¡¡Financiación fresca para Psancholab en 2021!! // Fresh funding is coming in 2021 to Psancholab!!

[ES]

Estamos súperfelices de compartir con vosotros que nos han concedido financiación para empezar dos proyectos paralelos muy estimulantes en la búsqueda de nuevos biomarcadores metabólicos para clasificar pacientes de PDAC. ¡¡Nos mantendrán ocupadas desde el 2021 al 2023!!

El primero es un proyecto IDEAS SEMILLA de la AECC que durará desde Diciembre de 2020 a Noviembre de 2022. Este es un proyecto piloto, es decir un proyecto pequeño que servirá para recopilar los datos necesarios y crear los cimientos de otro más ambicioso. Gracias a esta financiación, vamos a estudiar el contenido de las vesículas extracelulares producidas por los tumores que usan glucosa o ácidos grasos como fuente de energía: ¿podemos distinguir el metabolismo principal de los tumores estudiando sus “desechos”?

El segundo es un proyecto FIS (Fondo de Investigación en Salud) del Instituto de Salud Carlos III que tendrá lugar desde enero de 2021 a diciembre de 2023. Como es nuestro segundo proyecto FIS seguido, significa que ahora somos un grupo con “financiación continuada” del Carlos III, lo cual es un signo muy positivo para cualquier laboratorio trabajando en investigación en salud en España. En este proyecto trataremos de clasificar a los pacientes de cáncer de páncreas según el metabolismo de sus tumores, así que primero necesitaremos identificar los principales subtipos metabólicos y cómo se comportan, para después encontrar biomarcadores asociados: ¿podemos predecir el comportamiento (agresividad, quimioresistencia) de un tumor si identificamos su metabolismo? Este estudio es de relevancia clínica puesto que las muestras a utilizar provendrán de biopsias de pacientes y nuestro equipo de trabajo es multidisciplinar: está formado por un cirujano, un oncólogo, tres patólogos y un técnico especialista del biobanco de Aragón, además de nosotras.

Sin embargo, este dinero se podrá utilizar solamente para material consumible y reactivos de laboratorio… El presupuesto para personal que incluimos en nuestra propuesta se ha recortado a cero, así que… no tenemos fondos para contratar a gente que trabaje en estos proyectos tan interesantes. Este es un problema constitutivo en el sistema de investigación español. ¿¿Te puedes imaginar un restaurante con platos, cacerolas, sartenes, ingredientes frescos de primera calidad y sin camareros, cocineros o pinches?? Pues así es como se supone que tenemos que trabajar en nuestro laboratorio. Por eso empezamos nuestra campaña en Precipita, para pedir ayuda a la sociedad para contratar a nuestros cocineros. Por favor, ¡¡considera ayudarnos!! Estamos poniendo toda nuestra fuerza en la campaña y ahora tenemos una nueva rifa y obsequios directos para nuestros donantes 🙂

#JuntosSomosMásFuertes

[EN]

We are extra happy to share that we have been awarded two different grants to start two parallel exciting projects on new metabolic biomarkers for PDAC patient classification!! They will keep us busy from 2021 until 2023!!

The first one is an IDEAS SEMILLA grant from AECC (Spanish Association Against Cancer), that will run from December 2020 to November 2022. This is a pilot grant, a small grant that will serve to build the foundation of a larger and more ambitious project in the future. This project aims to study the content of extracellular vesicles produced by tumors using either glucose or fatty acids as energy source: can we distinguish the main metabolism of tumors by studying their “waste”?

The second one is a FIS project (Health Research Fund) from the Spanish Health Institute Carlos III, that will run from January 2021 to December 2023. Since this is our second FIS project in a row, it means we are a lab with “continued funding” from Carlos III, a very positive label for any established research lab in Spain working in health research. This grant aims to classify patients depending on the metabolism of their pancreatic tumors, so we will identify the main cancer subtypes and how they behave, as well as biomarkers associated to them: can we predict the behaviour (aggressiveness, chemoresistance) of a tumor by identifying its metabolism? This study has high clinical relevance and, since samples will come from patients, the team becomes multidisciplinary: it is completed by a surgeon, an oncologist and 3 pathologist from our Hospital, besides us.

However, this money will be only used for expendable material and reagents… The budget for personnel we included in our budget has been cut out so… we don´t have any funds to hire people to work on these exciting projects. This is a constitutive problem in the Spanish research system. Can you imagine a restaurant with loads of dishes, pans, fresh ingredients and no waiters, cooks or assistants?? Well, that is how we are supposed to work in the lab. For that reason, we had to start our campaing in Precipita and ask the society to help us hire our cooks. Please, consider helping us!! We are putting all our strengh in the campaign and now we have a new raffle and direct gifts for our donors 🙂

#WeAreStrongerTogether

¡Nueva rifa solidaria y regalos directos! // New raffle and direct gifts!

