Día Mundial contra el Cáncer 2023

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All donations to the CNIO go to the CNIO Friends program, which allows us to hire outstanding young researchers and open new lines of research with which to understand, diagnose and tackle cancer effectively. Each of your contributions has a real and direct impact.

Thank you for your support, together we will be able to stop cancer! We present here some of the CNIO Friends researchers:

Lluís Cordón
Lluís Cordón Brain Metastasis Group (CNIO)
“Brain metastasis is a global social and economic burden with increasing incidence and no efficient therapies available. My research goal is to prevent cancer cells from controlling the brain’s defense mechanisms for its own benefit. Understanding the mechanisms in the human brain context will benefit us to develop better pharmacological approaches against the disease.” To do so, Lluís will study a representation of the patient’s brain using a technology called “brain organoids” to establish effective strategies for the disease.
Yurena Vivas
Yurena Vivas Metabolism and Cellular Signaling Group (CNIO)
CNIO Friends Contract – Fundación Domingo Martínez
“My project will explore whether the microenvironment determines cell malignant transformation beyond the effect of mutations or in combination with them, in the context of pancreatic carcinoma”. Yurena aims to understand the possible contribution of non-autonomous factors to pancreatic cancer progression.
Laura Nogues
Laura Nogues Microenvironment and Metastasis Group (CNIO)
The main goal of my research is to find new targets to block melanoma metastasis and prevent relapse of therapy resistant tumors, the main causes of death of melanoma patients. In particular, my project aims to analyze the use of the NGFR small molecule inhibitor (THX-B) as anti-metastatic therapy in melanoma, alone or in combination with current immunotherapies, and the mechanisms underlying these events.
Ana María Roncero
Ana María Roncero Breast Cancer Clinical Research Unit (CNIO)
“I do research with patient derived tumor organoids from metastatic breast cancer patients”. Ana’s objective is to find better targeted and personalized therapies for patients with advanced Triple Negative (TNNBC) and hormone positive breast tumors.
Diana Vara
Diana Vara Cell Division and Cancer Group (CNIO)
I explore how MASTL-PP2A/B55, a pathway involved in mitosis, regulates metabolism. Given that metabolic changes have implications in cancer but also in other western diseases, these analyses might provide new therapeutic targets to prevent and to treat these illness, improving patients’ lives.
María José Andreu
María José Andreu Chromosome Dynamics Group (CNIO)
“I study the contribution of STAG2 mutations to aggressive Ewing Sarcoma (EWS), which is the second most frequent type of bone cancer in children.” Maria’s goal is to understand how STAG2 mutations promote the metastatic phenotype to likelly improve the clinical management and the outcome of EWS patients with metastatic disease.
Sergio Muñoz
Sergio Muñoz DNA Replication Group (CNIO)
“I study how cells regulate the initiation of DNA replication to ensure the correct inheritance of genetic material”. Sergio aims to understand the mechanisms that prevent improper reduplication of genomic regions leading to genetic instability, a phenomenon that usually fuels different type of cancers.
Sofía Cabezudo
Sofía Cabezudo Macromolecular Complexes in DNA Damage Response Group (CNIO)
“I study the structural and molecular bases for the regulation of the mTOR signalling pathway by molecular chaperones.” Sofía’s project explores new potential strategies to target the mTOR pathway against cancer progression.
Moustafa Ahmed Shehata
Moustafa Ahmed Shehata Computational Cancer Genomics Group (CNIO)
CNIO Friends Contract - Carmen Gloria Bonet
CNIO Friends Contract - Carmen Gloria Bonet.
"I study how the RET protein works, as it plays an important role in neuroblastoma, a type of fatal childhood cancer (15%) that affects the cells of the adrenal gland and the peripheral nervous system." Moustafa investigates personalised therapeutic strategies in the treatment of this aggressive tumor.

