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Dr. María Casanova-Acebes (Barcelona, 1983) graduated in Biology in 2006 and holds a Master in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (2009, Complutense University of Madrid, UCM). She obtained her Ph.D. in Cellular Biology and Genetics in 2014 from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), under the supervision of Dr. Andrés Hidalgo (Spanish National Cardiovascular Center, CNIC), studying the role of neutrophil aging and clearance in the modulation of the bone marrow hematopoietic niche. She received the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award from the Autonomous University of Madrid (2014). Her PhD work focused on the role of the non-canonical functions of neutrophils (Casanova-Acebes et al., Cell 2013), and she also identified for the first time the presence of neutrophils under non-inflammatory conditions across tissues (Casanova-Acebes, JEM 2018). Her work has been highly cited since its publication and was awarded an FPI fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Innovation and Research and an EMBO short-term stay research PhD fellowship.
Dr. Casanova-Acebes joined the laboratory of Dr. Miriam Merad at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York, NY, USA) in 2015. She received a Human Frontiers Postdoctoral Fellowship grant to study the role of macrophage ontogeny in solid tumors. Her most recent research has uncovered the role of embryonic and adult macrophages in the tumor microenvironment of breast and lung cancer (Nature Communications 2018 & Nature 2021), a paradigm-changing finding that was awarded by the 2020 IOYIF Honorable Mention Postdoctoral Fellow Category. Her scientific achievements in the fields of Cancer Immunotherapy and Tumor Immunology have been recognized at an international level with several invitations to talks (Keystone Symposia on Myeloid Cells: From Birth to Immunity and Disease, 2021; SITC 2021), international fellowships (AACR-AstraZeneca Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship) and National highly-competitive awards (2020 Ramón y Cajal Program).
In January 2021, Dr. Casanova-Acebes joined the CNIO as a Junior Group Leader from the Cancer Immunity laboratory. Dr. Casanova-Acebes is the beneficiary of the XXII FERO Fellowship (2022) and CRIS Contra el Cancer Postdoctoral Talent Award (2021-2026). Her lab focuses in the identification and development of novel strategies that target innate immunity in cancer.