Dr. Mario Marotta Baleriola

Senior Investigator
Email: mario.marotta@vhir.org
Phone: 934894943/ ext4943/3789

Research Group

Bioengineering, Cell Therapy and Surgery in Congenital Malformations


Dr. Mario Marotta holds a doctoratein Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Barcelona in 2003. Dr. Marottahas been working as a researcher in Biomedicine for the last19 years. Dr. Marotta has a strong experience in the field of musculoskeletal disorders and neuromuscular diseases research as a result of previous studies in several diseases affecting skeletal muscle or neural tissue, such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Over the last years, the progression of human neuromuscular disorders has been studied both in vitro (skeletal muscle cell primary cultures) and in vivo (human skeletal muscle and spinal cord samples, and animal models of human disease), and specially the role of TGFβ-1 in the progression of DMD and its direct effect on skeletal muscle stem cell transdifferentiation into pro-fibrotic cell type has been analyzed in samples from human DMD patients at different ages.Dr. Marotta also has extensive knowledge in a wide range of biochemistry, and molecular and stem cell biology techniques, including human stem cell primary cultures, microarrays-based analysis in cultured cells or tissues, application of laser capture microdissection (LCM) technology for isolation of necrosis-regeneration areas from skeletal muscle tissue and motor neuron isolation from human spinal cord samples, as well as in the generation and use of viral vectors (both adenoviral and lentiviral vectors) suitable for human gene therapy studies. Dr. Marotta has considerable skill in thedevelopment of animal models which mimic the human diseases either using small (mice and rat) or big animals (rabbit, pig and sheep). Recently, in close collaboration with the medical services from Football Club Barcelona Team, Dr Marotta has developed new animal models in rats, which mimic the human lesions observed in elite athletes, in order to study of the mechanisms of muscle and tendon injury and repair which could open new avenues for the study of innovative stem cell-based therapeutic approaches applied to skeletal muscle and tendon healing and human sports medicine.

Dr. Marotta collaborates with several Research centers (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Royal Holloway University of London, Texas Children’s Hospital, Nestlé research centre, Hospital Policlinico “San Matteo”) and universities (UB, UAB, UPC, UIC, RHUL, UC) both in the field of training as research and has published numerous scientific articles in international journals on all aspects referring musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. Dr. Marotta has participated in numerous scientific projects with public and/or private funding.

Dr. Mario Marotta is the current head of the basic research laboratory(Bioengineering, Cell Therapy and Surgery inCongenital Malformations Lab) belonging to CIBBIM-Nanomedicine (Center for Research in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for Nanomedicine) and Valld’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR),under the coordination of DrVicençMartínez Ibáñez (Manager of the Valld’Hebron University Hospital).