Anna Ferrer-Vaquer, PhD

Research Fellow
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Education & Training


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Developmental Biology Program, Sloan Kettering Institute (lab of Kat Hadjantonakis)


PhD degree in developmental biology, University of Freiburg, Germany (lab of Annette Neubüser)


Predoctoral training, Department of Developmental Neurobiology, University of Konstanz, Germany


BSc degree in biology, University of Barcelona, Spain

Research Interests

Mammalian embryos develop in a head-to-tail fashion. The addition of new cells in the tail region of the embryo drives axis elongation. Stem cells residing within the tail region contribute cellular descendants to the developing mesoderm (including the somites and notochord, which are referred to as paraxial and axial mesoderm, respectively), as well as the neural tube.

Lineage tracing and fate-mapping studies have revealed the existence of several distinct subpopulations of stem/progenitor cells residing within the node, primitive streak, and caudal lateral epiblast (CLE) of the embryo. Among these domains, progenitors residing at the node-streak border (NSB) represent a true multipotent stem cell population, which is able to give rise to neuroectoderm as well as axial and paraxial mesoderm.

The NSB subdomain exhibits high levels of TCF/Lef:H2B-GFP reporter expression, a single-cell resolution fluorescent canonical Wnt signaling reporter that I generated in the lab. Taking advantage of this reporter, I am interrogating the expression profile of the NSB with the aim of identifying novel signaling mechanisms that regulate the behavior of these multipotent axial progenitors.

Publications by Anna Ferrer-Vaquer

Faunes, F., Hayward, P., Descalzo, S.M., Chatterjee, S.S., Balayo, T., Trott, J., Christoforou, A., Ferrer-Vaquer, A., Hadjantonakis, A.-K., Dasgupta, R., and Arias, A.M. (2013) A membrane-associated ß-catenin/Oct4 complex correlates with ground-state pluripotency in mouse embryonic stem cells. Development Mar; 140(6):1171-83.

Jacques, B.E., Puligilla, C., Weichert, R.M., Ferrer-Vaquer, A., Hadjantonakis, A.K., Kelley, M.W., and Dabdoub, A. (2012) A dual function for canonical Wnt/ß-catenin signaling in the developing mammalian cochlea. Development Dec 1; 139(23):4395-404.

Ferrer-Vaquer, A and Hadjantonakis, A.K. (2012) Birth defects associated with perturbations in preimplantation, gastrulation, and axis extension: from conjoined twinning to caudal dysgenesis. Wiley Interdiscipl Rev Dev Biol Epub 2012 Nov 26

Nowotschin, S., Ferrer-Vaquer, A., Concepcion, D., Papaioannou, V.E. and Hadjantonakis, A.-K. (2012) Interaction of Wnt3a, Msgn1 and Tbx6 in neural versus mesodermal lineage commitment and paraxial mesoderm differentiation in the mouse embryo. Dev Biol Jul 1; 367(1):1-14 .

Isern, J., He, H., Fraser, S.T., Nowotschin, S., Ferrer-Vaquer, A., Moore, R., Hadjantonakis A.-K., Schulz, V., Tuck, T., Gallagher, P.G. and Baron M.H. (2011) Single lineage transcriptome analysis reveals key regulatory pathways in primitive erythroid progenitors in the mouse embryo. Blood May 5; 117(18):4924-34.  

Ferrer-Vaquer, A., Piliszek, A., Tian, G., Aho, R.J., Dufort, D. and Hadjantonakis, A.-K. (2010) A sensitive and bright single-cell resolution live imaging reporter of Wnt/ß-catenin signaling in the mouse. BMC Dev. Biol. Dec21; 10(1):121.

Burn, S.F., Webb, A., Berry, R.L., Davies, J.A., Ferrer-Vaquer, A., Hadjantonakis, A.-K., Hastie, N.D. and Hohenstein, P. (2010) Calcium/NFAT signalling promotes early nephrogenesis. Dev. Biol. Apr 15; 352(2):288-98.

Nowotschin, S., Ferrer-Vaquer, A. and Hadjantonakis, A.-K. (2010) Imaging of mouse embryogenesis with confocal time-lapse microscopy. Guide to Techniques in Mouse Development: Methods in Enzymology, Wasserman, P. and Soriano, P. Eds.

Ferrer-Vaquer, A., Viotti, M. and Hadjantonakis, A.-K. (2010) Transitions between epithelial and mesenchymal states and the morphogenesis of the early mouse embryo. Cell Adh. and Migr. Jul 30; 4(3):447-57.

Ferrer-Vaquer, A.*, Herrmann, D.*, Lahsnig, C., Firnberg, N., Leibbrandt, A. and Neubüser, A. (2010) Expression and regulation of ANTXR1 in the chick embryo. Dev. Dyn. Feb; 239(2):680-7.

Ferrer-Vaquer, A. and Hadjantonakis, A.-K. (2009) VISIONS: the art of science. Mol. Reprod Dev. Sep; 76(9):803.

Ferrer-Vaquer, A., Maurey, P., Werzowa, J., Firnberg, N., Leibbrandt, A. and Neubueser, A. (2008) Expression and regulation of HTRA1 during chick and early mouse development. Dev. Dyn. Jul; 237(7):1893-900.

Ferrer-Vaquer, A., Maurey, P., Firnberg, F., Leibbrandt, A. and Neubueser, A. (2007) Expression of ASK1 during chick and early mouse development. Gene Expr. Patterns Aug; 7(7):808-16. 

von Philipsborn, A.C., Ferrer-Vaquer, A., Rivera-Milla, E., Stuermer, C.A. and Málaga-Trillo, E. (2005) Restricted expression of Reggie genes and proteins during early zebrafish development. J. Comp. Neuro. Feb 14; 482(3):257-72.

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