de Juan

“Madriz, Madriz, Madriz”

I developed a keen interest for research, specifically in an inflammatory context, during my undergraduate degree. I had the great opportunity of working at the National Cardiovascular Center (CNIC) during my BSc thesis in the lab of Dr. Vicente Andrés, under the supervision of Oscar M. Pello. Even though it was a cardiovascular center, my project was about the role of the transcription factor c-Myc in macrophage polarization towards M2 phenotype and its relationship with tumor growth (I was about to be involved in a cancer project! There was the moment when I thought I was going to save the world…) I particularly enjoyed working in the field of immunology and I was interested in learning new techniques and improving my expertise, so I decided to pursue a Ph.D.

I am very grateful I could perform my Ph.D. thesis at the LMU in Munich, in the lab of Dr.Christoph Scheiermann. My project focused on uncovering how sympathetic innervation input controls rhythmic leukocyte trafficking into venules. Leukocyte recruitment into tissues -an essential step in the initiation of inflammatory processes- is temporally regulated by circadian rhythms and this is tightly controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. Nevertheless, venules are devoid of sympathetic innervation, yet they are the main site of leukocyte recruitment into tissues. The goal of my PhD project aimed to identify how adrenergic stimuli reach veins and ultimately, promote leukocyte extravasation into tissues to provide tissue immune defense. I found an important role of artery-associated sympathetic innervation in governing rhythmicity in vascular inflammation in both arteries and veins and its potential implications in the occurrence of time-of-day-dependent vessel type-specific thrombotic events. (I promised myself I was done with the circadian rhythms and here we are again!)

I joined the laboratory of Dr. Elodie Segura at the Institute Curie in Paris in August 2018. During my postdoctoral training I studied the role of AhR in two different contexts, AhR-IL-4 synergy in type 2 immunity and the modulation of anti-tumor immune responses in immuno-checkpoint therapy by AhR ligands from microbiota and nutrients. AhR is a ligand-activated transcription factor, and its TF activity drives diverse functions such as regulation of cell proliferation, adhesion and cell migration, and activation the immune system. AhR is widely expressed in both innate and adaptive immune cells and its activation has been associated to an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive role in innate and adaptative immunity either in steady-state conditions or in inflammatory scenarios. (To sum up, AhR is a super promiscuous receptor, involved in maaany, maaany processes!)

Combining my scientific and technical background in circadian biology together with my postdoctoral training in basic and tumor immunology makes a perfect fit to join the Cancer Immunity Laboratory led by Dr. Casanova-Acebes at CNIO. So excited for this new chapter to come! (And so glad to be back in Madriz… I have missed so so much the sun!).

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.