Fellow-Klasse 2019-2020Prof. Dr. Ana Martin-Villalba

Arbeitsvorhaben am Marsilius-Kolleg

Tipping points at the verge of decision-making process in biology and economics

Tipping points are implied in every process where small perturbations lead to dramatic changes. These processes range from climate changes, to changes in consumers choice, to epidemics or break down of financial markets. Yet, there is little to no common understanding of the shared overarching principles governing tipping points in these very different systems, as well as of their unique aspects. The proposed project aims at addressing tipping points at play in biology and economics by commonly describing them through mathematical modelling. Developed models of tipping points dynamics in these system shall facilitate the predictability, and thus, manipulation of the decision-making process. This interdisciplinary approach should advance our knowledge of tipping points in biology and economics but also in other areas of our lives.

Porträt Ana Martin-Villalba Fellow 2019/20 Hochkant


  • Stem cell biology
  • Axonal de/regeneration and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Inflammation
  • Aging and cancer


  • 2017/2018                  President of the German Stem Cell Network (current senior pres.)
  • since 2011                   W3 Professor University of Heidelberg, DKFZ Heidelberg, Division head of Molecular Neurobiology
  • 2011                            Master of Management, MZSG, St. Gallen, CH
  • 2007                            Venia legendi (Habilitation), University of Heidelberg
  • 2006-2011                   Junior Group Leader, Molecular Neurobiology, DKFZ, Heidelberg
  • 2000                            PhD (homologation), Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture, ES
  • 1999-2006                   Project Leader, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1998                            M.D., University of Heidelberg
  • 10/1998-02/1999         Visiting Research Fellow, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy (Vigoni Program)
  • 1998-1999                   Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Heidelberg
  • 1995-1998                   Doctoral thesis, University of Heidelberg
  • 1995                            Medical Full Licence to practise (First class honours), University of Murcia, ES
  • 1992-1995                   Research student, Physiology Dept.
  • 6/1993-12/1993           ERASMUS student, University of Leeds, U.K.

Ausgewählte Publikationen


Baser, A., Dang, Y., Skabkin, M., Gülcüler Balta, G.S., Kalamakis, G., Kleber, S., Göpferich, M., Schefzik, R., Santos Lopez, A., Llorens Bobadilla, E., Schultz, C. Fischer , B. and Martin-Villalba, A. (2018). Onset of differentiation is posttranscriptionally controlled in adult neural stem cells. Nature, in press.
Llorens-Bobadilla, E., Zhao, S., Baser, A., Saiz-Castro, G., Zwadlo, K., and Martin-Villalba, A. (2015). Single cell transcriptomics reveals a population of dormant neural stem cells that become activated upon brain injury. Cell Stem Cell 17, 329-340.
Ziebell, F., Dehler, S., Martin-Villalba, A., and Marciniak-Czochra, A. (2018). Revealing age-related changes of adult hippocampal neurogenesis using mathematical models. Development, 145, doi:10.1242/dev.153544.
Bifari, F., Decimo, I., Pino, A., Llorens-Bobadilla, E., Zhao, S., Lange, C., Panuccio, G., Boeckx, B., Thienpont, B., Vinckier, S., Wyns, S., Bouché, A., Lambrechts, D., Giugliano, M., Ewerchin, M., Martin-Villalba, A.*, Carmeliet, P.* (2016). Neurogenic Radial Glia-like Cells in Meninges Migrate and Differentiate into Functionally Integrated Neurons in the Neonatal Cortex. Cell Stem Cell 20, 1-14.
Kleber, S., Sancho-Martinez, I., Wiestler, B., Beisel, A., Gieffers, C., Hill, O., Thiemann, M., Mueller, W., Sykora, J., Kuhn, A., Schreglmann, N., Letellier, E., Zuliani, C., Klussmann, S., Teodorczyk, M., Grone, H.J., Ganten, T.M., Sultmann, H., Tuttenberg, J, von Deimling, A., Regnier-Vigouroux, A., Herold-Mende, C., and Martin-Villalba, A (2008) Yes and PI3K bind CD95 to signal invasion of glioblastoma. Cancer Cell, 13, 235-248. This article was picked and evaluated by “Faculty of 1000” members with a F1000 Factor of 3.2. 
Gulculer Balta, G.S., Monzel, C., Kleber, S., Beaudouin, J., Kaindl, T., Thiemann, M., Wirtz, C.R., Tanaka, M. and Martin-Villalba, A. (2018). Cell-cell contact dictates life or death decisions following CD95 activation in cancer. BioRxiv, 
Teodorczyk, M., Kleber, S., Wollny, D., Sefrin, J., Aykut, B., Mateos, A., Herhaus, P., Sancho-Martinez-I., Hill, O., Gieffers, C., Sykora, J., Weichert, W., Eisen, C., Trumpp, A., Sprick, M., Bergmann, F., Welsch, T. and Martin-Villalba, A. (2015). CD95 promotes metastatic spread via Sck in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Cell death & differentiation, 22, 1192-1202.
Corsini, N., Sancho-Martinez, I., Laudenklos, S., Glagow, D., Kumar, S., Letellier, E., Koch, P., Teodorczyk, M., Kleber, S., Klussmann, S., Wiestler, B., Brüstle, O., Gieffers, C., Hill, O., Thiemann, M., Seedorf, M., Gretz, N., Sprengel, R., Celikel, T., and Martin-Villalba, A. (2009). The death receptor CD95 activates adult neural stem cells for working memory formation and brain repair. Cell Stem Cell 5, 178-190.
Letellier, E., Kumar, S., Sancho-Martinez, I., Krauth, S., Funke-Kaiser, A., Laudenklos, S., Konecki, K., Klussmann, S., Corsini, N.S., Kleber, S., Drost, N., Neumann, A., Levi-Strauss, M., Brors, B., Gretz, N., Edler, L., Fischer, C., Hill, O., Thiemann, M., Biglari, B., Karray, S., and Martin-Villalba, A. (2010). CD95-ligand on peripheral myeloid cells activates Syk kinase to trigger their recruitment to the inflammatory site. Immunity 32, 240-252. This article was picked and evaluated by “Faculty of 1000” with a F1000 Factor 6
Gao, L., Brenner, D., Llorens-Bobadilla, E., Castro-Saiz, G., Frank, T., Wieghofer, P., Hill, O., Thiemann, M., Karray, S., Prinz, M., Weishaupt, J. and Martin-Villalba, A. (2015). Infiltration of circulating myeloid cells through CD95L contributes to neurodegeneration in mice. J. Exp. Med., 212, 469-480.


Prof. Dr. Ana Martin-Villalba

Abteilung Molekulare Neurobiologie
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
E-Mail: a.martin-villalba@dkfz.de