(July 2008 – present)
Sebastian is a postdoctoral fellow from the Program for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine of Andalucia, Foundation "Progreso y Salud", in Seville, Spain. Dr Canovas received his DVM in 2002 from the University of Murcia (Spain), where he worked for six years (2003-2008) in the research group, Physiology of Reproduction. in 2005 he completed his Master's degree in Biotechnology of Reproduction in Mammals, and in 2007 he earned his PhD from University of Murcia (Spain). During his PhD thesis research he studied gamete interaction in human, pig, and cow, and the role of oviduct-specific glycoprotein in polyspermic fertilization. Following completion of his PhD, Sebastian worked in the production of transgenic animals using sperm-mediated gene transfer technique until July 2008, at which time he joined Dr. Cibelli's laboratory. His research is now focused on understanding the mechanisms of nuclear reprogramming and differentiation. To elucidate these mechanisms, Sebastian uses in vitro fertilization in cattle and induced pluripotent (iPS) cells in human as models. Specifically, he studies the role of sperm RNA in cattle development. Also, he is developing methods for enhancing the efficiency in the production of safe iPS cells to use as disease models. Sebastian hopes these studies will help lead to cures of diseases such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and other rare disorders, which are specific objectives of the Andalusian Initiative for Advanced Therapies.