[ES]

Tenemos noticias frescas que compartir con vosotros

Primero, ¡¡ya tenemos nuestro primer ganador del sorteo!! El pack, donado generosamente por la Federació Catalana de Beisbol i Sofbol (FCBS), ya tiene dueñx, que ha preferido mantener su anonimato. ¡¡¡Muchas felicidades!!! Enviaremos este y los siguientes premios al final de la campaña.

¡¡Pero aquí no acaba todo!! Aún tienes la oportunidad de ganar otro pack de material formado por una camiseta de Catalunya Beisbol y una gorra de la FCBS. Como en el sorteo anterior, cada 5 euros donados a nuestra campaña te dan una participación en la rifa que estará en marcha hasta el día 22 de Agosto. ¡¡No te lo pierdas!!

Por último, pero no menos importante… Hace unos días anunciamos que Pasteleria Tolosana nos dio la maravillosa noticia de querer colaborar con nuestra causa. ¡¡Estamos muy orgullosas de esta colaboración en que la ciencia y la empresa aragonsesas van de la mano para aunar fuerzas!! Y no podemos estar más contentas, ya que nos propusieron regalar este fantástico pack de maridaje de vino dulce y Trenza de AlmudévarR (un dulce típico aragonés muy, muy rico) a todos aquellos participantes que donen 150 euros o más a nuestra campaña. ¡No pierdas la oportunidad de apoyar a la investigación en cáncer de páncreas y disfrutar de este fantástico capricho!

Regalo en agradecimiento para las donaciones a partir de 150€ desde el 01/08/2020 y hasta fin de existencias.

[EN]

We have some exciting news to share with you

First, we have our first raffle winner!! The first pack kindly donated by the Catalan Baseball and Softball Federation (FCBS) already has an owner, who requested to keep their anonimity. Congratulations!!! We will send this prize together with the upcoming ones at the end of the campaing.

But… this is not the end!! you have the chance to win another pack containing a Catalunya Baseball T-shirt and a FCBS cap. As for our previous raffle, each 5 euros donated to our campaing will give you a number to participate in this raffle, running until August 22nd. Don´t miss it!!

And last but not least… We announced a few days ago that Pasteleria Tolosana is colaborating with us!!! We are very proud of this colaboration in which science and business from Aragon move together!! And we couldn’t be happier since one of the ways they are contributing to our crowdfunding is by donating this amazing pack containing sweet wine and a Trenza de AlmudévarTM (typical sweet in Aragon that is so, so good) to any person donating 150 euros or more!!! Don´t miss this fantastic opportunity to support pancreatic cancer research while enjoying this amazing treat!

Appreciation gift to all donations from 150€ from 08/01/2020 and until end of stock.

Con el patrocinio de / Sponsored by: Pastelería Tolosana y Federació Catalana de Beisbol i Softbol

Support our research!!!

We have created a crowdfunding campaing through the Spanish platform PRECIPITA. Our goal is to get funds to support our PhD student Bea Parejo, whose contract finishes by the end of september. This means 25% of the lab!!

Our reasearch aims to understand the role of fat for pancreatic cancer aggressiveness. We have observed that the cells with high capacity of forming new tumors in the pancreas or in other organs, can acumulate and metabolize fatty acids. This makes them completely independent from the environment, since they can use their own fat stores if there are not enough nutrients around!

We aim to understand this process and find new therapies to starve these aggressive cells to death: we can either block fatty acids import from the environment or we can let them store the fat but block its metabolism. This leads to the creation of fatty cells, which cannot move and eventually die!

Check out the official video of the campaing! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGyNeElL8t8&t=6s

We need your support!! Collaborate with us!!

The webpage for donations is only in Spanish, but we can guide you through the process!!

Back to life after covid-19

Hi everyone! These last months have been challeging for many of us. We´ve been so overwhelmed that we never even updated our web! This post aims to be a quick compilation of main changes happening in the lab.

I´ll little by little update this post with the following topics:

-We had the chance to spend several weeks with our visiting researcher Pilar Acedo 🙂

From left to right: Beatriz Parejo, Sarah Courtois, Pilar Acedo, Alicia Lasierra and Lorena Marchio

-Almost at the same time we said goodbye to Lorena and Jose 😦 . We will miss you soooo sooo much.

Bea, Lorena & Sarah… Cheers!!

-We had in the lab (remotely most of the time) two wonderful Msc students: Alicia and Pilar, who has joined us as a technician replacing Jose.

