20 years and the passion for science keeps beating

Did you know that it is possible to differentiate stem cells into cardiac cells in the lab, and see them beating? After 20 years devoted to science, Carolina still gets excited when she sees these cells starting to beat, just one week after the induction of differentiation!!

Carolina came from Italy 11 years ago to join her husband that had moved to Barcelona the year before. They both share two passions: science and cooking.

Carolina Tarantino is a Senior Technician at Nuria Montserrat’s lab. They have been working together since 2013 and at IBEC, since 2015. At the “Pluripotency for organ regeneration” group, she runs a variety of tasks. Carolina is involved in many projects and gives her support to the researchers in the lab particularly from a technical point of view. She is in charge of the design, the set-up and the development of some experiments.

She loves bench work, preferring mainly the molecular biology experiments but she is also expert in culture and differentiation of stem cells.


She is specialized in handling a large number of samples. For example, she is used to manage a large amount of cell clones that she manually picks one by one from a culture plate and transfer into another plate to let them to grow separately. In one day, she can pick up to 1000 clones, about 250 clones in one hour. So, it is very likely that you see her holding different types of pipettes, of all colours and volumes, always ready to work!



She is the reference point especially for the young people of the lab. If you walk into the lab, you will probable hear “Carol, one question…” around 100 times a day.  Carolina helps the new PhD’s to settle in the lab and to become independent and autonomous. She is very demanding and tidy, and she is always looking for perfection. An experiment must always be as perfect as its report in the lab notebooks. The students of the lab make jokes about her lab notebooks, calling them “the bible”.

Apart from this golden book of science, she writes another “food bible” together with her husband. Cooking and science aren’t two worlds apart. In fact, they have very much in common. We could say that cooking is nothing more than doing experiments in the kitchen. She and her husband, who is also a scientist at CRG, have their blog and an Instagram account where they post they latest recipes. Although cooking is all about experimenting, mixing and trying new flavours, there is one thing that for Carolina is completely forbidden, if she wants to keep her Italian nationality, it is adding pineapple to the pizza! That would be outrageous!

So you know, if you want to have access to these bibles, you can always go to the 3rd floor of the Helix building and ask for Carolina, and see if she will share all her knowledge over a cup of coffee. 😉