At IRYCIS 6 Priority Research Areas are established, each one coordinated by 2 directors, with a basic mission to: i) ensure the achievement of the objectives set for their area overall; ii) guarantee communication and collaboration between the different research groups; iii) guide the emerging groups and the associate clinical researchers to achieve their progressive integration into the consolidated group level.
With groups of significant international impact, area 3 forms a network of researchers with common objectives in the field of chronic diseases and cancer in an ideal setting for the development of internal and external alliances that foster the excellence and competitiveness necessary to grow and make significant advances in the fight against this type of diseases. It is one of the areas of the IRYCIS with the greatest presence of clinical research, concentrating the largest number of studies and clinical trials. Its groups focus their research on cancer, digestive, vascular and renal pathology, geriatric research and ageing, as well as urological surgery and transplantation.
Dr.Bruno Sainz Anding
Dr. Bruno Sainz, a virologist by training, earned his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA (USA) in 2005. His early scientific career focused on viral infections, such as Herpes simplex virus type-1, Ebola Virus, and SARS-CoV. Specifically, his research focused on developing inhibitors of viral entry and understanding and exploiting the innate immune Interferon (IFN) response to combat viral infections (funded by a National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA) NRSA research award). As a postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute (2005-2006), he developed a more physiologically relevant hepatocyte culture system to study Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection in vitro and viral-induced liver cancer. (HCC). Subsequently, while at the University of Illinois in Chicago (2006-2011), he discovered that the Niemann-Pick C1-Like 1 (NPC1L1) cholesterol absorption receptor is an HCV entry factor and the clinically-available and FDA-approved NPC1L1 antagonist ezetimibe (Zetia) can potently block HCV uptake in vitro and in mice with human liver grafts. These findings were patented and published in Nature Medicine in 2012, and Zetia is now being used to prevent liver re-infection in patients undergoing liver transplantation due to HCC.
As a semi-independent investigator at the CNIO in Spain from 2011-2014, Dr. Sainz changed his research focus and began to study cancer stem cell (CSC) biology in pancreatic cancer, with a special focus on immune proteins found in the tumor microenvironment (TME) that can activate the CSC compartment. In 2014, he joined the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas "Alberto Sols" CSIC-UAM as an independent Ramón y Cajal investigator. His laboratory has made important discoveries in the CSC field. For example, Dr. Sainz and colleagues discovered a new inherent biomarker present in CSCs, known autofluorescence, which is the result of riboflavin accumulation in ABCG2-coated intracellular vesicles exclusively found in CSCs. Using this marker and others discovered since (eg., ANTXR1, CD47), his laboratory has learned that CSCs are distinct from their non-CSCs counterparts at the epigenetic level (e.g. genome methylation and miRNA profiles) and these differences in methylation and miRNA expression are necessary for the maintenance of these cells. In addition, his laboratory has also learned that CSCs are metabolically different than non-CSCs. While non-CSCs meet their energy requirements via glycolysis, CSCs depend on mitochondrial respiration (i.e. oxidative phosphorylation) to survive. Thus, mitochondrial respiration represents an Achille's heel of CSCs, and his group is exploiting new experimental compounds and targeting specific genes [e.g. Interferon-Stimulated Gene 15 protein (ISG15)] in order to alter CSC metabolic requirements. Lastly, Dr. Sainz has shown that TME proteins, such as the human cationic antimicrobial protein 18 (hCAP-18)/LL-37 peptide, ISG15 and YWHAZ are important for CSC "stemness", EMT, chemoresistance and metabolic plasticity.
Dr. Sainz is a currently a Científico Titular in the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas "Alberto Sols" CSIC-UAM (since 2020), member of the IIBm and IRYCIS Scientific Commission Boards and member of the IIBm Animal Welfare Committee. The accomplishments and research of the Sainz Lab have resulted in more than 83 publications, several awarded US (Cancer Research Institute, Concern Foundation), Spanish (ISCIII, AECC, ACANPAN, Beca FERO) and European (EURO-NanoMed) grants, 3 patent applications, numerous invited talks and presentations, editorial affiliations and international recognition. Dr. Sainz has a broad background in immunology, virology and oncology, with specific expertise in pancreatic cancer, small animal models of cancer and drug discovery.
Dr.Bruno Sainz Anding
Senior Scientist, IIBm (CSIC-UAMSee CV
Dr. Pilar Garrido López
PILAR GARRIDO is Associate Professor of Medical Oncology at Universidad de Alcalá (Madrid, Spain) and serves as Head of the Thoracic Tumours Section in the Medical Oncology Department at the University Hospital Ramón y Cajal in Madrid, Spain.
Co-director of the Cancer and Chronic Disease Research Group at Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria (IRYCIS), her main areas of research and clinical interest are thoracic tumours. Active member of CiberOnc, she is building a translational program in collaboration with other clinical and experimental biology Spanish cancer groups.
President of FACME (Spanish Federation of Medical Societies), she was the first women president of the Spanish Medical Oncology Society. She currently participates on a variety of national scientific committees and is engaged with Spanish National Political and Administrative Institutions. Dr. Garrido is member of the Spanish National Cancer Strategy Committee, former president of the Minister of Health Specialty Training Advisory Council and the Medical Oncology Specialty Training Committee.
Member of the ESMO Council and Chair of the Women for Oncology Committee, she also serves as a member of the ESMO Fellowship Committee, Press and Media Affairs Committee and the Leadership Generation Task Force. She is also Associate Editor of Annals of Oncology and a member of the ESMO Faculty for lung and other thoracic tumours. She is also an IASLC member, involved in WITO (Women In Thoracic Oncology) committee and participate in the ASCO 2021 Educational committee.
Contact: +34 91 336 90 64Close
Dr. Pilar Garrido López
Chief of Medical Oncology SectionSee CV
Molecular Epidemiology and Predictive Markers in Cancer Group
Alfredo Carrato Mena
Molecular Pathology of Cancer Group
José Palacios Calvo
Cancer stem cells and fibroinflammatory microenvironment
Bruno Sainz Anding
INTERNAL MORPHOGENESIS AND HOMEOSTASIS
Fernando Martín Belmonte
Francisco Javier López Jiménez