Alba Royo, Beatriz Parejo, Patricia Sancho, María Blasco, Marta Mascaraque, Isabel Villaoslada, Paula Martin and Pilar Espiau

Patricia Sancho, PhD: Principal Investigator

Patricia Sancho

I’m a Cellular Biologist, passionate about science and, especially, about cancer research.

I obtained by PhD in 2004 and moved to Paris (Pasteur Institute) for a first short posdoct. After that, I joined Dt. Isabel Fabregat´s lab in 2006 at IDIBELL (Barcelona, Spain). In 2012, I joined Prof. Heeschen´s group at CNIO (Madrid) as staff scientist. I started my independent career as a Lecturer at Barts Cancer Institute (London, UK) in 2014 and moved the lab to Zaragoza (IIS Aragón) in 2017.

Funding this group has been the most amazing adventure, and I feel grateful and proud of each one of its members. Team work is our most representative value!

Marta Mascaraque, PhD: postdoctoral researcher

Marta Mascaraque

I’m a doctor in molecular biosciences, specialized in tumor cell metabolism.

My adventure in the scientific community began in Dr. Ángeles Juarranz laboratory, where I obtained my doctorate in 2021 based on the study of metabolic reprogramming in the resistance cells to photodynamic therapy in skin cancer. In 2018 I was lucky enough to do a research stay with Dr. Markus Schobert at the NYU School of Medicine. I share my love for both science and music, being a flautist and music teacher in the last few years.

With all the knowledge that I have acquired and, with great expectations, I join this group as Postdoc, in which I hope to be able to share expertise and good times with my colleagues.

Beatriz Parejo-Alonso, Msc: PhD student

Beatriz Parejo

I’m an athlete member of the Spanish Softball National Team. I’ve graduated in Biomedical Science at University of Barcelona (UB) where I was born. I had the opportunity to be trained by Dr. Sancho in the area of cancer research at IDIBELL (Barcelona) a while ago when I was studying my 2-year specialty in Pathological Anatomy prior to start my university degree. In 2014 I moved to Bolonia (Italy) with an Erasmus scholarship to perform my degree project while I had the opportunity to play the Italian Softball League with Old Parma BSC. In 2016 I finished my masters studies at VHIR (Barcelona). A year later, I started this new and fresh adventure by joining Dr. Sancho’s lab first as a research technician and now doing my PhD!

Pilar Espiau-Romera, Msc: PhD student

Pilar Espiau

Since I was very young I have been interested in biology. At first it was in a general way to find out what would make everything work properly in nature. Later I was intrigued by the way in which human beings can take advantage of biology knowledge to improve their health. I was graduated in Biotechnology by the Universidad de Zaragoza. During my fourth degree course I participated in the Erasmus program in KU Leuven (Belgium), where developed  the thesis for my final degree project. During course 2019-2020, I did a Master on Molecular Biomedicine in the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). I did several summer practicums in Dr. Sancho´s lab, also my Master thesis on PDAC stratification and I was hired for 1,5 years as research technician. This year I started a pFIS predoctoral fellowship, so I am very excited to remain here for 4 years doing my PhD.

Alba Royo-García, Msc: PhD student

Alba Royo

I’m a Biochemist and Molecular Biologist and a Biotechnologist. Since I was a child I have been keen on science. I used to do home-made experiments pretending to be scientific. When I was in the high school I was passionate about biochemistry and particularly in the field of cancer. I was graduated in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology by the University Rovira i Virgili of Tarragona. I developed one of the final degree projects in Dr. Sancho’s laboratory. Afterwards, during the term of September 2020 – February 2021 I have done a post grade on Specialization in Research in Scientific Areas in the University of Zaragoza, whose practicums I did in Dr. Sancho’s lab. Later, I joined in her laboratory for 9 months from March 2021 until November 2021 as a research technician. In October 2021 I started the Master on Cellular and Molecular Biology in the University of Zaragoza, and I carried out my master’s final project in the group. Very recently, I obtained a predoctoral contract from the Spanish AECC, starting on September 2022. I am delighted to keep being part of this group!!

Isabel Villaoslada Casaled, Msc: PhD Student

Pursuing my interest in development a research career in Biomedicine, I graduated as a Biotechnologist at the University of Zaragoza in 2019. During my last year, I studied abroad with the Erasmus program at the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania where I developed my final bachelor thesis. Later I enrolled in the Master in Health Biotecnology at the Pablo de Olavide University. During my Master final thesis, I took part in a translational research group where I improved my knowledge in the field of clinical biotechnology in two different approaches, one of them related to laboratory techniques and a more clinical approach when working with direct patient samples. Motivated by my enthusiasm for contributing to the welfare of the society, I am currently doing my PhD in Dr. Sancho’s lab which consists in the development of tumor-on-chip platforms for studying new therapeutical approaches for PDAC treatment. For this reason, I am also working in a collaborative team with Dr. García Aznar’s group that specializes in microchip devices. I am grateful and looking forward to learning all I can in this new stage of my career!

