Principal Investigator Celia P. Martinez-Jimenez
Molecular Ageing

Single-cell omics in ageing

Advances in genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic technologies  are opening a new era for understanding  the molecular mechanisms underlying organismal ageing. We aim to accelerate the development of anti-ageing interventions to prevent age-related  diseases.

Our lab is interested in understanding the role of cellular heterogeneity on tissue function.In particular, we focus on the common molecular mechanisms between ageing and chronic liver diseases, and we develop novel methodologies to study the impact of age-related cellular heterogeneity in the development and progression of chronic diseases.


Studying complex biological processes at high resolution

Ageing is characterised by the progressive decline of physiological and cellular functions. However, ageing is a heterogeneous process between and within  organs, tissues and cells. 



Ageing and Chronic Diseases: common molecular signatures

The “Silver Tsunami”, is a metaphor used to describe global population ageing, including the alarming numbers and the overwhelming health and economic implications. The ageing population is more susceptible to growing environmental challenges - such as climate change, air pollution or newly emerging pathogens, as well as adverse drug reactions causing a much higher percentage of hospital admissions compared to younger individuals. Our current predictive tools to anticipate the impact of ageing at the cellular levels yet remains under development. Towards this larger goal, our research aims 1) to characterize the molecular mechanisms of ageing with cellular resolution; 2) to develop diagnostic-tools to study drug metabolism and toxicity in ageing and age-related liver pathologies, and 3) to model ageing in vitro using 3D- organoids to harmonize anti-ageing interventions and perform functional assays to understand the complex process of ageing. 

Research lines

Cellular heterogeneity and disease susceptibility
We investigate how cellular heterogeneity affects tissue function and whether cell-to-cell variability increases disease susceptibility.

Accelerated ageing
It has been shown that life style, dietary interventions and chronic diseases accelerate the ageing phenotype. We aim to dissect the molecular signatures that are associated with accelerated ageing under different conditions.

Ageing and epigenetics
To further understand the precise molecular mechanisms leading to cellular heterogeneity, we investigate the upstream epigenetic landscape of individual cells using single-cell multiomic approaches.

Ageing "in vitro"
On one hand, ageing in humans is difficult to study with many cofounding factors along their lifespan. On the other hand, model organisms do not fully recapitulate the phenotypes associated to human diseases. We aim to develop 3D-organoids that recapitulate molecular features of ageing to establish functional assays, and assess anti-ageing therapeutic interventions.


Our history
We value, promote, and respect diversity. We came from all over the World to study ageing and dissecting one cell at a time. Multicultural, international, and rich in personalities working together and enjoying the beautiful city.

The whole greater than the sum of the parts. Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary team. Experimentalists and computational scientists building highly efficient alliances to accelerate research discoveries. Sharing knowledge and expertise. Growing together.

Inside the lab 1

Inside the lab 2

Dr. Celia P. Martinez-Jimenez

Principal Investigator, Molecular Ageing

Throughout my scientific career I have focused my studies on mechanisms of gene regulation.  In Spain, I was awarded with a predoctoral fellowship and two grants for short stays abroad. I obtained a European PhD, acknowledged with a National PhD Award. I performed two postdoctoral stays funded by a Marie Curie Program and FEBS long-term fellowship respectively, expanding my knowledge to in vivo models. In 2015, I was funded by the Wellcome trust Sanger Institute and I was seconded in the University of Cambridge. At present, I am a principal investigator in the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus (Helmholtz Zentrum München, Munich, Germany)

Complementarily, I studied a Master in Business Administration (and I obtained the 1stCEU Entrepreneurship Award) being able to understand the priorities of the private sector and develop high-quality translational research. During three years, I was working as Business Development Manager in a spin-off. Additionally, I have experience as an assistant professor in the University for five academic years along with experience in mentoring students.


Dr. Celia P. Martinez-Jimenez


Google Scholar


Principal Investigator Helmholtz Pioneer Campus, Helmholtz Zentrum München

Post-doctoral Fellow (3rd) University of Cambridge / CRUK CI / Sanger Institute (UK)

Business Development Manager Applicacell Biotech, S. L. (Spin-off, ES)

European Ph.D. in Biochemistry. University of Valencia (Spain)

Diploma of Advanced Studies in Biochemistry applied to Clinics, Medicine and Immunology. University of Valencia (Spain).
Diploma of Advanced Studies in Biochemistry applied to Clinics, Medicine and Immunology. University of Valencia (Spain).

