I am a molecular biologist interested in studying the molecular mechanisms that govern the biology of cancer. I hold a Bs. In biology (U. Navarra, 1997), a MS and a PhD in molecular biology (U. Cantabria 1998 and 2006). After a 5 year post-doctoral training at the NIH (Bethesda, USA), I was recruited by IDIVAL (Santander, 2011). Since 2015, I lead my own research thanks to a RyC contract and a Prof. Titular_I3 appointment at the UC (Laboratory of Signaling Mechanisms and Biology Of Cancer).
My scientific activity has evolved from the basic field (transcriptional and signaling mechanisms) to translationally-oriented research projects in human cancers with limited survival, that lack markers for diagnosis and/or specific therapy.
We have obtained funding from 4 FIS projects (PI: JP Vaqué 2013-2026) and two PIEs (2015-2019). Also, we have been funded by Asociación Luchamos Por La Vida (Los Corrales de Buelna, 2013-2020). Our academic activity has enabled the obtention of 5 PhDs and 8 MSs.
MAIN SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENTS:
1. Precision diagnosis and targeted therapy of Cutaneous T Cell Lymphomas (CTCL): We are depicting an activated network of deregulated signaling mechanisms controls the biology of CTCLs. Of these, mutated PLCG1 activates NFAT via calcineurin (CaN) which constitutes a mayor disease mechanism (Vaqué JP et al. Blood 2014). In parallel, deregulated JAK/STAT signaling promotes cancer progression (Perez C. et al. Haematologica 2015, Perez C. et al. BJD 2020 and García-Díaz N. et al. Cancers 2021). Later, we discover that PKC-Theta interconnects PLCG1-CaN and JAK/STAT signaling, and constitutes a key mechanism controlling CTCL development and dissemination (García-Diaz N. et al. JID 2022, Alonso-Alonso R et al BJD, 2023). In pacients, a clinical trial (phase II), revealed the activity (ORR, 60%) and safety of topical Pimecrolimus (a specific CaN inhibitor) in CTCL patients at initial stages of the disease (Ortiz-Romero PL. et al. Lancet Haematology 2022).
2. Identification of activated CREB as independent adverse marker for Merkel Cell Carcinoma patients (González-Vela MC and Curiel-Olmo S. et al. JID 2017)
3. Novel approaches for molecular diagnosis and targeted therapy of Advanced Cutaneous Melanoma and Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Curiel-Olmo S et al . Oncotarget 2015 and Llerena S and García-Diaz N. Oncotarget 2018).
4. Depicted GNAQ downstream signaling network in Uveal Melanoma (Vaqué JP et al. Mol. Cell, 2013, Feng X. et al. Can. Cell 2014).
5. Transcriptional control of gene expression by MYC independently of MAX (Vaqué JP et al. MCR., 2008). MYC-mediated transcriptional modulation of exacerbated RAS-oncogenic signaling (Delgado MD et al. Oncogene 2000, Vaqué JP et al. JBC, 2004)