Biomarkers and molecular signaling

Team

  • Principal Researcher: Ignacio Larráyoz
  • Postdoctoral Researcher: Rafael Peláez Cristobal
  • Predoctoral Researcher: Ana Pariente Delgado
  • Predoctoral Researcher: Álvaro Pérez Sala
  • Predoctoral Student: Oscar Rua Galisteo
  • Predoctoral Student: Ana Oca
  • Predoctoral Student: Alfonso Martín Carnicero
  • Predoctoral Student: Natalia Ávarez Bandres
  • Laboratory Technician: Rodrigo Ochoa Fernández

Research

Our research group is mainly oriented in:

  1. Search for new biomarkers that improve the diagnosis of high-impact diseases using new generation technologies ("-omics").
  2. Identification of the molecular mechanisms involved in high impact diseases which will allow to identify targets on which to develop and apply new treatments.

The use of biomarkers has led to a revolution in fields such as pharmacogenomics, which will allow, in the near future, to move towards personalized therapies. This line of research sets the basis for the use of these genomic techniques, for the first time in La Rioja, which can be applied to other areas of clinical research, including personalized diagnosis.

For the determination of new biomarkers the following process can be followed: Applying a drug to a group of patients, and determining those that respond appropriately to that treatment and those that do not.

By applying new generation technologies ("-omics") we try to obtain a pattern (eg, genetic) that is able to distinguish different groups of patients. This pattern will allow predicting which individuals will respond to this treatment and which will not, allowing the clinician to apply more personalized therapy. This pattern must be checked in an independent population and if the results obtained are as expected, the biomarker will be validated. An example of a commonly used biomarker is the expression of HER2 / Neu in breast cancer that is able to predict the success or failure of certain treatments.

The advantages offered by the biomarkers are, among others:

  1. Help improve prediction
  2. Discover new causes of illness
  3. Favor early diagnosis
  4. Monitor progression and regression
  5. Customize the treatment of the disease
  6. Assist in decision making by improving the risk / benefit ratio

General objectives:

  1. Define and standardize the methodology of analysis using -omics technologies. We will define isolation and sample processing protocols, experimental design (samples per group, how many groups...) and we will implant the latest ultrasequencing analysis protocols.
  2. Identify biomarkers in biological samples of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases and in particular Age-Associated Macular Degeneration that is the most important cause of blindness in the elderly in developed countries.
  3. Develop algorithms and statistical analysis protocols as well as global systems analysis to integrate the immense amount of data provided by the latest technologies.
  4. Analysis of expression patterns to establish detailed "interactomes" and deepen the knowledge of the physiological bases of pathologies related to the retina and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Other lines of research in progress:

  • Study of the mechanism of action of new therapies for AMD
  • Projects applied to health technology: 3D visualization and Virtual Reality Applications
  • Identification of prognostic factors by mass sequencing in locally advanced melanoma.
  • search of biomarkers and prognostic factors in colorectal cancer
  • Use cold as therapy against traumatic damage
  • Development of a prognostic and non-invasive tool for the prediction of the progression of breast cancer (Hyposens)

Principal Researcher

Ignacio Larráyoz

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Phone: + 34 941 278 770 (Ext.:89878)

Biosketch

Dr. Larráyoz graduated in Pharmacy at the University of Navarra in 1999. He later joined the Department of Physiology and Nutrition as an assistant professor to perform his doctoral thesis in the laboratory of Dr. Mª Pilar Lostao. There, he characterized various nucleoside transporters by electrophysiology techniques. After obtaining its doctorate in 2004, he completed a postdoctoral stay in that department.

In 2005 he joined the laboratory of Dr. Juan M. Saavedra (NIMH / NIH, Bethesda) as a postdoctoral researcher to characterize the inflammatory pathways and toxicity involved in the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) response.

In 2008 he joined the laboratory of Dr. Ignacio Rodríguez at the National Eye Institute (NEI / NIH) to explore the pro-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic pathways of oxidized lipids in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

In 2010, he returned to Logroño to work in the laboratory of Dr. Alfredo Martínez (CIBIR) to participate in a double-blind, randomized, unicentric phase II study comparing oral doxycycline versus placebo in patients with pterygium. In parallel, the mechanisms exerted by doxycycline were analyzed using mass generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatic methods.

Since 2012 he is accredited as Professor Titular by ANECA and is Associate Professor of the School of Nursing of the University of La Rioja where he teaches Biochemistry and Physiology.

He is currently the Principal Investigator of the Biomarker and Molecular Signaling Unit at CIBIR, applying the latest sequencing and molecular biology techniques to discover new biomarkers in high impact diseases.

Dr. Larráyoz received in 2005 the prestigious Visiting Fellow Award for his postdoctoral stays in the USA and recently obtained a “Contrato Miguel Servet” from the Institute of Health Carlos III. He has published more than 30 articles in national and international journals and two book chapters. He has also participated in 4 international patents.

Publications

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Work Team

Rafael Peláez Cristóbal

Rafael Peláez Cristóbal

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Phone: +34 941 278 770 (Ext.:84866)

Biosketch

Dr. Rafael Peláez Cristóbal, got his degree in Biology at University of Oviedo in 2004 and he finished his Ph.D. studies in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Oviedo (Asturias-Spain) in 2009. From 2010 up to 2014 he was working as Post Doctoral researcher in the Department of Oncology at CIMA (Centre for Applied Medical Research) supported by the Torres Quevedo program.

