for other life forms. They are also of biotechnological interest as the source of fertilizers or biofuels. We study how filamentous cyanobacteria differentiate into nitrogen-fixing cells called heterocysts, and how the patterns of heterocysts on the filament are formed.

The ability of plants to sense light and temperature allows them to tune their growth to environmental conditions. In a context of global climate change and endangered crops, it is important to understand how this occurs. In collaboration with the group of Salomé Prat in the Department of Plant Molecular Genetics, me formulate mathematical models that help to understand what are the key molecular factors to the response of plants to light and temperature. 

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is becoming a major health hazard. One of the ways in which this resistance can spread is through bacterial conjugation, a process through which bacterial cells can share pieces of DNA. We work together with the lab of Wilfried Meijer at CBMSO to understand the dynamics and regulation of conjugation in Gram-positive bacteria.

Finally, embryos are constantly growing and reshaping, differentiating new cell types and organs. Developmental biology is always an interest of the lab, and the problem of how the body of vertebrate embryos is segmented is especially close to our hearts.

Figure1 SAres Regulatory logic of the control of hypocotyl growth in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Suns and thermometers represent effects of light and temperature, respectively )





Ares S posible grupo 

Saúl Ares Principal investigator
Pau Casanova PhD student
Christian Camilo Cortés Master student
Gabriel Rodríguez Maroto Master student

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