Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Chair in Medicine and Genetics



+44 (0)20 7594 0968j.ferrer




535ICTEM buildingHammersmith Campus





Professor Ferrer is chair in Genetics and Medicine, Head of the Section of Epigenomics and Disease, and Lead for Genetics and Genomics in the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre. He is also a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator. He received his medical degree and trained in Endocrinology in the University of Barcelona School of Medicine. He subsequently trained in genetics and transcriptional regulation in Washington University and Harvard University before returning to Institut d’Investigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer, Barcelona, and CIBERDEM. He then moved to Imperial College London where he established a laboratory based at Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine. Since 2018, he is Senior Group Leader in Barcelona's Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG).

Professor Ferrer is interested in understanding genome regulation of pancreatic beta cells and its implications for human diabetes. His team has combined genetic model systems and advanced genomics to address key questions in human beta cell biology, regeneration, and disease.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Ferrer J, Dimitrova N, 2024, Transcription regulation by long non-coding RNAs: mechanisms and disease relevance., Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol, Vol:25, Pages:396-415

Beucher A, Miguel Escalada I, Balboa D, et al., 2022, HASTER lncRNA promoter is a cis-acting transcriptional stabilizer of HNF1A, Nature Cell Biology, Vol:24, ISSN:1465-7392, Pages:1528-1540

Atla G, Bonas-Guarch S, Cuenca-Ardura M, et al., 2022, Genetic regulation of RNA splicing in human pancreatic islets, Genome Biology, Vol:23, ISSN:1474-7596, Pages:1-28

Miguel-Escalada I, Maestro MÁ, Balboa D, et al., 2022, Pancreas agenesis mutations disrupt a lead enhancer controlling a developmental enhancer cluster., Developmental Cell, Vol:57, ISSN:1534-5807, Pages:1922-1936.e9

Rovira M, Atla G, Maestro MA, et al., 2021, REST is a major negative regulator of endocrine differentiation during pancreas organogenesis, Genes & Development, Vol:35, ISSN:0890-9369, Pages:1229-1242

Akerman I, Maestro MA, De Franco E, et al., 2021, Neonatal diabetes mutations disrupt a chromatin pioneering function that activates the human insulin gene, Cell Reports, Vol:35, ISSN:2211-1247

Kalisz M, Bernardo E, Beucher A, et al., 2020, HNF1A recruits KDM6A to activate differentiated acinar cell programs that suppress pancreatic cancer, EMBO Journal, Vol:39, ISSN:0261-4189

Miguel-Escalada I, Bonàs-Guarch S, Cebola I, et al., 2019, Human pancreatic islet three-dimensional chromatin architecture provides insights into the genetics of type 2 diabetes, Nature Genetics, Vol:51, ISSN:1061-4036, Pages:1137-1148

Akerman I, Tu Z, Beucher A, et al., 2017, Human pancreatic β cell incRNAs control cell-specific regulatory networks, Cell Metabolism, Vol:25, ISSN:1932-7420, Pages:400-411

Ferrer J, Cebola I, Rodríguez-Seguí SA, et al., 2015, TEAD and YAP regulate the enhancer network of human embryonic pancreatic progenitors, Nature Cell Biology, Vol:17, ISSN:1476-4679, Pages:615-626

Pasquali L, Gaulton KJ, Rodriguez-Segui SA, et al., 2014, Pancreatic islet enhancer clusters enriched in type 2 diabetes risk-associated variants, Nature Genetics, Vol:46, ISSN:1546-1718, Pages:136-+


Cuenca-Ardura M, De Vas M, Balboa D, et al., 2022, Genome-wide CRISPR screens identify therapeutic targets for HNF1A-deficient diabetes, SPRINGER, Pages:S162-S162, ISSN:0012-186X

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