M.Sc. in Biology. University of Valencia (Spain)

Inaugural Janet Thornton Fellow (1)

Postdoctoral Long-Term FEBS fellowship by Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS)

National PhD Award by the University of Valencia (ES)

Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship (ITN)2015

    (1) The Janet Thornton Fellowship was launched in 2015 providing an opportunity specifically for those who have been out of scientific research for 12 months or more to return to high-quality postdoctoral training. See more infomration about the Janet Thornton Fellowship here.


Dr. Ioannis Deligiannis


Ph.D. in Neurobiology, University of Ioanina, Greece
Focus: Transcriptional dynamics in individual cells during ageing

Dr. Monica Litvinukova


Dr. Rizqah Kamies

PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology (Plant Science), University of Cape Town, South Africa
Focus: Age-related chronic metabolic disorders.

Dr. Kelvin Yin


PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.
PhD thesis title: Investigating the role of NR4A genes in response to cellular stress
Post-doctoral Research focus: Senescence and Aging in Livers
Hobbies: If you don't find me playing tennis outside, I'm probably in the kitchen experimenting different food recipes or playing the ukulele.

PhD Student

Mateusz Strzelecki


MSC in Genomic Medicine at the Queen Mary University of London in 2018
Research Focus: Predictive molecular markers of accelerated ageing
Master Thesis: Investigating transcriptional programmes of breast cancer PDTXs in drug response and resistance to targeted therapeutics
Hobbies: Outdoor activities (cycling, hiking, rowing); functional physical training and learning languages 

Carmen Robinson


Maria Richter

Focus: Analysis and interpretation of transcriptional profiles and epigenetics data during ageing

Eva Sofia Sanchez Quant

MSc. Nutrition and Biomedicine, Technical University Munich, Germany
Focus: Precision toxicology during ageing

Selected Publications

Hepatocyte-specific activity of TSC22D4 triggers progressive NAFLD by impairing mitochondrial function

Gretchen Wolff, Minako Sakurai, Amit Mhamane, Adriano Maida, Ioannis K. Deligiannis, Kelvin Yin, Peter Weber, Annika Weider, Maria Troullinaki, Anja Zeigerer, Michael Roden, Nadine Volk, Tanja Poth, Thilo Hackert, Lena Wiedmann, Francesca De Angelis Rigotti, Juan Rodriguez-Vita, Andreas Fischer, Rajesh Mukthavaram, Pattraranee Limphong, Kiyoshi Tachikawa, Priya Karmali, Joseph Payne, Padmanabh Chivukula, Bilgen Ekim-Üstünel, Celia P. Martinez-Jimenez, Julia Szendrödi, Peter Nawroth, Stephan Herzig

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Single-nucleus RNA-seq2 reveals functional crosstalk between liver zonation and ploidy

M L Richter, I K Deligiannis, K Yin, (...), C P Martinez-Jimenez, Nat Commun. 2021 Jul 12;12(1):4264. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24543-5.

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Staged developmental mapping and X chromosome transcriptional dynamics during mouse spermatogenesis

Ernst C, Eling N, Martinez-Jimenez CP, Marioni JC, Odom DT
Nat Commun. 2019 Mar 19; 10:1251; doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09182-1

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Aging increases cell-to-cell transcriptional variability upon immune stimulation.

Martinez-Jimenez CP, Eling N, Chen HC, Vallejos CA, Kolodziejczyk AA, Connor F, Stojic L, Rayner TF, Stubbington MJT, Teichmann SA, de la Roche M, Marioni JC, Odom DT.
Science. 2017 Mar 31;355(6332):1433-1436. doi: 10.

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The mechanisms shaping the single-cell transcriptional landscape.

Martinez-Jimenez CP, Odom DT.
Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2016 Apr;37:27-35. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2015.11.004.

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Five-vertebrate ChIP-seq reveals the evolutionary dynamics of transcription factor binding.

Schmidt D, Wilson MD, Ballester B, Schwalie PC, Brown GD, Marshall A, Kutter C, Watt S, Martinez-Jimenez CP, Mackay S, Talianidis I, Flicek P, Odom DT.
Science. 2010 May 21;328(5981):1036-40. doi: 10.1126/science.1186176.

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Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4alpha coordinates a transcription factor network regulating hepatic fatty acid metabolism.

Martinez-Jimenez CP, Kyrmizi I, Cardot P, Gonzalez FJ, Talianidis I.
Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Feb;30(3):565-77. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00927-09.

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Contact us

HPC contact Jasnin


Helmholtz Pioneer Campus
Helmholtz Zentrum München
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)

Ingolstädter Landstr. 1
85764 Neuherberg