Lung Cancer and Respiratory Diseases

Team

  • Principal Researcher: José Manuel García Pichel
  • Postdoctoral Researcher: Icíar Paula López García
  • Predoctoral Student: Elvira Alfaro Arnedo
  • Predoctoral Student: Alfredo Urtubia Negueruela
  • Laboratory Technician: Marta Canalejo González
  • Collaborators:
    • Carlos Ruiz
    • Alejandra Roncero

Research

The Lung Cancer and Respiratory Diseases Unit focuses its research on studying altered cellular and molecular mechanisms in respiratory diseases, including lung cancer, asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), pneumonia and pulmonary fibrosis. These pathologies have high mortality and morbidity rates, and many lack effective treatments. Given their chronicity and high incidence, they generate high healthcare costs and absenteeism from work.

The main interest of the Unit is in investigating the implication of the proteins of the IGFs system (Insulin-like Growth Factors) in homeostasis and pathologies of the respiratory system. Specifically, their possible clinical utility is explored either as biomarkers that facilitate, speed up and improve early diagnoses and prognoses, or as molecular targets for the design of new treatments, where the main IGF receptor protein (IGF1R or Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 Receptor) appears as a therapeutic target of great interest. To carry out this research, the Group uses in vitro cell cultures, and pharmacological or genetically modified animal models (such as IGF1R-deficient mice) that allow studies at the molecular, cellular and physiological level under well-controlled experimental conditions. Furthermore, in collaboration with the Pneumology and Pathological Anatomy Services of the local Hospital (Logroño), they study IGFs in samples obtained from patients with respiratory diseases. More recently, in collaboration with the Group of Organometallic Molecular Materials of the University of La Rioja, they also explore the use of new photoactive compounds and nanomaterials with theranostic use (therapy and diagnosis) in cancer.

Goals

The general objectives of the Unit are:

  1. Study the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying respiratory diseases in which IGFs participate.
  2. Identify new prognostic and diagnostic markers for respiratory diseases, specifically IGFs proteins and their regulators.
  3. Assess whether IGF1R, the receptor for IGFs, is a useful therapeutic target for the development of therapeutic strategies in respiratory pathologies.
  4. Explore the use of new photoactive nanomaterials for theranostic applications in cancer.

Other research lines

  • Study of the role of IGF1R in metabolism, diabetes and aging.
  • Development of experimental models in regenerative medicine of the respiratory system.

Principal Investigator

José Manuel García Pichel

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: + 34 941 278 874 (Ext.:89874)

Biosketch

Born in Santiago de Compostela (Spain, 1962), he graduated from this University (1985), in which he was an Assistant Professor (1989-91), and obtained a Ph. D. in Biological Sciences (1990). As a post-doctoral researcher at NIH (Bethesda, MD. USA), he worked for almost six years in the Group of Dr. H. Westphal (NICHD, NIH). There he became familiar with the use of different methodologies of transgenesis in mice, used to study how oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes act during the oncogenic process, and how growth factors regulate organogenesis during embryonic development. Some of these animal models are still widely used as in vivo genetic modification tools.

In 1996 he returned to the CIB (CSIC, Madrid), where he focused on studying the role of insulin-related growth factors (IGFs) in lung development. After passing through the Hospital de Mérida (Badajoz), as a FIS Investigator in the oncology field, in 2002 he moved to the CIC (Cancer Research Center) (USAL/CSIC) in Salamanca, as a Ramón y Cajal Researcher (CSIC). At CIC he led a research group on mechanisms of action of growth factors and their receptors in lung development and lung cancer.

Since 2009, Dr. García Pichel as a PI directs the Lung Cancer and Respiratory Diseases Research Unit at the CIBIR (Logroño), where he investigates the implication of IGFs in lung diseases, for which he has competitive funding. With his group, he has generated animal models to study the role of IGFs in the homeostasis of the respiratory system and other organs. Among others, it collaborates with the Pneumology and Pathological Anatomy Service of the local Hospital for studies of Molecular Pathology in samples of patients with respiratory diseases, and with Groups of the University of La Rioja in nanoteranostic applications of new photoactive materials.

He has represented Spain in international panels in COST (European Cooperation in Science & Technology) committees, and since 2019 he is a collaborating researcher at CIBERER-ISCIII (CIBERES). He has published numerous articles in high impact international scientific journals. In addition, he teaches a Master's degree at the University of La Rioja, trains undergraduate, master and Ph.D. students, and has directed and directs several doctoral theses. He is an active member of the scientific and medical societies SEBBM/FEBS and SEPAR/ERS. Of the SEBBM he was consul for La Rioja (2016-20), and now he is the Treasurer (2020).

