Nestor Saiz Arenales, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Nestor Saiz Arenales, PhD

Lab Phone


Lab Fax


Education & Training


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


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


PhD degree in developmental biology, University of Manchester, UK (lab of Berenika Plusa)


BSc degree in biological sciences, University of Salamanca, Spain

Research interests

Mammalian embryos spend their first days of development getting ready for the time of implantation, when the embryo embeds itself in the mother’s uterus. During these early days, cells in the embryo must decide whether to become part of the embryo proper or part of the extra-embryonic tissues that will support embryonic growth. Cells that acquire an embryonic fate will eventually generate all tissues in the adult body and are said to be pluripotent. Extra-embryonic cells, although dispensable for adult life, are essential for embryonic development.

My research focuses on how cells within the mouse embryo make these decisions (i.e., how they differentiate or remain pluripotent). I am particularly interested in the genetic and molecular mechanisms that individual cells use to communicate and coordinate their behaviors in order to organize themselves into an embryo. To study these processes, I use high-resolution microscopy and single-cell level image data analysis.

A central question in stem cell biology is how cells choose between remaining pluripotent and differentiating. Understanding the mechanisms that cells use to make these decisions and organize themselves during normal development will allow us to control these processes experimentally, in pluripotent stem cells, for both basic research and medical applications


Morgani SM, Saiz N, Garg V, Raina D, Simon CS, Kang M, Arias AM, Nichols J, Schröter C, Hadjantonakis AK. (2018) A Sprouty4 reporter to monitor FGF/ERK signaling activity in ESCs and miceDevelopmental Biology441(1):104-126. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2018.06.017 PMID: 29964027 PMCID: PMC6455974

Saiz, N., Williams, K. M., Seshan, V. E. & Hadjantonakis, A.-K. (2016) Asynchronous fate decisions by single cells collectively ensure consistent lineage composition in the mouse blastocyst. Nature Communications 7, 13463. doi:10.1038/ncomms13463. PMID: 27857135 PMCID: PMC5120222

Saiz, N., Plusa, B. & Hadjantonakis, A.-K. (2015) Single cells get together: High-resolution approaches to study the dynamics of early mouse development. Semin Cell Dev Biol 47-48, 92–100. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2015.06.004. PMID: 26183190 PMCID: PMC4688173

Schrode, N., Saiz, N., Di Talia, S. & Hadjantonakis, A.-K. (2014) GATA6 Levels Modulate Primitive Endoderm Cell Fate Choice and Timing in the Mouse Blastocyst. Dev Cell 29, 454–467.  doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.04.011. PMID: 24835466 PMCID: PMC4103658

Saiz, N., Grabarek, J. B., Sabherwal, N., Papalopulu, N. & Plusa, B. (2013) Atypical protein kinase C couples cell sorting with primitive endoderm maturation in the mouse blastocyst. Development 140, 4311–4322. doi: 10.1242/dev.093922. PMID: 24067354 PMCID: PMC4007710

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Nestor Saiz Arenales’ journal articles

Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.