team member
Coordinator REDiEX

Aleix Elizalde-Torrent

team member Aleix Torrent Elizalde graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in 2006. He performed the test for accessing to specialized health training MIR and did the residency in Internal Medicine at the Hospital Universitari de la Vall d’Hebron from 2007 to 2012, with a special training in infectious diseases and tropical medicine, and collaborating with the International Health Unit of the same hospital. This interest led him to achieve the "Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene” of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 2012. After the residency, he joined the research group of Dr. Hernando del Portillo at the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB)/Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) as a PhD student. Mainly, his research has focused on understanding the role of the spleen and bone marrow in Plasmodium vivax malaria, with special attention to the clinical phenomena of anemia and splenomegaly in this context. Outside the scientific field, he obtained the professional piano degree at the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu in 2003 and is currently studying jazz and modern music in the school Taller de Músics de Barcelona. Also has a great interest in photography, traveling, surf and capoeira.

Sergio Montaner-Tarbes (ITSL)

team member Sergio Roberto Montaner Tarbes obtained a bachelor degree in Biology at University of Carabobo (Venezuela) in 2009. From there, he worked three years doing infectious disease diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of HIV-1. In his master studies in Tropical Parasitic Diseases at the University of Valencia working with the "Preliminary characterization of extracellular vesicles (exosomes) adult Fasciola hepatica, developing great interest in the role of extracellular vesicles and infectious diseases. He is currently part of Innovex Therapeutics SL, where he obtained an Industrial PhD scholarship in conjunction with the PhD in agricultural and food science and technology at the University of Lleida to study the role of extracellular vesicles in infectious diseases of veterinary interest.

Miriam Moron Font (ITSL)

team memberMiriam Morón attended the CFGS on clinical diagnostic laboratory at Institut La Guineueta, in Barcelona. She conducted a 6 months training period in ITSL. She recently completed this training period and joined our team as a research technician.

Joan Seguí (Undergraduated student)

team memberBiotechnology student from the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona that joined the group in 2013 as Project Laboratory Technician after a internship at the Center of Genomic Regulation in Barcelona. During these years, he has been interested in different aspects of exosomes biology and potential applications in health. He has focused on the proteomic composition of the exosomes in human neglected parasitic diseases to explore the use of exosomes as novel vaccines and biomarkers.

Haruka Toda

team member I took Bachelor in Chemistry in Hokkaido University in Japan, where I researched in the laboratory of Signaling in Cancer and Immunology in Institute for Genetic Medicine. After that, I studied Master in Clinical Research: International Health track in University of Barcelona in Spain, where I researched in the group of Malaria Vivax in el Instituto de Salud Global de Barcelona (ISGlobal), and continuing Ph.D. program in the same laboratoty.

Marc Nicolau

team member Marc Nicolau i Fernández obtained the CFGS on clinical diagnostic laboratory at Institut La Guineueta, in Barcelona in 2015. He carried out the practical program in a microbiology laboratory in Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) during 4 months. From October 2015, he has been working as a laboratory technician in the Malaria Vivax and Exosomes group at Institut Germans Tries I Pujol (Badalona). During this time he has been focused on in vitro malaria culture. He is interested in learning more about parasitology, extracellular vesicles and new techniques to develop his scientific career.

Míriam Díaz Varela

team member Míriam Díaz Varela graduated in Biology at University of León in 2013. As an undergraduate student, she did internships at University of León and at Barcelona Evolutionary Biology Institute (CSIC-UPF) to initiate in research within the field of molecular and cell biology. Her interest in life sciences and infectious diseases led her to join the group of Dr. Hernando del Portillo at Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal). She obtained an MSc in Biomedical Research at Pompeu Fabra University in 2014 carrying out a research project on isolation and characterization of human reticulocyte-derived exosomes. Currently, she is a student in the Medicine and Translational Research PhD Programme at University of Barcelona. Her PhD thesis aims to unveil the molecular mechanisms by which reticulocyte-derived exosomes protect against malaria infection and to assess the potentiality of an EV-based vaccine against malaria. Apart from her interest in science, Míriam is also keen on learning about music, photography and cultures around the world.

