Department: Fisiología

Faculty: Medicina

Area: Physiology


My research career has focused on understanding the pathophysiology of tissue fibrosis. During my PhD in Dr. Alberto Ortiz's lab (Health Research Institute Fundación Jiménez Díaz: IIS-FJD, Madrid), I investigated the effect of modulating TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) and Fn14 (TWEAK receptor), an important inflammatory pathway, on renal fibroblasts and kidney fibrosis. During this period, I also: defined the anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic effects of a newly designed nanoparticle, QM56; coordinated a project to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of low-level-laser therapy in metabolic syndrome-related kidney injury in collaboration with Ceres GmbH (Germany); contributed to elucidate the role of TRAIL/ osteoprotegerin in apoptosis during acute kidney injury and demonstrated the presence of OPG in exosomes isolated from urine. Upon graduation, I started a postdoctoral position in Professor Raghu Kalluri's lab at BIDMC (Havard Medical School, Boston), who is a world expert in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, fibrosis and cancer. My project aimed at investigating the functional role of EMT and the transcription factor MYC in renal and pulmonary fibrosis. I moved back to Spain, whereupon I joined Dr. Erwin Wagner's lab (Spanish National Cancer Research Center - CNIO, Madrid). Dr. Wagner, a pioneer in genetically engineered mouse models, ran a large multidisciplinary lab with several international scientists working in inflammation, development and cancer. At CNIO, I participated in two projects investigating the role of the AP-1 transcription factor Fra-2 in lung fibrosis, my main project, and lung cancer (WWCR funded). I found that both Fra-2 and its transcriptional target, Type VI collagen, play a central role in type 2 immunityinduced lung fibrosis. I presented my work in international conferences, and in seminars across different Spanish research institutes (IRB, ISCIII, CIBIR, CIB) as an invited speaker. I also optimized a method based on plethysmography of intubated mice, to longitudinally assess respiratory function for the first time. Other groups at CNIO, IRB (Barcelona) and CIBIR (La Rioja) currenty use this system , which was essential to get three collaborative projects with private companies for in vivo drug testing based on our pre-clinical mouse models of organ fibrosis (Daiichi Sankyo, Genentech and Acceleron Pharma). During this period, I further developed my teaching abilities and communication skills, and I participated in ad hoc reviews of grant proposals and manuscripts for high impact factor journals (Nature, Nat Cell Biol, JCI, etc) with Dr. Wagner. I supervised master students, received ANECA accreditation as Lecturer, and received D Function accreditation for designing projects and procedures using lab animal models. Currently, since October 2021, I incorporated as a Assistant Professor to the Physiology Department in the School of Medicine at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) and run my research in cellular communication in Oncology in collaboration with the H12O-CNIO Lung Cancer Research Unit, leaded by Dr. Luis Paz-Ares. Here, I coordinate different projects studying the connection between the lung tumor stroma and the response to therapy. I also help to coordinate and supervise the clinical trials for personalized medicine within a team with 10 technicians, and supervise three PhD students.