Fernando Casares

active 5 years, 10 months ago


Full Name

Fernando Casares

Current position

Group Leader


CABD (Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology), CSIC-UPO


Sevilla, Spain

Research interests

Gene regulatory logic of visual systems specification and patterning. Dynamical systems. Gene Regulatory Networks. EvoDevo.



Research activity


The development of organs of species-specific size and shape is a process of extreme robustness. This is striking, taking into account the numbers of cell interacting during the process, and the myriad of noisy biochemical reactions operating within each of them. In order to gain insight into how development controls organogenesis, in our lab we have reduced this problem to understand the progenitor-to-precursor cell transition during the development of the Drosophila eye. By regulating the number of proliferative progenitors and the pace at which they are forced out of the cell cycle and recruited as quiescent precursors, the developing eye may control its size. In our lab we use genetic, transgenesis, genomics and mathematical modeling to understand the gene regulatory network (GRN) that governs this progenitor-to-precursor transition, and how this network is dynamically controlled to consistently yield eyes of the “correct” size and shape. In addition, by using comparative approaches, we aim at defining the essential elements and regulatory operations of a “minimal” visual GRN. Specific projects are:
1- Control of the progenitor to precursor transition during eye development.
2- Quantitative analysis of the eye GRN.
3- Modeling Drosophila eye growth and size.
4- An intraspecific comparative approach to identify the “minimal” visual GRN -with a particular focus on ocellar development.

Representative publications

21844364, 21602820, 21104743, 20599903, 20036228, 19097089, 17021046, 16221726, 12231630

Research keywords

eye development, gene networks, quantitative imaging, mathematical modeling, organ size and shape, evodevo.


Latitude and Longitude