Melisa Gualdrón-López

team member Melisa Gualdrón-López is a biologist interested in Molecular Parasitology. During her MSc studies in Venezuela, she investigated molecular interactions of Leishmania mexicana (parasite responsible for cutaneous Leishmaniasis in the New World) and its mammalian host. In 2012 she obtained a PhD degree in Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the “Université catholique de Louvain” in Belgium where her research was focused on organelle biogenesis in the African parasite Trypanosoma brucei, the etiologic agent of human Sleeping Sickness. Her first postdoctoral research (2013) was performed in Venezuela studying organellar membrane proteins, carbohydrate metabolism and exosome biogenesis in Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas Disease. Her career continued with a postdoctoral stage at the "Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais", Brazil, where she spent the last two years (2014-2015) studying cellular immunology and inflammatory cell signaling pathways in Chagas disease, and collaborating in projects that involved the study of immune response against parasites causing Malaria.

Recently, she joined Dr. Hernando del Portillo’s group where she started a postdoctoral research on the molecular characterization of exosomes derived from Plasmodium vivax infections and its potential as biomarkers.

Laura Moya (ITSL)

team member
Research members

Zoraida Andreu

team member During my training as predoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dra. Helena Mira Aparicio I studied hipocampal neurogenesis and the regulation of neural stem cells. I extensively worked in the morphogenetic bone proteins (BMPs) signalling pathway and the cell cycle inhibitors (CKIs) in collaboration with Dra. Isabel Fariñas` group. Both studies were published in highly reputed international journals with me as first author: the study on BMPs in Cell Stem Cell. 2010 Jul 2;7(1):78-89 ) and the work on CKIs in Stem Cells. 2015 Jan;33(1):219-29). Moreover, I took part in the adjustment of several protocols published in Curr Protoc Stem Cell Biol. 2012 May;Chapter 2:Unit 2D.1. In this stage I acquired experience in multiple techniques as cellular cultures, immunohistochemistry for optical microscopy, bio-imaging and cellular monitoring, confocal microscopy, management of transgenic mice. I also got the type C degree as researcher with experimental animals (2007/CAE/C/0009).

In 2011, I joined Dr. Fernando Vidal Vanaclocha´s lab in CEU San Pablo University as junior researcher to study the role of astroglia and the microenvironment in brain metastasis, which was published in Am J Pathol. 2013 Jun;182(6):2368-79. During this period, I was also involved in a project about epilepsy in collaboration with Dr, Jesus Pastor Gómez at the Hospital La Princesa.

In 2014 I joined Dra. María Yáñez Mó laboratory with a Juan de la Cierva contract and I started my actual research lines:1- Immunoregulatory molecules as biomarkers predicting response to Biological Therapies and disease severity in Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disorders (BIOIMID), a multidepartment study 2- Exosomes as biomarkers of tumoral progression of the transitional carcinoma bladder 3- Analysis of the anti-metastatic activity of cytopermeable peptides that inhibit exosome secretion. 4- Role of tetraspanins in biognesis and exosome function. As result of these studies we have currently submitted two articles: Exosomes as non-invasive biomarkers for urothelial carcinoma progression (European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences) and EV miRNAs as suitable biomarkers of disease. Comparative analyses of isolation procedures (Journal Extracellular Vesicles ). During this two years we have published two review articles (Andreu and Yáñez Mó, Front Immunol. 2014 Sep 16;5:442; Yáñez-Mó, Siljander, Andreu et al., J Extracell Vesicles. 2015 May 14;4:27066).

Henar Suárez Montero

team member Graduated in Biochemistry at Complutense University of Madrid in 2011. Two years before finishing her degree she joined Dr. Gustavo Barja’s group (Biology College, Complutense University of Madrid) to study the role of mitochondrial oxidative stress in aging and its modulation performed by the diet. Due to this work three different manuscripts were published.

After finishing a Master in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine she joined Maria Yáñez-Mó´s lab in the Research Institute of La Princesa where she is currently doing her PhD under her supervision.

Henar is interested in the study of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) regulation in different cellular contexts. MMPs have a very important role in invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. These proteins display a complex regulation by endocytosis/exocytosis processes, homodimerization, tetraspanin association, autoproteolysis, etc. Moreover, it has been probed that this metalloproteinases can be delivered in exosomes promoting matrix degradation and invadopodia formation.

