Josep Tabernero, Director of VHIO, is responsible for developing and implementing the vision of VHIO, that is consistent with the mission and strategic objectives of the Foundation.
VHIO´s Director plays a key role in creating a nurturing research environment that encourages creativity and collaboration among scientists from different disciplines and organizations. He also promotes productive interactions among investigators, other national and international Institutes and hospitals, trustees, philanthropic foundations, industry and the broader research community.
Josep Tabernero holds MD and PhD degrees from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. He is currently the Head of the Medical Oncology Department at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona and the Director of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO).
He is very actively involved in translational research and pharmacodynamic phase I studies with molecular targeted therapies. He is especially devoted to phase I and II studies with pharmacodynamic endpoints with novel agents directed to the membrane receptors, like the EGFR-family and IGF-1R, the PI3K and ERK signalling pathways, as well as downstream cytoplasmatic and intranucleous effectors like Mdm2/p53 and aurora kinase.
Based on the idea that each tumor has an independent genetic identity, the group he is leading actively participates in the development of molecular therapies targeting specific oncoproteins, with the purpose of developing personalized therapies (e.g. against EGFR, HER2, BRAF, MEK, PI3K, Akt, mTOR or IGF1-R among others) for those patients displaying genetic lesions or pathway disregulation. One of the main objectives of the group is to identify new predictive markers of response to diverse treatments and to identify markers of primary resistance (de novo) and secondary treatment. At a preclinical level, his group develops new xenograft models with explant tumors from patients (“xenopatients”) in mice in order to mimic the patient’s disease and study the tumor development in optimized research models. It also leads a program devoted to the study of circulating biomarkers (detection and genotyping of circulating free DNA).
In addition, Dr. Tabernero is a member of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and different Editorial Boards including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Discovery, Clinical Colorectal Cancer and Annals of Oncology. He has (co) authored approximately 250 peer-reviewed papers. He has also been member of the Educational and Scientific Committees of the ESMO, ECCO, ASCO, AACR, AACR/NCI/EORTC, ASCO Gastrointestinal, and WCGIC meetings.