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

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-+

Weedon MN, Cebola I, Patch AM, et al., 2014, Recessive mutations in a distal PTF1A enhancer cause isolated pancreatic agenesis, Nature Genetics, Vol:46, ISSN:1061-4036

van Arensbergen J, Garcia-Hurtado J, Angel Maestro M, et al., 2013, Ring1b bookmarks genes in pancreatic embryonic progenitors for repression in adult beta cells, Genes & Development, Vol:27, ISSN:0890-9369, Pages:52-63

Moran I, Akerman I, van de Bunt M, et al., 2012, Human beta Cell Transcriptome Analysis Uncovers IncRNAs That Are Tissue-Specific, Dynamically Regulated, and Abnormally Expressed in Type 2 Diabetes, Cell Metabolism, Vol:16, ISSN:1550-4131, Pages:435-448

van Arensbergen J, Garcia-Hurtado J, Moran I, et al., 2010, Derepression of Polycomb targets during pancreatic organogenesis allows insulin-producing beta-cells to adopt a neural gene activity program, Genome Research, Vol:20, ISSN:1088-9051, Pages:722-732

Gaulton KJ, Nammo T, Pasquali L, et al., 2010, A map of open chromatin in human pancreatic islets, Nature Genetics, Vol:42, ISSN:1061-4036, Pages:255-U41

Solar M, Cardalda C, Houbracken I, et al., 2009, Pancreatic Exocrine Duct Cells Give Rise to Insulin-Producing beta Cells during Embryogenesis but Not after Birth, Developmental Cell, Vol:17, ISSN:1534-5807, Pages:849-860

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