Clockwise: Beatriz Parejo, Alicia Lasierra, Pilar Espiau & Sarah Courtois

-We worked from home since March 16th to May 11th… and coming back felt soooooo good!! even with the masks!!

Bea, Pilar & Sarah

-We have collaborated in 2 amazing papers just published in Nature Communications: one dissecting the role of stromal FAK in cancer metabolism with Kairbaan Hodivala-Dilke (Barts Cancer Institute, London, UK) and the other describing how ISG15 contributes to mitochondrial health in pancreatic CSCs, with Bruno Sainz Jr (IIB, Madrid, Spain)

-We have some new funding coming!! This is part of the making of! Stay tunned for updated information!!

Team work-zombie survival!

Our group is commited to keep a healthy work environment and strenghen our team spirit. For that reason, we decided to go and kill some zombies at a virtual reality game!! We had loads of fun and learn a bit more about ourselves working together under a lot of pressure!! An experience to repeat soon!!

#WorldCancerDay 2020

On February 4th we celebrate World Cancer Day to raise awareness, improve education and take action. We all have a role to play in reducing the global impact of cancer!

This year’s theme is ‘I Am and I Will’, a campaing to impulse our commitment to act. We have decided to join this movement from the lab by creating a poster and a video, that we hope you enjoy! You can find the video below. Check it out!

#SinCAPA-First National Pancreatic Cancer Researchers Symposium

Better late than never!! This post is a summary of the First National Pancreatic Cancer Researchers Symposium that we organised together with Pilar Martín Duque, Roberto Pazo and Antonio Antón in Zaragoza on November 21st to celebrate the World Pancreatic Cancer Day. 124 participants (29 speakers/chairs+95 attendants) and a lot of great science concentrated in one day! Our main objective was to create a forum in which different researchers interested in pancreatic cancer can share knowledge, materials and points of view. We had great talks both from the basic and the clinical point of view.

You can find the program here:

Pilar Navarro from IMIM opened the symposium talking about interactions between tumor and stroma
Round table and discussion of the second session. From left to right: Manuel Hidalgo, Patricia Sancho, Pilar Martín-Duque, Valeria Grazú, Sonia Melo, Héctor Peinado, Julián Pardo and Jorge Adeva
Patients´perspective session chaired by Roberto Pazo. Representatives from ACANPAN and AECC, as well as a patient who shared her batle with this disease offered a different point of view of research in pancreatic Cancer.
@psancholab at the photocall stand
@psancholab at the Patio de la Infanta Building, where the symposium took place

You can find a complete summary of the activities in the simposium in the following file (in Spanish)

SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!!

DOCTORAL INPhINIT FELLOWSHIPS PROGRAMME – INCOMING

We offer an exciting PhD project for the INPhINIT PhD fellowships programme from “La Caixa” Foundation. The phylosophy of the programme is the attraction of outstanding students of any nationality for a PhD in Spain or Portugal, offering them an integral formative programme in centres of research excellence.

The candidate will join a young and vibrant research group devoted to the study of pancreatic cancer metabolism, focusing on CSC-targeting therapeutic strategies. The present project involves the study of the role of lipid storage and mobilization for CSCs adaptation to the changing and challenging conditions characteristic of tumor progression and metastasis. We aim to analyze the specific role of lipid uptake, storage and mobilization for tumor progression in order to identify and validate the most effective and readily translatable CSC-targeting strategies. For that purpose, the candidate will work with PDAC patient-derived material from solid and liquid biopsies both in vitro and in vivo.

The candidate will use a broad range of cellular and molecular biology techniques, including 3D cultures of tumor-derived cells, co-culture with stromal cells, isolation of rare subpopulations by FACS sorting and metabolic/metabolomics assays, as well as in vivo experiments involving tumorigenicity and metastasis assays. We are currently collaborating with 2 different groups located in the UK, so opportunities for short stages in those labs will be available during the completion of the PhD.

Desired skills of the candidates are: MSc in any Biomedicine-related discipline, knowledge of basic cellular and molecular techniques, knowledge of cellular metabolism, and experience in cancer research.

Celebrating the #WorldCancerResearch Day at the AECC 2019 Award Ceremony

We were invited to the AECC 2019 Award Ceremony to officially receive the Worldwide Award. This ceremony takes place every year on September 24th, the World Cancer Research Day, to acknowledge the role of scientific research in the improvement on cancer patients outcomes. The public ceremony, chaired by the Spanish Queen Letizia and the president of AECC, reviewed the position of Spanish research in the cancer field in Europe.

Our lab featured during Dr. Peinado´s presentation
With the Queen Letizia

Later on, there was a private ceremony in which all the awardees were offered a personalised commemorative painting by the main representatives of the AECC.