Principal Investigator Celia P. Martinez-Jimenez
Molecular Ageing

Single-cell genomic approaches have the power to reveal different sources of cellular variability (Fig.1). These technologies are allowing us to investigate the slow or subtle changes in cell type composition (cellular heterogeneity) or the changes in gene expression in homogenous populations of cells (transcriptional variability) which occur in chronic diseases and during healthy aging (Martinez-Jimenez et al. Science 2017). 

Molecular features such as DNA methylation have recently been adopted as a predictor of “molecular age”. Celia P. Martinez-Jimenez has confirmed an additional feature predictive of molecular age: cell-to-cell transcription variability. Old mice have increased cell-to-cell transcriptional variability in their immune system in response to an external stimulus (Martinez-Jimenez et al. Science 2017).

Although this increase in cell-to-cell transcriptional variability during aging has been reported in other cell types (Bahar R at al. Nature 2006), the impact of individual expression variability on tissue function has not yet been explored.

Celia´s Lab aims to compare “molecular age” (predicted by molecular features such as DNA methylation, chromatin accessibility and cell-to-cell transcriptional variability) with conventional “chronological age” (defined by the age of an individual in time units, years). These molecular features will be used to decipher the impact of cellular variability on tissue function during ageing and chronic disease. 


Our Vision

to employ single-cell genomic approaches (transcriptomics, epigenomics and metabolomics) to resolve how ageing affects individual cells, different tissues and impact the health of the whole organism. (Fig.2)

Inside the lab

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


Positions and Career

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. 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 Students

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

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 

Selected Publications

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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