Catalina got her Biochemistry degree at the University of Balearic Islands in 2018. During the last year, she did an internship at the Hospital Son Espases (Mallorca), in a lab that formed part of the "Institut d'Investigació Sanitària de les Illes Balears (IdISBa)".
The next year she got her Master's degree in Biomedicine at the University of Barcelona, with a mention in basic and translational cancer research. This year she obtained a collaboration fellowship to work with the research departments of the University of Barcelona.
In 2019 she joined the research group led by Dr. Fernando Calvo in the IBBTEC. This research group is focused on the study of the tumoral microenvironment.
Cytoskeletal regulators of cancer dissemination. Our team is interested in understanding why and how cancer cells spread through the body. Using state-of-the-art in vitro approaches and pre-clinical models, we study the reciprocal interactions between invading/metastatic cells and their microenvironment, and the molecular rearrangements that promote efficient metastatic behaviours in cancer cells, with a particular emphasis in the modulation of the cytoskeleton.
Mechanisms of stromal reprogramming in cancer. We investigate the environmental cues (chemical or physical) and signals from malignant cells that lead to the emergence of tumour-promoting phenotypes in otherwise normal cells of the tumour microenvironment, with a particular focus in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF). Using molecular and bioinformatics tools, we examine patterns of gene expression and signal activation in cancer stroma. We then investigate the effect of reciprocal interactions between cancer cells and normal cells in these patterns, their relevance in tumoural processes and strategies to perturb them to deter tumour progression.
Characterisation of the role of CAF heterogeneity in tumour progression. We have developed in vitro and in vivo systems to investigate CAF behaviour, their contribution to the hallmarks of cancer (e.g. cancer cell growth, invasion, angiogenesis, immune suppression), and the molecular mechanisms controlling them. However, there is molecular and functional heterogeneity within the CAF population, which has a major impact in tumour evolution and therapeutic response. Our team aims at examining this diversity and its contribution to metastatic dissemination and resistance.
Instituto de Biomedicina y Biotecnología de Cantabria.
PCTCAN - Cl. Albert Einstein, 22