José Luis de la Pompa holds an MSc (Biology) from the Universidad Complutense (Madrid, 1985) and a PhD (Genetics) from the Universidad Autónoma (Madrid, 1990). During his postdoc with T. W. Mak at the Ontario Cancer Institute and Amgen Institute (Toronto, Canada), he mastered the techniques of mouse genetic manipulation. His work in this period contributed to the understanding of the role of tumor suppressor genes and different signaling pathways in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and patterning during mouse development. He became interested in cardiac development after generating and characterizing an NFATc1 mutant with severely defective cardiac valve morphogenesis, and this work led him to the study of the role of Notch signaling pathway in cardiac development. He subsequently held positions as group leader at the EMBL (Monterotondo, Rome, Italy) and Associate Professor at the CADB (Rochester, NY, USA).
José Luis returned to Spain in 2001 to head the Molecular Oncology Department at the Institut de Recerca Oncologica in Barcelona, where his group pioneered the study of the role of Notch in cardiac valve formation. In 2004 he moved to the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB) in Madrid, where his group continued the study of the role of Notch in the heart, publishing important papers in the field. In 2006 he extended his research to the role of Notch in adult heart homeostasis and opened a new research line in zebrafish heart and fin regeneration. He joined the CNIC in 2009.