Paula Martín-Rubio, Msc: lab technician

Paula Martin

Since I strongly believe that science is a powerful tool to improve society, I have led my career toward biomedical research. I graduated in Biotechnology from University of Zaragoza in 2018, and I obtained a master degree in Genetics and Evolution from University of Granada in 2020. During this academic period, I could participate in different projects, of which I would like to highlight my stay in the lab of the Genetics of Complex Diseases group of GENYO Centre, where I could perform my final master project, which was awarded with Honors. I’m also a passionate traveler, who loves discovering different countries and cultures. During my 4th course, I participated in a student exchange at National University of Litoral in Santa Fe, Argentina. I’ve recently joined Dr. Sancho’s lab to work on a project that use metabolism to find therapeutic targets for medulloblastoma. I’m looking forward to giving my best in this new opportunity! 

María Blasco-Montolio, Msc: lab technician

Maria Blasco

I’m a biologist specialized in the field of research, since I was a child, I wanted to become a scientist, so I decided to study biology. During my degree I became interested in molecular biology and cell function. Finally, I graduated in biology by the University of Córdoba. After that, I did a master’s degree on translational biomedical research also in the University of Córdoba. During this time, I did my master’s final project in Instituto Maimonides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba (IMIBIC) where I fully immersed myself in the world of scientific research. Then, when I graduated, I started my second master’s degree on biological sciences in the distance University of Madrid. Now, I’ve started a new work stage in Dr. Sancho’s lab for two years and I hope to give my best for the group in this great opportunity.

Former members of the group

Luis Mardomingo. Undergrad student (10/21-01/22). Bsc thesis: “Combination of chemotherapy and ALK receptor inhibitors to improve pancreatic cancer treatment outcomes”

Andrei Stoian. Msc student (03/21-08/21). Msc thesis: “Role of lipid droplets as chemoresistance mechanism in pancreatic cancer”.

Sarah Courtois, PhD. Postdoctoral Researcher (09/19-05/21)
Petra Jagust, PhD. PhD student (07/2014-06/2018) at BCI. PhD thesis: “Modulation of redox metabolism as a strategy of targeting pancreatic cancer stem cells”. Currently works as postdoc at Leonie Young´s group (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland).

Beatriz de Luxán-Delgado, PhD. Postdoc (03/2016-07/2017) at BCI.

Carmen Lorente. Research technician (07/18-11/18).

José Luis Aldea. Research Technician (09/19-03/20).

Former Msc and Bsc students

Nitin Sewani, Msc. Msc student (03/15-08/15). Msc thesis: “Drug Sensitivity Profiling of Metformin-Resistant Cancer (Stem) Cells”.

Andrés Cano, Msc. Msc student (10/15-06/16). Msc Thesis: “Single Cell Gene Expression Analysis of Circulating Tumour Cells from an orthotopic in vivo
model of human Pancreatic Cancer”.
Elia Marcos, Msc. Undergrad student (02/16-06/16). Bsc Thesis: “Differentiation state dictates sensitivity to oxidative stress in Pancreatic Cancer Cells”. Currently PhD student at Dr. Marta Nieto´s lab (CNB, Madrid).

Amy Rose Hudson. Undergrad student (09/16-02/17). Bsc thesis: “Cellular effects of the inhibition of the tyrosine kinase receptor ALK in Pancreatic Cancer”.

Hazel Santander. Undergrad student (10/17-06/18). Bsc thesis: ” Inhibition of lipid metabolism in primary cultures from pancreatic cancer patients”.
Alba Royo. Undergrad student (07/19-08/19). Bsc thesis: ” Inhibition of mitochondrial dynamics preferentially targets pancreatic cancer cells with enhanced tumorigenic and invasive potential”.
Alicia Lasierra. Msc student (02/20-06/20). Msc thesis: Relationship of mitochondrial dynamics with
aggressive phenotypes of pancreatic cancer:
pluripotency and migration

Former visiting students

Sara Compte-Sancerni. Erasmus visiting student (08/16-03/17).
Sergio Escalona-López, Msc. Erasmus visiting student (10/16-06/17).
Ansooya Bokil, Msc. Visiting researcher (10/18-01/19).
Lorena Marchio (01/09/19-28/02/20 & 01/09/20-19/10/20). PhD student at Prof. G. Gasparre´s laboratory (Bologne University)