A summary of how I got to run a research lab, and why I do this for a living.

I started studying immunology because at college I was impressed by the fine-tuning of this system. At that time, I was not aware and did not even foresee that a revolution in oncology was about to happen, the blooming of immunotherapy for cancer treatment.

I graduated in Biological Sciences at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 2006. I received my Ph.D. with honors in 2015 which I carried out under the supervision of an excellent scientist, Dr. Andrés Hidalgo at CNIC (Madrid, Spain), who trained me to be creative, curious, and “to never give up”. During my thesis, we uncover the mechanisms by which neutrophil aging modulates the hematopoietic stem and progenitor bone marrow niche ( And all this process is regulated by circadian rhythms, those that I lost while doing my thesis.

I joined Dr. Miriam Merad’s laboratory in 2016 for my postdoc. I never met someone like Miriam before, she takes every biological dogma and tears it apart. Fascinated by her “will to make breakthrough discoveries” I moved to the Tisch Cancer Institute at ISMMS (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai) to develop 2 projects that shaped my brain radically. First, we identified a transcription factor RXRa which is required to maintain macrophage identity in serosal cavities upon retinoid acid signaling. And then, we observed that peritoneal cavity macrophages can migrate intracelomically, into ovarian tumors ( My love and passion for macrophages started back then. In my second project, we uncovered how embryonic macrophages determine lung cancer inception and promote EMT as well as immunosuppression via the maintenance of regulatory T cells ( BOOM! Never thought embryo macs will regulate these 2 independent axes!

Now as Junior PI at CNIO, my goal is to further understand how tumors shape myeloid cell function. For this, we take advantage of not only cutting-edge technologies (single-cell RNA sequencing and spatial transcriptomics) but also functional in vivo and in vitro myeloid cell testing experiments.

I love doing experiments, and academic life, but if I have to choose one of the things, I love the most about my job is to train students to become critical thinkers.

I am also in love with my kids, I enjoy making up crazy stories with them and playing spies. Among other hobbies I love reading, walking into nature, and riding my bike (but I must confess I barely have time for hobbies lately ;(, which is definitely too bad!).

You want to know our projects

A summary of the major ideas we are developing in the laboratory. Following the data as we follow myeloid cells, projects are dynamically evolving, so stay tuned for updates in the NEWS section.