PRECLINICAL RESEARCH
Mouse Models of Cancer Therapy

LAURA SOUCEK

LAURA SOUCEK
Principal Investigator
Biosketch

STRATEGIC GOALS

  • Design and characterize new cell penetrating peptides for cancer therapy.
  • Pre-clinically validate a new generation of Omomyc-based peptides as a therapeutic strategy in melanoma, multiple myeloma, breast, brain, and lung cancer.
  • Determine the therapeutic effect of Myc inhibition in breast cancer metastasis.
  • Define the role of Myc inflammatory effectors in tumorigenesis and tumor maintenance.

CURRENT OBJECTIVES

  • Modeling Myc inhibition in mouse models of lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and glioma.
  • Designing and validating the therapeutic impact of anti-Myc peptides in vitro and in vivo.
  • Comparing and contrasting potential Myc inhibitors in mouse models of cancer (lung cancer, glioma, metastatic breast cancer, melanoma and multiple myeloma).
  • Studying the effects of Myc inhibition on the immune response and tumor microenvironment.
  • Evaluate mast cells inhibition for the treatment of melanoma and breast cancer.
  • Determine the therapeutic impact of anti-inflammatory drugs in melanoma and breast cancer.

TEAM

Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group
  • Principal Investigator
    • Laura Soucek
  • Staff Scientist
    • Jonathan R. Whitfield
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    • Mariano F. Zacarias
  • Graduate Students
    • Toni Jauset González
    • Sandra Martínez Martin
    • Daniel Massó Vallés
  • Technicians
    • Virginia Castillo Cano
    • Erika Serrano del Pozo

Most relevant scientific publications

  • ERC (European Commission) Proof-of-Concept Grant. Title: “Developing an anti-Myc cell-penetrating peptide for cancer treatment”. 2016-2017. Role: PI
  • Peptomyc received a grant from the Catalan Agency for Trade and Investment (ACCIÓ), for the project “Pre-clinical development of OmomycCPP: characterization of the immune response”. 2016. Role: PI
  • Peptomyc was awarded a “Seal of Excellence” and an SME Instrument Phase I by the European Commission within the Horizon2020 Program. Title: “Feasibility study of a novel treatment for cancer based on a recombinant peptide Therapy”. 2016. Role: PI
  • BBVA Foundation Grant in Biomedicine. Title: “Validation of an innovative anti-Myc therapy in glioblastoma”. 2015-2017. Role: PI
  • FERO fellowship for a nanotechnology project: “Treating metastatic breast cancer with Omomyc-based nanoparticles”. 2015-2016. Role: PI
  • Grant for Emerging Research Group of Catalunya from the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR). 2014-2016. Role: PI
  • ERC (European Commission) Consolidator Grant. Title: “Pushing Myc inhibition towards the clinic”. 2014-2019. Role: PI
  • Instituto de Salud Carlos III: Proyectos FIS de Investigación en Salud. Title: “Advancing Myc inhibition towards the clinic for the treatment of lung cancer”. 2014-2017. Role: PI
  • Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) Grant. Title: “Advancing Myc inhibition towards the clinic: characterization of an Omomyc cell-penetrating peptide”. 2013-2016. Role: PI
  • 2015: First prize in the Competition for Innovation by VHIR, Barcelona, Spain. Title: “Pushing Myc inhibition to the clinic using cell penetrating peptides”. The project aims at developing a new therapeutic option for patients with cancer by targeting Myc protein with an inhibitor peptide, Omomyc, a new pharmaceutical entity. Role: PI
    2013-2014: Bayer “Grants4Targets” Initiative. Title: “Pushing Myc inhibition towards the clinic”.
  • FERO Fellowship. Project: “Targeting Myc in tumors and microenvironment”. 2011-2013. Role: PI
  • Miguel Servet fellowship from FIS, Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo. Project “Inhibiting Myc and Myc dependent inflammatory response as cancer therapies” . 2011-2014. Role: PI
  • Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation: Grant awarded to support an outstanding young investigator in pediatric cancer research. Subject: Modeling Myc therapeutic potential in vivo. 2009. Role: PI
  • AACR award “Future Leaders, New directions” for outstanding early-career scientists in cancer research. 2008
  • Keystone Symposia scholarship. 2007
  • Research fellowship from Fondazione Adriano Buzzati-Traverso, Rome, Italy: Competitive award for Postdoctoral students in Cancer Biology. Subject: The role of Myc as transcriptional activator and repressor. 2002
  • Post doctoral CNR fellowship, Rome, Italy: Competitive award meant to cover the salary of young investigators willing to gain research experience in a foreign country. Aim: Design of two different mouse models expressing a Myc dominant negative transgene, Omomyc. 2001
  • Research fellowship from Associazione Italiana Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC), Rome, Italy: Competitive award for young investigators in Cancer Biology. Subject: Interfering with Myc effect on chromatin structure. 2001
  • Centro Nazionale di Ricerca (CNR) fellowship for PhD students, Rome, Italy: Competitive award for Students in the Genetics and Molecular Biology PhD Program. Subject: Design of a Myc dominant negative to be used in tumor cell lines. 1998
  • Research fellowship for graduate students from the Fondazione Adriano Buzzati-Traverso, Rome, Italy: Competitive Pre-Doctoral award in Cancer Biology. The main aim of this project was to investigate the dimerization specificity of bHLHZip proteins. 1997.
  • Agenzia per il DIritto agli Studi Universitari (ADISU) Recognition Award for best students in Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, Rome, Italy. 1995

