Genomic Instability Group

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Staff Scientists

  • Vanesa Lafarga
  • Matilde Murga

Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • Melania Zauri

Graduate Students

  • Elena Fueyo
  • Antonio Galarreta
  • Laura Sánchez
  • Oleksandra Sirozh
  • Pablo Valledor


  • Marta Elena Antón
  • Alicia González
  • Sara Rodrigo

The Genomic Instability Group centres its research on understanding how cells respond to DNA damage, in particular to a specific type of harm known as replication stress (RS). Oncogene-induced RS has been confirmed as the main source of genomic rearrangements in cancer cells. In mammals, RS triggers a cellular response initiated by ATR and CHK1 kinases, known as the Replicative Stress Response ( RSR ). Throughout the years, our laboratory has developed a wide battery of cellular and animal tools for the study of the RSR. Among them, we have mice with enhanced or limited function of ATR and CHK1 kinases, cell lines in which the RSR can be activated at will and chemical inhibitors of ATR. Our studies have enhanced our understanding of the impact of RS on cancer and ageing, and have provided novel drugs with antitumoural potential that exploit the presence of RS in cancer cells. Overall, our goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms governing genome protection and repair – particularly during replication – and to exploit this knowledge as a way to fight against cancer.