Dra. Angelica Figueroa, Directive Board ASEICA Epithelial Plasticity and Metastasis Group

Dra. Angelica Figueroa, Research Group Leader

Dra. Figueroa earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Complutense University of Madrid (UCM, 1997). She did her PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Autónoma University of Madrid (UAM, 2002), under Prof. Alberto Muñoz Terol supervision in the Biomedical Research Institute “Alberto Sols”. During her PhD she was supported by two short-term stays abroad: in 2001, under Dr. George Muscat at the Institute of Molecular Bioscience, Queensland University (Australia); and in 2002, under Dra. Myriam Gorospe supervision at the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Health (NIA-NIH, USA). In 2003, she moved to London for more than five years as postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Prof. Yasuyuki Fujita (2003-2008) at the Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, Medical Research Council – University College London (LMCB, MRC, UCL, London). In 2009, she moved to Biomedical Research Institute A Coruña (INIBIC)- University Hospital Complex A Coruña (CHUAC). All her career has been focused in Preclinical Research in Oncology.

At present Dra. Figueroa is Research Group Leader of the Epithelial Plasticity and Metastasis Group (INIBIC), a multidisciplinary team integrated by a postodctoral fellow, four PhD students and two Master’s student, and clinical researchers including gastrointestinal surgeons, urologists and pathologists from the University Hospital Complex A Coruña (CHUAC), working in close collaboration with oncologists. Her research group is focused on the study of the molecular mechanisms involved in epithelial plasticity during tumor progression and metastasis, describing new therapeutic cancer targets, novel biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis, and new antitumor compounds which will contribute to advance into precision medicine.

She is member of the Directive Board of Spanish Association of Cancer Research (ASEICA) and member of cáncer research association such as European Association for Cancer Resarch (EACR), Society for Medical Oncology (SEOM) and Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM). She has been awarded the “XIX Rafael Hervada Prize” in recognition of the scientific work developed in the field of Biomedical Cancer Research and by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in the Multidisciplinar European Congress in Urological Cancer (EMUC).

Olaia Martinez

Dra Olaia Martinez-Iglesias, Postdoctoral Researcher

Dra Martinez obtained her Bachelor in Biology at the Universidad de A Coruña in 2001 and after 2 collaboration fellowships in this University (2000 and 2001) in 2002she joined Dra. Aranda’s group at the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Alberto Sols, Madrid. She got her phD in 2007 focussed on the study of the role of thyroid hormone receptor beta in tumorogenesis and metastasis. As postdoctoral training she studied the role of corepressors in anti-tumour effects of thyroid hormone receptor. In 2011, she was awarded by the prestigious AECC (Spanish Association against Cancer) postdoctoral fellowship to further investigate the role of NCoR corepressor in tumour growth and metastasis. Finally, in 2016 she joined to the group of epithelial plasticity and metastasis leaded by Dra Angélica Figueroa (INIBIC, A Coruña). At present she is involved in different projects focussed in the identification and study of novel targets and antitumor agents, in order to block tumour dissemination and metastasis formation. During all these years she has published 17 papers in journals as prestigious as PNAS, Cancer Res, Oncogene, MCB, Trends Endocr Metab and others. She was awarded with the Prize for the best Oral Communication in the 12th World Congress on Advances in Oncology (2008) and in 2015 she won the ESE Young Investigator Award of the European Endocrinology Society.

Andrea Diaz

Andrea Díaz Díaz, PhD Student

Ms. Andrea Díaz Díaz obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2014 and her master’s degree in Advanced Biotechnology and 2016, both from University of Vigo. She completed her Final Degree Project and her Master’s thesis in the group of Molecular Biomarkers of the University of Vigo with different collaboration scholarships. Andrea joined the Epithelial Plasticity and Metastasis Group in September 2015 under the supervision of Dra. Angélica Figueroa for a three-month stay to complete the Interuniversity Master in Advanced Biotechnology (from Vigo and A Coruña Universities), where she has started her doctoral thesis with an FPU scholarship contract under the co-direction of Dra. Figueroa and Dra. Esperanza Cerdán.  Her main goal is to identify and study novel diagnostic and/or prognostic tumour biomarkers in cancer.

