University of Malaga

Prof. J.M. Pérez-Pomares is the PI of the “Cardiovascular Development and Disease” (DeCA) team at UMA, Group Leader at Málaga’s Institute of Biomedicine IBIMA, and Visiting Scientist at the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC, Madrid).
The research carried out by Prof. Pérez-Pomares has focused in the study of epicardial embryonic development and its impact in heart morphogenesis and adult cardiac disease. Prof. Pérez-Pomares’ research has been published in important peer-reviewed international journals; as a basic reference, Prof. Pérez-Pomares h index=36/39 (WoS/Google Scholar), and his papers (over 75 published in prestigious journals) have received more than 5,000 citations. Prof. Pérez-Pomares’ leadership and international projection is demonstrated by the extensive funding received in support of his research. Prof. Pérez-Pomares has been Chairperson of the European Society of Cardiology Working Group on Development, Anatomy and Pathology and member of its Nucleus (Board, 2020-2022), Manager and Coordinator at the Biomedicine Board of the Spanish Research National Agency (2018-2022), and frequent reviewer for prestigious multidisciplinary, developmental or cardiovascular journals. 

Juan Antonio Guadix Domínguez holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Málaga (Doctor Europaeus) (Summa Cum Laude+Extraordinary PhD award) since 08/07/2010. His PhD thesis subject was the study of vertebrate heart embryogenesis in various amniote animal models (avians and mammals). After his PhD, Dr. Guadix became Manufacturing Manager of Advanced Therapies at the Carlos de Haya Hospital (Málaga, Spain) (03/2011-11/2012). Shortly afterwards he was awarded a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellowship funded by the EU 7th Framework Program and the University of Málaga. During this post-doc period, Dr. Guadix became an expert in the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (embryonic and induced) into cardiovascular tissues (epicardium and cardiomyocytes).


From July of 2020 he has worked as Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Málaga. He also has teaching experience at undergraduate (Biology, Biochemistry and Environmental Sciences Degrees at UMA) and post- graduate levels (Master in Cell and Molecular Biology, UMA, He has been co-supervisor of three PhD students and

his research activity has been supported by European Spanish, Regional and Private Agencies. All his publications accumulate up to date 1228 citations (h-index=17).  

Adrián Ruiz-Villalba completed his PhD at the Department of Animal Biology (University of Málaga, UMA) in 2014. He is expert on the characterization of the cardiac fibroblasts derived from the embryonic epicardium, and their potential role in cardiac development and along the ventricular remodelling that follows myocardial infarction in adults.

He is enjoying a Ramón y Cajal contract since December of 2022, and he leads several research projects funded by The Spanish Society of Cardiology or the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation as PI. His research line is focused in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie different cardiac diseases involving fibrosis, such as the ventricular remodelling after a myocardial infarction and Kawasaki disease. 


All his publications accumulate up to date 1148 citations and his current h-index is 16. He has supervised one PhD student, and is currently supervising two more. 

Elena Cano Rincón holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Málaga with a Summa Cum Laude grade and an international mention (2013). Her research was primarily focused on the role of the mesothelium in the development of different organs during embryogenesis, with a specific emphasis on the epicardial contribution to the formation of the coronary vascular network in the heart.



Following the completion of her PhD, she obtained several postdoctoral fellowships, in Berlin. She was an integral part of the “Integrative Vascular Biology” laboratory at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin since 2015 to 2023, leading a project dedicated to characterizing the coronary vasculature and mechanisms of vascularization of the heart. Since April of 2023 she works like Senior Postdoc Researcher at the DeCA Lab, at University of Málaga.

Cristina Pogontke Díaz holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Málaga with a Summa Cum Laude grade and an international mention (2021). Subsequently, she worked as a Cell Culture, Cytometry and General Infrastructure technician at IBIMA/BIONAND and now works as a senior research technician in the “Development and Cardiovascular Disease” (DeCA) group.



Since the beginning of her research career, Cristina has learned and used numerous techniques such as manipulation of animal models, immunohistochemical techniques and FACS or cell cultures. In addition, she has been able to carry out various national and international stays.