Departamento de Biología Molecular, CBM-SO, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Princesa


Dr Yáñez-Mó did her PhD work on “The characterization of tetraspanin complexes in intercellular adhesions of endothelial and epithelial cells”. After a stay in Stanford University, she became responsible for setting up the Videomicroscopy Facility at the Hospital de la Princesa, being the first confocal facility in Spain to perform time-lapse microscopy in living cells. Menawhile, along her first postdoctoral period she was involved in a multi-departmental study on the ethiopathology of fibrosis on peritoneal dialysis patients published in The New Engl J Med and giving rise to a patent. Thereafter she joined the CNIC as a Junior Visiting Researcher working mainly on functional association of tetraspanins with proteases. During this period, she collaborated with the IVI (Valencia) to extrapolate the role of tetraspanin adhesion platforms in the process of embryonic implantation. In 2009 she joined the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Princesa and was appointed the Director of Technical Facilities and Young Group Leader at the Hospital Santa Cristina. Maria has recently, became founder member of the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) and of the Spanish Group of Research in Extracellular Vesicles (GEIVEX). She has organized the first GEIVEX Symposium (November 2012) and is currently a Member of the Management Committee in BM1202 European Network on Microvesicles and Exosomes in Health and Disease COST ACTION. She has currently published 66 peer reviewed papers, with 57 average citations per paper and an h index of 35.

Research interests

Tetraspanin proteins are known to be engaged in the formation of adherent platfomrs in the plasma membrane. Moreover, they are the most abundant transmembrane proteins expressed on extracellular vesicles (EVs). Our current aim in the laboratory is to use the whole set of tools raised in our lab against tetraspanins and their associated partners to address their functional role in the biogenesis and function of exosomes. This information will be crucial for the optimization of therapies based in the use of these EVs, since it will presumably reveal new mollecular targets to either block their secretion or to diminish their metastasic or angiogenic capacities, or augment their stability and immunoregulator potential.