Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo is an ICREA Research Professor at the Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF). His educational background includes a B.S. and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Barcelona. Funded by grants from EMBO and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, he completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University (Canada). He has also performed short term research projects at the Joint Genome Institute, the University of Arkansas and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. Iñaki has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles, most of them in high impact journals, such as Cell, Nature, Science, eLife, PNAS. He has lead several research projects, including 2 ERC grants. He is an EMBO member and has served on the editorial board of several journals. His current research interests include the origin of multicellular animals, the evolution of complex life forms, and the diversity of eukaryotes.
The lab addresses one of the most important evolutionary transitions in the history of life: the origins of multicellularity. To this aim, we focus on the origin of multicellular animals. We perform comparative and functional genomic analyses between animals and their closest unicellular relatives. We reconstruct the nature of the unicellular ancestor that gave rise to animals. We have also developed the first "functional platform" to address animal origins, establishing several new model organisms specific to this question. Finally, we also unravel the hidden diversity of eukaryotes using metabarcoding data.