Hochstadt Martínez

Ph.D. Student.
M of Mediterranean, macrophage, metastasis (and motomami, of course)

For sure my story in science as well ignites with me wondering the why and, especially, the how of nature. Since little, I loved to mix, squeeze out flowers, grind them or stir their juice to see the outcome of processing them without even knowing I was actually doing wet lab work. As I matured, I also wondered how to push the boundaries of nature’s processes (after knowing the why and how it works) to ensure the thriving of our societies.

For this reason, I graduated in Biotechnology at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) in 2022.  From the beginning, I already knew I wanted to focus on biomedicine, especially in the astonishing guts of cancer cells.  My studies provided me with the tools, first lab experiences and scope for process efficiency and critical thinking which helped me kick off my path in research. I also moved to Vienna while conducting my Erasmus+ and I stayed at the Vienna BioCenter (VBC). There I had a blast on what quality RESEARCH means to SOCIETY (as means to impact and improve it) and this reassured me that I was meant to do SCIENCE.

I dedicated the last years of my BSc research experience to studying new targets and targeted therapies for ovarian and breast cancer at the Medicine Faculty of Universitat de València – Estudi General. Despite the success of PARP inhibitors in the clinic, resistance still emerges and poses a challenge in the oncological practice. For this reason, MORE RESEARCH is needed. And let me give you a piece of advice: do not lose track of therapy approvals based on AXL or AURKA inhibitors ;).

After having gotten in touch with more clinically-oriented translational research, I decided to move to Madrid to undergo an MSc in Molecular Biomedicine at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and focus on the verge of cancer research while continuing doing science at Dr. Peinado’s group. At his laboratory, the Microenvironment and Metastasis lab, I focused on the interplay between the shedding of tumour-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs), DNA damage response (DDR) and its microenvironmental influence.

However, I wanted to go further into translational research and hence, there is nothing most leading in the pipeline than immunotherapy.

At this point, I crossed paths with Dr. Casanova-Acebes and her work to harness the understanding of innate immunity for clinical benefit. To be honest, its approach to cancer treatment captivated me since I am also convinced that the future of immunotherapy resides in the anti-tumoural innate immune response, conversely to restoring adaptative immunity. I am extremely thankful and also feel utterly privileged to, in my Ph.D., try to unveil and understand anti-tumour immunity along metastasis by tracing immune cell lineages (and their changes too).

Besides my innate curiosity, another driving force to become a cancer researcher is my grandmother. While I grew up, she faced breast cancer, followed by tamoxifen-induced endometrial cancer to in the end overcome triple-negative breast cancer, a true survivor.        Her precedent has taught me resilience and faith in scientific discovery, as she continues to shed light, inspiring me on my path while I continue my PhD and my life.

For me, science is key but I also significantly (*****) enjoy life by doing photography, learning languages and all its related literature classics, history and folklore as well as cooking (sort of a sane workaholic). And that’s a wrap for me (and thank you if you got until here)!

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.