Oscar Fernandez-Capetillo did his PhD in the University of The Basque Country working with mouse models of autoimmunity with Dr. Ana Zubiaga. For his postdoctoral stay he joined the group of André Nussenzweig, where he started to work on DNA repair, particularly focusing on the role of histone H2AX.
In 2005, he joined CNIO to lead the Genomic Instability Group where he has been ever since. Initial works from the lab concentrated on exploring the role of replicative stress in cancer and ageing, for which the group combined cell biology, mouse models and drug development projects. Among other discoveries, the group developed inhibitors of the ATR kinase and showed their potential for cancer therapy. These compounds were later licensed to the pharmaceutical industry for clinical development. Today, several companies have ATR inhibitors at various stages of clinical development, which to a significant extent was influenced by early works from the laboratory. More recently, the group has expanded to other areas such as mechanisms of drug resistance and neurodegenerative diseases.
Oscar’s scientific career has been recognized by multiple awards and recognitions, national and internationally.
Since 2015 Oscar is also the Vicedirector of CNIO as well as Director of its Molecular Oncology Programme, and professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.