Publications

 

ncbi

orcid

 

Work Team

Icíar Paula López García

Icíar Paula López García

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +34 941 278 770 (Ext.:84880)

Biosketch

Born in Madrid (Spain), Icíar P. López García studied at the University of Navarra (Pamplona), where she graduated in Biology (1998) and Biochemistry (1999), and later obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry under the supervision of Dr. Carlos de Miguel (2004). Later, she joined the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA, University of Navarra, Spain) where she has participated in post-doctoral projects in the neuroscience field, focusing mainly on the study of neurodegenerative diseases, such as schizophrenia (Torres-Quevedo contract) and Parkinson´s disease (CIBER-NED Contract).

Since January 2010, she is a postdoc at the Unit of Lung Cancer and Respiratory Diseases (CIBIR) as an expert in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Morphology Techniques, where she investigates the implication of IGFs in pulmonary homeostasis and pathophysiology of lung diseases.

She has published articles in international scientific journals, teaches a master's degree at the University of La Rioja (Logroño), has trained and trains undergraduate, master and Ph.D. students, and currently co-directs two doctoral theses. She is an active member of the SEPAR/ERS and the SEBBM/FEBS scientific and medical societies. Since 2020 she is consul of the SEBBM for La Rioja.

Publications

 

ncbi

orcid

 

Elvira Alfaro Arnedo

Elvira Alfaro Arnedo

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +34 941 278 770 (Ext.:84880)

Biosketch

Born in Calahorra (La Rioja), Elvira graduated in Pharmacy from the University of Navarra (Spain) in 2014. Since September 2016, she has been a Ph.D. student in the CIBIR Lung Cancer and Respiratory Diseases Unit under the supervision of Drs. José G. Pichel and Icíar P. López, and since April 2018 she has been hired by the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC). Her doctoral thesis deals with the involvement of the IGF receptor (IGF1R) in the tumor microenvironment and the establishment of metastases in the lung, as well as the effectiveness of the pharmacological blockade of IGF1R in asthma, using animal models. It also collaborates in other projects, such as the testing of new nanomaterials as theranostics.

Alfredo Urtubia Negueruela

Alfredo Urtubia Negueruela

Biosketch

Born in Logroño (Spain), Alfredo graduated in Biotechnology from the University of León (Spain), after obtaining a degree in Agricultural Technical Engineering from the University of La Rioja (Spain). He subsequently obtained a Master's degree in Systems Biology from the University of Edinburgh (UK). Since October 2018 he is a Ph.D. student at the CIBIR Lung Cancer and Respiratory Diseases Unit under the supervision of Drs. José M García Pichel and lcíar P. López, contracted by the Riojano Innovation Service (Government of La Rioja). His doctoral project deals with the involvement of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in respiratory diseases, mainly COPD, investigating their mechanisms of action, in search for possible therapeutic targets, as well as evaluating components of the IGF system as biomarkers in COPD.

Marta Canalejo González

Marta Canalejo González

Biosketch

Marta got her title as Technician in Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory in 2012 (Gijón, Spain), completed her training at the Hospital Valle del Nalón, and as a Chemical Plant Operator (2015, Asturias, Spain). Since 2017 she was accredited for type A and B animal experimentation (Animalaria, Madrid). From 2016 to 2018 she worked in the Research Support Service at IBAD (CSIC/ Pamplona, Spain), where she developed her skills with OMGs, since 2017 as a Block Head. Since 2018 she has worked in the Infectious Diseases, Microbiota and Metabolism Unit at the CIBIR (Logroño), where she has increased her skills and knowledge in the molecular analysis of mouse and patient samples. Since August 2019, she is a Laboratory Technician in the Lung Cancer and Respiratory Diseases Unit (CIBIR), performing genotyping and management of GMO experimental animals, and molecular and histopathological analysis of mouse and patient samples.

Carlos Ruiz

Carlos Ruiz

Hospital San Pedro, Logroño. Pneumology Service, Head

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +34 941 298 000 (Ext.: 88862)

Alejandra Roncero

Alejandra Roncero

Hospital San Pedro, Logroño. Pneumologist

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +34 941 298 000 (Ext.: 88862)

Collaborators

© 2021 Rioja Salud - C/ Piqueras, 98 – 3ª Planta · 26006 · Logroño · La Rioja · Telf.: 941 278 855 · Fax: 941 278 887