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Orlando Arguello-Miranda


Cell Biology Through Data Science

Our laboratory wants to understand how cells divide. We want to discover new biochemical mechanisms that help cells divide when needed. In the same manner, we want to learn how cells stop whenever cell division is too dangerous and could result in irreversible cellular damage. In humans, problems in the control of cell division cause diseases such as cancer and can interfere with wound healing or the maintenance of adult stem cells. In addition, for many bacteria, parasitic organisms, and agricultural pests, the capacity to stop cell division and enter dormant or quiescent states is critical for becoming resistant to antibiotics and pesticides. Thus, understanding how cells activate or stop their machinery for cell division promises to advance both biomedical and agricultural knowledge.

To analyze dividing and non-dividing cells, we use a unique combination of biochemical methods with machine learning approaches. We track individual cells as they enter or exit from cell division using custom-made algorithms for image analysis. The information derived from monitoring single cells is processed using machine learning algorithms to cluster data sets, identify correlations, and infer causality in intracellular biological networks. Machine learning-inspired hypotheses are then tested using biochemical and genetic tools in model organisms such as the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Our current projects aim at:

  • Understanding how cells stop their cell cycle machinery and enter an intriguing state called “cellular quiescence”
  • Developing new sensors to track intracellular processes during entry and exit from cell division
  • Engineering experimental setups for observing entire signaling pathways or protein networks in single cells


K99 pathway to independence awardImpact score on first submission: 21. National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). USA

Our research featured in the News:

Researchers Uncover What Causes Stress to Give the Red Light to Cell Division (

Protein plays a previously unknown role in halting cell cycle in response to stressful conditions (

Scientists identify protein that stops cell cycle in response to stress (

Protein That Stops Cell Cycle in Response to Stress Identified | Technology Networks


B.S. National University of Costa Rica 2008

Ph.D. Max Planck Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology and Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Germany 2015

Postdoc Southwestern Medical Center, University of Texas 2020

Area(s) of Expertise

Molecular Biology and Microbiology; Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence; Image Analysis; Cellular Quiescence and Proliferation


View all publications 


Date: 08/03/22 - 7/31/25
Amount: $523,974.00
Funding Agencies: National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Adult stem cells in our bodies, microorganisms, and plant meristems, all share the remarkable capacity to reversibly stop cell division and enter a state called quiescence. During quiescence entry, the biochemical machinery for cell division is paused while metabolism and stress response pathways are dynamically regulated. Failure to orchestrate these processes during quiescence is lethal for microorganisms and causes deregulated cell division in multicellular organisms, which in humans leads to diseases such as cancer and fibrosis. Despite its importance, cellular quiescence remains poorly understood, in part, because of a lack of methods to simultaneously quantify multiple biochemical pathways in single living cells undergoing quiescence entry. To solve this problem, we will develop a machine learning approach based on spectral fluorescent microscopy to track individual Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells undergoing quiescence while simultaneously measuring several biochemical pathways. The biochemical characterization of single quiescent cells will contribute to the development of new strategies to control quiescence in parasites and antibiotic resistance microorganisms and improve our understanding of quiescent stem cells in multicellular organisms.

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