María José Bueno Verdejo obtained her degree in Biology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) after a two-year undergraduate training in the Departments of Genetics and Microbiology under the supervision of Dra. Mª Teresa González and Dra. Covadonga Vázquez.
After that, María José moved to the laboratory of Dr. Fernández Piqueras at the Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa" (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) where she started her career in the area of cancer. In 2008, she obtained her Doctoral Thesis in Cancer and Cellular Biology. Her research had focused on the characterization of genetic and epigenetic alterations in the origin and development of T-cell lymphomas using a mouse model system. During her PhD studies she identified a novel microRNA (miRNA), miR-203, involved in the development of some specific hematopoietic malignancies. During this period, she participated in the generation and characterization of genetically modified mouse models and also she began to be in contact with clinic field working with human samples.
From 2008 to 2011 she was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Marcos Malumbres’ laboratory at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO). There, she expanded her work on the study of miR-203 and its possible role as tumor suppressor gene using mouse models and on the other hand she studied the relevance of microRNAs in the cell cycle at different levels. She first analysed the expression of miRNAs in early cell cycle phases and identified several clusters of miRNAs that are induced by E2F transcription factors during the early phases of the cell cycle. Several of these miRNAs modulate major proliferation pathways by controlling the expression of critical cell cycle regulators such as cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases.
Finally, in February 2012 she joined to the CNIO Breast Cancer Clinical Unit at the Clinical Research Programme focused on the translation interface of therapeutic development. Her activities are directed towards personalised treatment in breast cancer, and range from preclinical models to the sponsoring of multicentric clinical trials.