In 2015 Henar was awarded with a GEIVEX mobility fellowship to join Francèsc E. Borrás lab, where she studied EVs isolation by Size Exclusion Chromatography and she developed a system to quantify Extracellular Vesicles using flow cytometry.

Estefanía Lozano

team member Graduated in Biology at the University of Alcalá in 2014 and did her final degree project on the study of hematological malignancies by multiparameter flow cytometry at the Hospital de Guadalajara. After that she did a Master of Science in Immunology Research at the Complutense University in 2015. During this time she joined to the Dr. Urzainqui laboratory at the Hospital La Princesa, where she worked on the implication of PSGL-1 on the immune system.

Recently, Estefanía joined Dr. Yañez-Mó laboratory to do her phD at the Hospital Santa Cristina/CBM-SO.

Dr. Carla Mazzeo

team member Has obtained her degree in Biochemistry at University of Buenos Aires. She has worked as a scientific researcher at the National Medicine Academy of Buenos Aires studying the implication of gen p53 and microsatellites in oesophagus and colon adenocarcinoma (Oncology Reports 2001). After a year living and studying in the UK (University of York), she decided to move to Spain and do her PhD at Biomedical Research Institute “Alberto Sols”/CSIC-UAM under the direction of Dr Manuel Izquierdo. She did her PhD work on “Role of PKD1/2 in Multivesicular Bodies Formation and Exosomes Secretion in T and B Lymphocytes“ (Biochimie 2007, CDD 2010, CDD 2016). She joined the Doreen Cantrell’s Lab at University of Dundee, Scotland as a PhD Visiting Student. During her postdoctoral period, she was involved in the study of new urinary bladder cancer biomarkers at the CNIO, epigenetic regulation of asthma and characterization of exosomes derived from eosinophils and searching for miRNAs related to asthma (JACI 2015) at IIS-Jiménez Díaz Foundation. Carla joined Dr. Yáñez-Mó ’s laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher in 2016 to study tetraspanins and their associated partners to address their functional role in the biogenesis and function of exosomes.

team member
JuanMa Falcon´s team at CIC bioGUNE

Dr. Félix Royo

team member Dr. Félix Royo is a veterinarian that joined JuanMa Falcon’s group in 2010 as a post-doc fellow from CIBERehd Institution. During these years, he has been interested in different aspects of Extracellular Vesicles biology and potential applications. He has focused on the RNA cargo within EVs derived from hepatocyte-like cells, and from urine of patients with malignancies in the urinary tract. Currently, the projects he is involved aimed to settle the basis of the enzymatic activity of EVs released by the liver and the importance of EVs glycosylation signature on the cell to cell cross-talk.

Dra. Esperanza González

team memberDr. Esperanza González is a biochemist and a biologist who did her PhD in CNB-CSIC, where she received a wide formation mainly in cell biology and molecular genetics. During this time she focused on transcriptional regulation and later on the protein traffic network. After that, she stayed a period extending the study on the traffic regulation of Pi transporters. With increasing interest in the cellular membranous system and protein homeostasis she joined JuanMa Falcón´s group in 2007. Since them, she has been working on EVs as source of biomarkers for different models and pathologies as well as on the biogenesis of these vesicles and their role in intercellular communication.

Justyna MleczKo

team member Justyna Mleczko has graduated with Biomedical Science Honours Degree at Brunel University, London in 2013. She was then accepted on a 4 year PhD collaboration programme between University of Liverpool and CIC-bioGUNE. Her PhD thesis aims at revealing the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the development of metabolic syndrome.

Charles Williams

team member Charles Williams has graduated with Applied Biosciences with Biotechnology Degree at Imperial College, London in 2015. He is doing his PhD thesis in a CIC bioGUNE-CIC bioMAGUNE joint program in collaboration with Dr. Niels Reichardt. His project aims at revealing mechanisms underlining intercellular communication mediated by extracellular vesicles.

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Research members

team member Marta Monguió Tortajada, MSc in Advanced Immunology (PhD Student.

team member Marcel·la Franquesa, PhD in Biomedicine (Post-doctoral fellow).

