Dr. Arenas-Mena initiated his research career studying the transcriptional regulatory systems that control the expression of water stress genes in plants. During his postdoctoral research at Caltech, he contributed to the characterization of the gene regulatory network that controls the specification of the endomesoderm in sea urchin embryos and he also studied the expression of Hox cluster genes during embryonic and postembryonic development. His current research has expanded the developmental studies to include a new polychaete model system that has feeding trochophore larva. Ongoing projects relate to the characterization of global transcriptional multipotency functions during development and the evolutionary dynamics of gene regulatory networks.


BS. Universitat de Barcelona

Ph.D. CID/CSIC and Universitat de Barcelona

Scholarship / Publications

Additional publications in PubMed at:

*Arenas-Mena C. and Li, A. (2014).  The feeding trochophore of the polychaete Hydroides elegans and the evolution of indirect development. International Journal of Developmental Biology. 58: 575-583  

*Arenas-Mena, C. (2013). The transcription factors Brachyury, Sal, Tbx2/3, Gata1/3, Gata4/6, Brain and Snail, and their roles in gastrulation, endodermal, mesodermal and neural precursors of Hydroides elegans embryos. International Journal of Developmental Biology. 2013;57(1):73-83

*Arenas-Mena, C. (2010). Indirect development, transdifferentiation and the macroregulatory evolution metazoans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 365, 653-669.

*Arenas-Mena, C. (2008). The transcription factors HeBlimp and HeT-Brain of an indirectly developing polychaete suggest ancestral endodermal, gastrulation and sensory cell type specification roles. Journal of Experimemtal Zoology. Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. 310B, 567-576.

*Arenas-Mena, C., Wong, K. S-Y and Arandi, N. (2007). Histone H2A.Z expression in two indirectly developing marine invertebrates correlates with undifferentiated and multipotent cells. Evolution and development.  May-Jun; 9(3):231-43.

*Arenas-Mena, C. (2007). Developmental transcriptional-competence model for a histone variant and a unicellular origin scenario for transcriptional-multipotency mechanisms. Evolution and Development. May-Jun; 9(3):208-11.

*Arenas-Mena C, Cameron RA, Davidson EH. (2006). Hindgut specification and cell-adhesion functions of Sphox11/13b in the endoderm of the sea urchin embryo. Development Growth and Differentiation. Sep: 48(7): 463-72.

*Davidson, E. H., et. al. (2002). A genomic Regulatory Network for Development. Science. 295 (5560): 1669-1678 MAR 1.