All publications

  • Massó-Vallés D, Jauset T, Soucek L. Ibrutinib repurposing: from B cell malignancies to solid tumors. Oncoscience. 2016 Jun 10;3(5-6):147-8.
  • Fiorentino FP, Tokgün E, Solé-Sánchez S, Giampaolo S, Tokgün O, Jauset T, Kohno T, Perucho M, Soucek L, Yokota J. Growth Suppression by MYC Inhibition in Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells with TP53 and RB1 Inactivation.  Oncotarget. 2016 May 24;7(21):31014-28.
  • Daniel Massó-Vallés, Toni Jauset and Laura Soucek. Ibrutinib repurposing: from B cell malignancies to solid tumors. Oncoscience. Onlibe Advanced Publication DOI: 10.18632/oncoscience.310. Editorial.
  • Francesco Paolo Fiorentino, Elvan Tokgün, Sònia Solé-Sánchez, Sabrina Giampaolo, Onur Tokgün, Toni Jauset, Takashi Kohno, Manuel Perucho, Laura Soucek, Jun Yokota. Growth Suppression by MYC Inhibition in Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells with TP53 and RB1 Inactivation. Oncotarget. 2016 Apr 18. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.8826. [Epub ahead of print] Article.
  • Stephanie C. Casey, Monica Vaccari, Fahd Al-Mulla, Rabeah Al-Temaimi, Amedeo Amedei, Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, Dustin Brown, Marion Chapellier, […], Sandra Ryeom, Hosni K. Salem, Ivana Scovassi,  Neetu Singh, Laura Soucek, Louis Vermeulen, Jonathan R. Whitfield, Jordan Woodrick, Annamaria Colacci, William H. Bisson, and Dean W. Felsher. Assessing the Carcinogenic Potential of Environmental Chemicals: The Tumor Microenvironment. Carcinogenesis. 2015 Jun;36 Suppl 1:S160-83. Review.
  • Daniel Massó-Vallés, Toni Jauset, Erika Serrano, Nicole M. Sodir, Kim Pedersen, Nesrine I. Affara, Jonathan R. Whitfield, Marie-Eve Beaulieu, Gerard I. Evan, Laurence Elias, Joaquín Arribas and Laura Soucek. Ibrutinib exerts potent anti-fibrotic and anti-tumor activity in mouse transgenic and patient derived xenograft models of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Cancer Res. 2015 Apr 15; 75(8): 1675-1681. Article.
  • Daniela Annibali, Jonathan R Whitfield, Emilia Favuzzi, Toni Jauset, Erika Serrano, Isabel Cuartas, Sara Redondo-Campos, Gerard Folch, Alba Gonzàlez-Juncà, Nicole M Sodir, Daniel Massó-Vallés, Marie-Eve Beaulieu, Lamorna B Swigart, Margaret M Mc Gee, Maria Patrizia Somma, Sergio Nasi, , Joan Seoane, Gerard I Evan, and Laura Soucek. Myc Inhibition as a Therapeutic Strategy Against Glioma: a Role for Myc in Proficient Mitosis. Nat Communications. 2014 Aug 18;5:4632. Article.
