Design by Alberto Cascón for the 2020 Lab Day
As it does every year, the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) took stock of the year 2020, listening to young scientists. On December 10 and 11, predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers gathered on Lab Day to share the developments in their studies, celebrate CNIO’s achievements and discuss career prospects in the field of science. The event, organised by the Dean’s Office with the help of predoc and postdoc student organisations at CNIO, had three special features this year: it celebrated its tenth anniversary, it was held online for the first time and it showed that cancer research at one of the top centres in Europe had not stopped in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The two-day event included 16 elevator pitches – short, five-minute descriptions of relevant scientific projects – and 76 posters. In addition, there were talks by alumni Marta Shahbazi, Donatello Castellana, Damiá Tormo, Ignacio Dolado and Cristina Mayor, who told the audience how things had played out in their careers after being part of CNIO.
This year’s Lab Day also included a Distinguished Seminar by Caroline Dive, from the CRUK Manchester Institute Cancer Biomarker Centre (UK), who talked about liquid biopsy and how it can help improve outcomes for lung cancer patients.
Finally, the 10th Lab Day Awards were handed out:
Research Excellence Awards for predoctoral students:
- Daniela Cerezo-Wallis, Melanoma Group, for her work on how melanoma deceives the immune system, increasing resistance to immunotherapy (Nature Medicine). It got the Antonia Nieto Award for a paper by a predoc researcher published in the academic journal with the highest impact factor.
- Marta Martínez-Lage, Molecular Cytogenetics Unit, for her work on the reprogramming of the CRISPR system in mice to eliminate tumour cells without affecting healthy cells (Nature Communications).
- Iole Ferrara-Romeo, Telomeres and Telomerase Group, for her discovery of the harmful effects of rapamycin when telomeres are short (Nature Communications)
- Laura Esteban-Burgos, Experimental Oncology Group, for the development of an effective strategy to induce regression in lung tumours caused by the KRAS oncogene in mice (PNAS)
- María Santos, Hereditary Endocrine Cancer Group, for her work on the prevalence of pathogenic germline variants in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (Genetics in Medicine, in press)
Research Excellence Awards for postdoc or senior researchers:
- Barbara Oldrini, Seve Ballesteros Foundation Brain Tumour Group, for her work on how some gliomas develop chemoresistance, in collaboration with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Nature Communications)
Volunteering, Outreach and Communication Award:
- Ana Cuadrado, Chromosome Dynamics Group, for her sustained contribution to CNIO’s scientific outreach activities, like the European Researchers’ Night, among others. Ms Cuadrado got her award from Javier López Sedó, of Fundación Humanismo y Ciencia, a foundation that signed an agreement with CNIO Friends this year.
Alberto Cascón, Hereditary Endocrine Cancer Group, for his “Imagine a world without research” design.
- First prize: Lauritz Miarka, Brain Metastasis Group
- Second prize: Cristina Tejedo, Melanoma Group
- Third prize: Marina Serna, Macromolecular Complexes in DNA Damage Response Group
- First prize: Irene Felipe, Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group
Lab Day was organised with the support of Fundación Jesús Serra, Promega, PerkinElmer, Solmeglas, Eppendorf and IESMAT.