I am a biologist specialized in Genetics and Biomedicine. I obtained my PhD in Biomedicine in 2010 under the direction of Josep M Grinyó, Immaculada Herrero-Fresneda and Joan Torras in the Experimental Nephrology Department at Hospital de Bellvitge – IDIBELL. After defending my thesis entitled “Gene Therapy with HGF in models of kidney injury” I started working as a postdoctoral fellow in the same laboratory in Campus of Bellvitge where I started the line of research of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) for cell therapeutic purposes. My interest in MSC Cell Therapy had started during my PhD and I had the opportunity to visit Prof. Bonventre´s laboratory in Brigham´s and Women Hospital-Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachussets. My 7 months Fellowship was an excellent chance to learn the stem cells isolation and injection procedure in mouse models from Dr Duffield and Dr Humphrey.

Next I obtained an ERA-EDTA-EMBO grant for an 18 months fellowship to continue my research in the field of MSC cell therapy in transplantation at the Transplantation Laboratory of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, under the supervision of Martin Hoogduijn and Carla Baan. During 18 months I developed a project on the interaction of MSC and the immunosuppressive drug Anti-Thymocite Globulin (ATG). In parallel I participated in other projects running in the laboratory focused in the immunomodulation and immunogenicity of MSC. I also became a member of the MSC in Solid Organ Transplantation (MiSOT) group and organized the 4th edition of their meeting in Barcelona. We wrote together a position paper about the new achievements in the field (Franquesa et al. Transplantation. Aug 15;96(3):234-8).

The last 3 years I continued my research as a post-doctoral researcher in Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam developing and focusing my research in the application of MSC immunomodulation of B cell activation and B-T cell activation. During this period I directed the master´s thesis of Fane Mensah and Bastiaan Rakké.

I now joined the IVECAT group at IGTP funded by a Beatriu de Pinós fellowship (BP-B) were I will continue my research in MSC in the group of Dr Francesc Borràs.

team member David Mauri Ortuño (Technical Assistant).

team member Ana Gámez Valero, MSc in Advanced Genetics (PhD Student).

team member Laura Carreras, Veterinary Medicine graduate (PhD Student).

Other members

team member S. Inés Lozano Ramos, MSc in Immunology (PhD Student).

Amanda Mollà (Master Student).

Marta Zorita (Technical Assistant in practice).

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Research members

Dolores Bernal Membrilla
Maria Trelis Villanueva
Fernando Cantalapiedra Garcia
Alicia Galiano Hernandez
Javier Roig Arcos

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Research members

Gloria Esteso Tornero

team member Gloria was a graduate student at the University of Cordoba working on the genetic variability of porcine immune system. After defending her PhD thesis entitled "Molecular characterization, polymorphism analysis and study of porcine CD41 gene expression" in 2008 her interest turned to the human immune system. During a first postdoc, with the group of Dr J. Coligan at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Rockville (MD), she focused on the study of the factors that regulate the expression of the receptors of Natural Killer cells. After a year, she returned to Spain and joined the group of Dr Hugh T Reyburn at the National Center for Biotechnology (Madrid), focusing on the study of the biology of human NK cells in viral infections. Since 2013, she works in the group of Dr. Mar Valés-Gómez, investigating the immune response involved in the treatment of bladder cancer patient using BCG. The project involves both an in vitro model using human cells and the analysis of ex-vivo samples obtained in collaboration with local hospitals.

Sheila Lopez-Cobo

team member Sheila López-Cobo graduated in Biology in 2010 at the University of Alcalá (Madrid). She joined Mar Valés-Gómez group at the CNB to carry out a project for her Master’s in Biomedicine in University Autónoma of Madrid, after which, in 2012, she started with her PhD studies. Sheila is interested in the study of different communication mechanisms in the immune system, including molecular processes that modulate the immune response, as the transfer of molecules during the immune synapse, and the role of exosomes as information vehicles. In particular, she is using a model that evaluates NK cell response and its modulation by the ligands of the activating receptor, NKG2D. More recently, her work has focused on the response of human NK cells against melanoma, its regulation with different treatments, and the composition and role of melanoma-derived exosomes in this context. In 2015, during a visit to the group of Dr. A. Paschen, at the Department Dermatology, University Hospital Essen (Germany), Sheila had the chance to go further in the study of melanoma, and participated in a comparison of methods used for the isolation of exosomes from plasma and serum in Dr. Giebel laboratory.