  • Laura Soucek, Jonathan R. Whitfield, Nicole M. Sodir, Daniel Massó-Vallés, Erika Serrano, Anthony N. Karnezis, Lamorna Brown Swigart and Gerard I. Evan. Inhibition of Myc family proteins eradicates KRas-driven lung cancer in mice. Genes Dev. 2013 Mar 1;27(5):504-13. Article.
  • Whitfield J, Soucek L. Tumor microenvironment: becoming sick of Myc. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012, 69(6), 931-934. Review.
  • Nicole M Sodir, Lamorna Brown Swigart, Anthony N Karnezis, Douglas Hanahan, Gerard Evan and Laura Soucek. Endogenous Myc maintains the tumor microenvironment. Genes Dev. 2011 May 1;25(9):907-16. Epub 2011 Apr 8. Article.
  • Andrew Finch*, Laura Soucek*, Melissa Junttila, Lamorna Brown Swigart and Gerard I. Evan. Acute over-expression of Myc in intestinal epithelium recapitulates some but not all the changes elicited by Wnt/β-catenin pathway activation. Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Oct;29(19):5306-15. Epub 2009 Jul 27. Article. *Joint first authors
  • Laura Soucek, Jonathan Whitfield, Carla P. Martins, Andrew J. Finch, Nicole M. Sodir, Lamorna Brown Swigart, Sergio Nasi and Gerard I. Evan. Modelling Myc inhibition as a cancer therapy. Nature. 2008 Oct 2;455(7213):679-83. Epub 2008 Aug 17. Article.
  • Soucek L, Lawlor ER, Soto D, Shchors K, Swigart LB, Evan GI. Mast cells are required for angiogenesis and macroscopic expansion of Myc-induced pancreatic islet tumors. Nat Med. 2007 Oct;13(10):1211-8. Epub 2007 Sep 30. Article.
  • Maria A. Christophorou, Dionisio Martin-Zanca, Laura Soucek, Elizabeth Lawlor, Emmy Verschuren, Lamorna Brown-Swigart and Gerard I. Evan. Temporal dissection of p53 function in vitro and in vivo.Nature Genetics. 2005 Jul;37(7):718-26. Article.
  • Laura Soucek, Sergio Nasi, and Gerard Evan. Omomyc expression in skin prevents Myc-induced papillomatosis. Cell Death Differ. 2004 Sep;11(9):1038-45. Article.
  • Laura Soucek and Gerard Evan. Myc – is this the oncogene from Hell?. Cancer Cell. 2002 June; 1(5): 406-408. Review.
  • Laura Soucek, Richard Jucker, Laura Panacchia, Ruggero Ricordy, Franco Tatò, and Sergio Nasi. Omomyc, a Potential Myc Dominant Negative, Enhances Myc-induced Apoptosis. Cancer Res. 2002; 62: 3507-3510. Article.
  • Soucek L., Citterich M.H., Sacco A., Jucker R., Cesareni G. and Nasi S. Design and properties of a Myc derivative that efficiently homodimerizes. Oncogene. 1998, 17(19): 2463-2472. Article.