Scientific Programmes

Manuel Serrano

Molecular Oncology Programme

Tumour Suppression Group

Biosketch: Manuel Serrano

Manuel Serrano obtained his PhD in 1991 for his research at the Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa" under the supervision of M. Salas and J.M. Hermoso. From 1992 to 1996 he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of D. Beach at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, USA. In 1997, he returned to Spain to start his own research group at the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología. He moved to the CNIO in 2003 to lead the Tumour Suppression Group.

His major research achievements are:

  • The discovery, cloning and characterisation of tumour suppressor p16, which defined a new class of cell cycle regulators and was soon acknowledged as one of the main tumour suppressors. In addition, characterisation of p16 paved the way to another paramount tumour suppressor discovery, p19Arf, a key activator of p53.
  • The establishment of the concept of "oncogeneinduced senescence" as a tumour suppression mechanism. This concept rapidly became an intense research topic in many laboratories and has since been widely accepted.
  • Pioneering the generation of cancer-resistant mice with the so-called "super-mice". This work demonstrated the possibility of increasing cancer resistance in the absence of deleterious secondary effects. Moreover, it revealed that tumour suppressor genes not only protect against cancer but also against ageing, in general thanks to the capacity of these genes to eliminate cellular damage.
  • Characterisation of the role of p16 and p19Arf as barriers during the process of nuclear reprogramming to pluripotent stem cells.

Manuel Serrano has received numerous awards including the FEBS Anniversary Prize, the Carcinogenesis Young Investigator Award, as well as Spanish awards from Fundación Echevarne, Fundación Banco de Sabadell, and Fundación "Carmen y Severo Ochoa". Manuel Serrano is an elected EMBO Member.