Previous ‘CNIO Friends’ contracts

María Magdalena Leal
María Magdalena Leal Melanoma Group (CNIO)
CNIO Friends Contract – Fundación Humanismo y Ciencia
CNIO Friends Contract - Fundación Humanismo y Ciencia.
“I study how melanoma acts at a distance before metastasis and evades the immune system in different anatomical structures.” Magdalena’s research has a particular emphasis on the role of MIDKINE in different cell populations of the bone marrow.
Federico Virga
Federico Virga Experimental Oncology Group
“My project will centre on how to increase the anti-tumoral response of the immune system in the context of pancreatic and lung tumours induced by KRAS oncogenes”. The research of Federico aims to improve the treatment of these tumours, which are among the most aggressive and lethal cancer types.
Albert Harguindey
Albert Harguindey Growth Factors, Nutrients and Cancer Group (CNIO)
CNIO Friends Contract – Fondation Franz Weber
“I work in elucidating the 3D structure and providing an atomic model of the Unconventional Prefoldin RPB5 interactor-like (URI) protein complex”. Albert is looking for the structural basis for the role of URI in cancer and aims to propose novel therapeutic strategies by disrupting the complex interactions.
Elena Fueyo
Elena Fueyo Genomic Instability and Structural Biology Group (CNIO)
CNIO Friends Contract – María Oliva
CNIO Friends Contract - María Oliva.
“I investigate the molecular ‘disguises’ and ‘breaks’ that allow tumor cells to avoid an attack from the immune system.” Understanding the biology of these mechanisms is essential for the development of effective immunotherapies against cancer.
Eunjeong Kim
Eunjeong Kim Growth Factors, Nutrients and Cancer Group (CNIO)
"I explore the novel mechanism between liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.” The aim of Kim’s project is to provide a new treatment option for liver cancer patients.
Rubén Martínez
Rubén Martínez Group of Kinases, Protein Phosphorylation and Cancer (CNIO)
"I investigate how RET oncogene activity is altered in certain cancer types, such as lung and breast cancer, as well as neuroblastoma." Rubén aims to find compounds capable of inhibiting this gene that could provide more effective treatments against these types of tumours.
Sarita Saraswati
Sarita Saraswati Telomeres and Telomerase Group (CNIO)
"I study the role of telomere dysfunction in the origin of kidney and liver fibrosis, which in its advanced stages may lead to cancer in these organs." Sarita’s goal is to find new therapies for the treatment of these diseases.
María Moreno
María Moreno Genomic Integrity and Structural Biology Group (CNIO)
"I study the three-dimensional structure of CAD, a protein that is highly expressed in cancer." María analyses how genetic mutations affect the structure of this protein, to develop new therapies for treatment.
Rebeca Jimeno
Rebeca Jimeno Breast Cancer Clinical Research Unit (CNIO)
CNIO Friends Contract - Eva Plaza
CNIO Friends Contract – Eva Plaza.
"I investigate the potential of immunology as a strategy against breast cancer, specifically in Triple Negative tumors (TNBC) for a better understanding of its evolution”. Rebeca’s research aims to identify treatments targeted to the tumor with fewer side effects than current therapies.
Giussepe Bosso
Giussepe Bosso Telomeres and Telomerase Group (CNIO)
"I study the role of post-translational modifications of shelterin proteins in telomere maintenance." Giuseppe´s goal is to identify novel pathways and kinases whose activity is required for chromosome end protection.
Neibla Priego
Neibla Priego Brain Metastasis Group (CNIO)
"I explore therapeutic and diagnostic options for brain metastasis." These metastases arise in 10-40% of all cancer cases originating from different organs. Neibla is the first author of a study that describes how a compound called silibinin can reduce them.
Carolina Maestre
Carolina Maestre Cell Division and Cancer Group (CNIO)
“We have identified a molecule involved in the survival of tumour cells when they divide. Our working hypothesis is that if we can manage to inhibit the action of those molecules, it should keep the tumour from spreading.” Carolina is looking closely at what could prove to be a new target for pharmacological-based cancer treatments.
Miguel Jiménez Alcázar
Miguel Jiménez Alcázar Seve-Ballesteros Foundation Brain Tumors Group (CNIO)
CNIO Friends Contract – Fundación Juegaterapia
CNIO Friends Contract - Fundación Juegaterapia.
“I have undertaken a study focusing on gliomas, cerebral tumours common in children and adolescents.” Miguel’s goal is to see that the results are transferred to the clinical sphere, where they can contribute to increasing patients’ survival rates and improving the quality of life.
Irene Felipe
Irene Felipe Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group (CNIO)
Contract Friends of the CNIO – Fundación Juegaterapia
CNIO Friends Contract - Fundación Juegaterapia.
“I study neuroblastoma, one of the most frequent tumors in children.” Irene hopes that the molecular findings and the translational aspects of the project, such as the identification of therapeutic strategies and the development of biomarkers, have their application in clinic in the near future.
Sebastián Thompson
Sebastián Thompson Growth Factors, Nutrients and Cancer Group (CNIO)
“I am examining the process by which nanoparticles can be used to transport medication to a specific location in the body, on account of their enhanced ability to reach the compromised cells.” Sebastián’s work involves searching for the best way to make certain that the greatest possible number of nanoparticles actually make it all the way to the tumour location.