During his Ph.D., Rafael Peláez worked in genetic regulation of metabolism, particularly in the role of Hexokinase 2 (Hxk2) in the glucose repression pathway. He studied several aspects of the structural domains of the Hxk2, and its nucleo-citoplasmic traffic. In his postdoctoral stage in CIMA his main research area was the characterization of the role of integrins in the migration of lung cancer cells. He has also contributed to other projects, such as the characterization of Collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP-2) during cell mitosis of lung cancer cells, and 3D cell migration of cancer cells in microfluidic devices.

From 2014 to 2015 he was working as biotechnology researcher in BIOMASS BOOSTER, SL in projects related to the genetic transformation of plants for the increased production of biomass.

In this moment he is working as Post Doctoral researcher in the Biomarkers and Molecular Signaling group at CIBIR (Center for Biomedical Research of La Rioja), where he participates in projects to develop and optimize nanoparticles with therapeutic activity in cellular and murine models of age-related macular degeneration, retinal injury and cancer.

As result of his work he has published several articles in scientific journals of high impact, as well as communications in national and international congresses. He has received some prizes for the best communication (Roche poster award of the Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) and the extraordinary P.hD prize of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the year 2011. Along these years he has been meritorious to obtain a positive evaluation for Assistant Professor Contracts by the National Agency of Evaluation of Quality and Accreditation (ANECA).

Ana Pariente Delgado

Ana Pariente Delgado

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Phone: +34 941 278 770 (Ext.:84866)

Biosketch

Ana Pariente Delgado got her degree in Biotechnology in 2014 at the University of León.

During the last course, she developed her end-of-degree’s project at the Institute of Molecular Biology, Genomics and Proteomics (INBIOMIC) under the supervision of Dr. Fernández-Cañón.

Later, she obtained her Master Degree in Cancer Biology and Clinic at the Salamanca Cancer Research Center (2015), working in the laboratory of Dra. Sacristán.

In October of 2016, she joined as a pre-doctoral researcher in the Biomarker and Molecular Signaling group led by Dr. Larráyoz of the Biomedical Research Center of La Rioja (CIBIR).

Álvaro Pérez Sala

Álvaro Pérez Sala

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Phone: +34 941 278 770 (Ext.:84866)

Biosketch

He studied Computer Science at University of La Rioja where he was graduated in July 2014. While he was finishing his degree, he participated as part of the development team in the R&D project “Embedded engineering learning platform (E2LP)”. That project was financed by the European FP7 program.

Having reached the project finishing, in late 2014, he joined to Center for Biomedical Research of La Rioja (CIBIR) as R&D Software Engineer participating in IT health applied projects. In 2016 he started his biomedical engineering master degree at University of Basque Country combined with his work at CIBIR.

Now, he is working as Biomedical Engineer at CIBIR in IT health applications researching line.

Alvaro Pérez was recognized with the Prize for the Best Academic Record in Computer Science 2014 by the University of La Rioja. This year he also received the second prize for his end of degree project “Augmented Reality Interfaces Applications” by the Computer Engineering Association of La Rioja.

Oscar Rúa Galisteo

Oscar Rúa Galisteo

Assistant of ophthalmology, Hospital San Pedro

Phone: +34 941 278 855

Ana Oca

Ana Oca

Assistant of ophthalmology, Hospital San Pedro

Phone: +34 941 278 855

Alfonso Martin Carnicero

Alfonso Martin Carnicero

Phone: +34 941 298 000 (Ext.:81084)

Biosketch

Graduated in Medicine by the University of Salamanca (1999-2005).

Resident of medical oncology at the University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla of Santander (2006-2010).

Master's degree in support treatment and palliative care in the cancer patient by the University of Salamanca (2008-2009).

Master's degree in clinical and applied research in oncology by the University San Pablo CEU (2014-2015)

Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) by the University of Cantabria (2009)

Since 2010, he has been working in the medical oncology department of the Hospital San Pedro of Logroño, focusing his work on digestive tumors, gynecological tumors and melanoma.

Currently undertaking doctoral studies at the University of La Rioja.

Collaborator in several scientific projects of the Biomedical Research Center of La Rioja (CIBIR)

Natalia Álvarez Bandres

Natalia Álvarez Bandres

Rehabilitation Service Associate, Hospital San Pedro

Phone: +34 941 278 855

Rodrigo Ochoa Fernández

Rodrigo Ochoa Fernández

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Phone: +34 941 278 855 (Ext.:84866)

Biosketch

Rodrigo finished his vocational degree in Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory in 2005 and Anatomical Pathology and Cytology in 2008, making his practical training in the University of Cantabria, the University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla and the University of Portsmouth.

After a short period working in a biopharmaceutical company of cell therapy and in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Oviedo, he worked at the Department of Rheumatology of the University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla – IDIVAL and afterwards in the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (IBBTEC).

Recently he has joined to the Biomarkers and Molecular Signaling group in the Center for Biomedical Research of La Rioja (CIBIR).

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