Mariano Barbacid – Targeting KRAS mutant tumors: Light at the end of the tunnel
- Speaker: Mariano Barbacid, Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Oncology, AXA-CNIO Professor of Molecular Oncology, CNIO, Madrid
- Talk title: Targeting KRAS mutant tumors: Light at the end of the tunnel
- Date & time: Friday 30th October, 12:00h
- Host: Laura Soucek, Principal Investigator of VHIO’s Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group
His work led in 1982, to the isolation of the first human oncogene and the identification of the first mutation associated with the development of human cancer. These findings, also made independently by two other groups, have been seminal to establish the molecular bases of human cancer. He is also credited with the isolation of the TRK oncogene from a colon carcinoma. The discovery of the TRK oncogene also led the Barbacid group to identify the TRK family of tyrosine protein kinase receptors and to demonstrate their role as the functional receptors for the NGF familiy of neurotrophins.
In 1998, he returned to Madrid to create and direct the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) which in less than 10 years became one of the top cancer research centres in the World.
In 2011, Barbacid stepped down as CNIO Director to return to his early research interests aimed at identifying novel therapeutic strategies against KRAS mutant tumors, a mutation responsible for more than 20% of all human cancers. To this end, the Barbacid group has embarked in a long term project to validate the therapeutic potential of the main effectors of KRAS using genetically engineered mouse models that faithfully reproduce the natural history of the corresponding human tumors. Recently, the Barbacid group has shown that the combined ablation of two of these effectors, RAF1 and EGFR led, for the first time, to complete regression of a subset of advanced KRAS driven pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas.
Currently, Barbacid’s Hirsch “h” factor is 117 (Google Scholar) and 109 (Web of Science).