Alba Casais Pais

Alba Casas Pais, PhD Student

Alba Casas Pais obtained her BSc in Biology at Universidade de Santiago de Compostela in 2014 and the MSc in Molecular, Cell Biology and Genetics at Universidade da Coruña (UDC) in 2016. During her Bachelor studies, she did a short-term internship in Neurogenetics lab at FPGMX (Santiago de Compostela). During her course of Masters studies, she did an internship as well as Master’s Dissertation in the Epithelial Plasticity and Metastasis research group at INIBIC (A Coruña), under the supervision of Dr. Angélica Figueroa. At present, she continues in her group as PhD student, working on the identification of new potential antitumor agents that could inhibit tumour dissemination and metastasis. She has also designed the logo of our group.

Daniel Roca Lema, PhD Student

Daniel Roca Lema is graduated in Biotechnology from the University of León (2010-2014), and got the Master in Innovation in Biomedical Sciences and Health (2015-2016) at the University of León with an internship at the Biomedical Institute of León (IBIOMED). He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Molecular Biology program (University of A Coruña). He developw his research work at the Institute of Biomedical Research of A Coruña (INIBIC) in the Epithelial Plasticity and Metastasis group under the direction of Dr. Angélica Figueroa.

Marta Pardo Piñon, Master Student

Marta Pardo got her bachelor’s degree at the University of A Coruña (2013-2017), and she spent her third year at the Autonomous University of Madrid awarded by a Seneca scholarship. During the summer of 2016, she developed her curricular practices in Tecnoambiente, an environmental management consultancy, focussed on the analysis of pollutants in water and soil. Currently, she studies a master’s degree in Molecular, Cellular and Genetic Biology at the University of A Coruña. In addition, she is in an internship and develops her final master project in the Epithelial Plasticity and Metastasis research group at INIBIC, under the supervision of Dra. Angélica Figueroa. Her research line is aim to search for novel regulator of Hakai expression during carcinoma progression.

Giovanni Colombo, Master Student

In 2016, he got his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Palermo. His final traineeship report was focussed on the study of genetic alterations in Anderson-Fabry disease” (Supervisor: Prof. G. Duro).  He started his Master in Molecular and Health Biology at the University of Palermo and in 2017 he joined Dra. Figueroa lab to study novel proteins involved in the link between cancer‐associated EMT and inflammation.

Clinical Researchers

  • Dr. Chantada (Urologist)
  • Dr. Martínez (Urologist)
  • Dr. Vázquez (Urologist)
  • Dr. Romay  (Colorectal surgeon)
  • Dr. Gómez  (Colorectal surgeon)
  • Dra. Iglesias (Pathologist)

Past Lab Members

Doctoral Students

  • Raquel Carballo Castosa (PhD student, 2013-2018)
  • Manuel Valladares Ayerbes (MD, PhD student, 2011-205)

Master Students

  • Tania Viñambres Sánchez (Master student, 2015-2016)
  • Alba Casas Pais (Master student, 2015-2016)
  • Carlos Arturo González Castañeda (Master student, 2014-2015)
  • Adrián Pérez Pérez (Master student, 2014-2015)
  • Inés Fernandez Abeledo (Master student, 2013-2014)
  • Marta Rodriguez Quiroga (Master student, 2012-2013)
  • Raquel Carballo Castosa (Master student. 2012-2013)
  • Vanessa Abella Cajigal (Master student, 2011-2012)
  • Teresa Rodriguez Rigueiro (Master student, 2009-2010)

Lab Visitors

Judit Campdepadros Barrios (Universidad de Lleida, 2017), Blanca Rodríguez González (Universidad de A Coruña, 2017), Ana Feijóo Buján (Universidad de A Coruña, 2017), Aida Inés Barreiro Alonso (Universidad de A Coruña, 2016), Paula Ramilo Regueira (Universidad de Alcalá, 2016), Andrea Díaz Díaz (Universidad de Vigo, 2015), Alberto Arias Vázquez (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 2014), Nuria Tarrío (Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, 2011), Raquel Carballo Castosa (Universidad de León, 2011)