Eva M. García-Cuesta

team member Eva graduated in Biochemistry in 2010 at University of Oviedo (Spain). She carried out her degree project in the laboratory of Dr. Segundo Gonzalez working on the expression of the activating immune receptor NKG2D and its ligands in blood from chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients. After graduation, she moved to Madrid, where she joined the group of Dr. Mar Valés-Gómez at the National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain) to work on the response of NK cells towards bladder cancer cell lines for her Master’s in Biomedicine at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. She continued as graduate student in the same laboratory studying the role of Natural Killer cells in the mechanism of action of BCG immunotherapy for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

Carmen Campos Silva

team member Carmen obtained her degree in Biotechnology at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, in 2015. During her studies, she participated in several projects related to calorie restriction, oxidative damage, aging and cancer at Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo. She continued her career studying a Master’s in Molecular Biomedicine at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. At Dr. Mar Valés-Gómez research group at National Center for Biotechnology in Madrid, she studies tumour immune activation and evasion, focusing on the different forms of NKG2D-ligands, membrane bound, exosomal or cleaved by metalloproteases, that can be released by metastatic melanoma cells and affect the recognition by Natural Killer cells. Carmen is interested in studying the mechanisms used by tumour cells to activate or evade the immune system, specifically exosome-mediated immune modulation. Moreover, she is interested in the development of clinical applications for cancer diagnosis and prognosis based on the information obtained from exosomes present in tumours and serum from cancer patients.

team member

Peinado Lab

Our work have demonstrated that exosomes are biomarkers and functional contributors to pre-metastatic niche formation in metastatic organs. Exosomes can serve as vehicles for horizontal transfer of oncoproteins, thus promoting additional modifications in the tumor and metastatic microenvironments. We showed that melanoma-derived exosomes expressing c-MET influence bone marrow-derived cell mobilization and recruitment to pre-metastatic and metastatic niches, thus promoting metastasis in a process that we have termed “education” (Peinado et al. Nature Med. 2012). More recently, we have observed that pancreatic cancer-derived exosomes expressing macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) preferentially acted upon Kupffer cells (Costa-Silva et al. Nat Cell Biol, 2015). Strikingly, MIF and c-MET levels in plasma exosomes demonstrate the potential of using exosomal protein levels as an early biomarker for liver pre-metastatic niche formation and predict patient´s outcome respectively.

Our studies suggest that tumor exosomes are a major tumor-derived factor that acts systemically to promote bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) recruitment to the tumor and metastatic microenvironments (Peinado et al. Nature Med. 2012). Our recent results in collaboration with Dr. Lyden (WCMC) and Bromberg (MSKCC) demonstrate that tumour-derived exosomes are specifically uptaken by organ-specific cells preparing the pre-metastatic niche dictating metastatic organotropism. Exosome proteomics revealed distinct integrin expression depending on their specific organ of metastasis. Therefore, we postulate that exosome integrins could serve as a “ZIP” code for exosomes to home in metastatic organs triggering local effects reinforcing organ-specific metastasis. Our clinical data indicate that profiling of integrins in circulating exosomes could be used to predict organ-specific metastasis (Hoshino et al. Nature, 2015).

Our current lines of investigation at CNIO are focused on understanding the interactions of the tumor with its microenvironment by secreted exosomes, thereby defining new potential targets to block metastasis

Research members

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Susana García , PhD. – Staff Scientist.

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Marta Hergueta Redondo , (Postdoc).

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Ana Isabel Amor Lopez , (PhD Student).

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Lucia Robado de Lope , PhD Student.

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Cristina Merino , Technician.

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Marina Mazariegos , Technician.

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Silvia Campanario , Student.

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Teresa Gonzalez Muñoz , PhD Student.

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Iñaki Merino , Student.

Miembros de mi laboratorio en Weill Cornell Medical College, Nueva York

team member

Alberto Benito Martin, PhD – Postdoc .

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Laura Nogues Vera , (Postdoc).

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Research members

Ana-Citlali Gradilla

team member Ramón y Cajal scientist
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Laura González-Méndez

team member Postdoctoral researcher
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Sheila Jordán Álvarez

team member Postdoctoral (Juan de la Cierva)
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Irene Seijo-Barandiaran

team member Graduated student
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Eleanor Simon

team member Graduated Student
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Gustavo Aguilar

team member Graduated Student
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Adrián Aguirre Tamaral

team member Graduated Student
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