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Isabel López de Silanes obtained her PhD degree in Chemistry (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) in 2001 from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Madrid, Spain) for research carried out under the supervision of Drs. M.A Lizarbe and N. Olmo. Her thesis focused on the mechanism involved in the acquisition of resistance of cancer cells to the differentiation agent Butyrate. Right after defending her thesis, López de Silanes joined the National Institute on Aging (NIA, NIH), Baltimore (USA) as a Postdoctoral Fellow under the leadership of Myriam Gorospe. During this period, López de Silanes’ interest centred on understanding the alterations in the regulation of mRNA turnover in genes implicated in cancer. Her work led to the identification of RNA-binding proteins over-expressed in cancer and to the identification of a consensus motif shared by mRNA targets of two different RNA-binding proteins.
She was awarded with a “Ramón y Cajal” contract in 2005 and joined Dr. M. Esteller’s group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Madrid (Spain). During this period, López de Silanes continued working on mRNA turnover but with a special emphasis on the regulation of genes involved in epigenetic regulation. She also secured a three-year financed Project from the Spanish Health System as Principal Investigator. She moved, during the last term of 2008, from the Molecular Pathology Programme to the Molecular Oncology Programme to join Dr. Maria A. Blasco’s lab. Her major interest now is the understanding of the regulation of Telomeric RNAs (TelRNAs), a novel structural RNA component of telomeric chromatin.