VHIO – ”la Caixa” SCIENTIFIC SEMINARS SERIES

INTRODUCING THE VHIO -”la Caixa” SCIENTIFIC SEMINARS SERIES

Our VHIO –  ”la Caixa” Scientific Seminars Series educational program welcomes internationally renowned researchers and clinical investigators to VHIO to share, discuss and debate latest insights, discovery and next directions in oncology with our students, postdocs and senior faculty from our preclinical, translational and clinical research groups.

Taking place in VHIO’s state-of-the-art CELLEX Building Auditorium, each seminar consists of a 30-45 minute talk followed by a Q&A round with the audience. Chaired be each respective VHIO host, these expert talks are typically scheduled to take place on Fridays at 13:00h.

Scientific Co-Chairs

  • María Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group
  • Laura Soucek, PI, Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group
  • Elena Élez, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator, Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group

Scientific Coordinator

  • Josep Maria Miquel


  • Speaker:  Shuji Ogino, Chief of Molecular Pathological Epidemiology (MPE) Program, Dept. of Pathology, Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH). Professor of Pathology, BWH, Harvard Medical School. Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Associate Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Boston, USA.
  • Talk title: Integrative Analyses of Environment, Lifestyle, Microbiota, and Tumor Immunity for Precision Oncology
  • Date & time: Monday 10th February, 13:00h
  • Hosts: VHIO’s Director, Josep Tabernero, and Paolo Nuciforo, PI, Molecular Oncology Group

  • Speaker: Gerard I. Evan, Sir William Dunn Professor and Head of Biochemistry Department, University of Cambridge, UK.
  • Talk title: Switching the tumour immune microenvironment on and off with Myc
  • Date & time: Friday 14th February, 13:00h
  • Host: Laura Soucek, PI, Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group

  • Speaker: Gabriel Adrian Rabinovich, Vice-Director and Group Leader of Functional Glycomics and Head of Immunopathology, the Instituto de Biologia y Medicina Experimental (IBYME),  Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Talk title: The emerging role of glycocheckpoints: the sweet side of cancer immunotherapy
  • Date & time: Friday 06th March, 13:00h
  • Host: Laura Soucek, PI, Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group

  • Speaker: Chris Lord, Deputy Head of Division and Leader of the Gene Function Team, The Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, UK.
  • Talk title: Using synthetic lethality to target cancer
  • Date & time: Friday 20th March, 13:00h
  • Co-Hosts: Violeta Serra, PI, Experimental Therapeutics & Judit Balmaña, PI, Hereditary Cancer Genetics

  • Speaker: Raffaella de Micco,Group Leader at San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy, Italy​
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 3rd April, 13:00h
  • Host: Maria Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group

  • Speaker: Francesca Demichelis, Head of Computational and Functional Oncology,University of Trento, Italy.
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 15th May, 13:00h
  • Host: Joaquin Mateo, PI, Prostate Cancer Translational Research

  • Speaker: Maria Mittelbrunn, Associate Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Boston (USA).
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 29th May, 13:00h
  • Host: Maria Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group

  • Speaker:  Linda Z. Penn, Full Professor, Medical Biophysics (MBP), University of Toronto, and Senior Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network (UHN), Toronto, Canada
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 19th June, 13:00h
  • Host: Laura Soucek, PI, Mouse Models of Cancer Group

  • Speaker: Benjamin Neel, Professor, Department of Medicine and Director, NYU Langone Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, New York, USA.
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 17th July, 12:00 h
  • Co-Hosts: Josep Tabernero, Director of VHIO & Joan Seoane, Co-Program Director, Preclinical and Translational Research

  • Speaker:  Andrea Alimonti, Group Leader, Molecular Oncology and Mouse Models, Institute of Oncology Research, Bellinzona, Switzerland
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 18th September, 13:00h
  • Host: Joaquin Mateo, Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group

  • Speaker:  Marc Ladanyi, Chief, Molecular Diagnostics Service, William J. Ruane Chair in Molecular Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York, USA
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 23rd October, 13:00h
  • Host: César Serrano, PI, Sarcoma Translational Research Group

  • Speaker:  Antonis Antoniou, Professor of Cancer Risk Prediction, Academic Course Director, Epidemiology, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 27th November, 13:00h
  • Hosts: Judith Balmaña and Sara Gutiérrez, PI and Senior Scientist, respectively, Hereditary Cancer Genetics Group

  • Speaker:  Antoni Ribas, Director, Tumor Immunology Program, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC), Los Angeles, USA. Chair of the Melanoma Committee, SWOG Cancer Research Network, USA. President-Elect of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Thursday 18th February 2021, 13:00h
  • Host: Joan Seoane, Co-Program Director, Preclinical & Translational Research


  • Speaker:  Romain Quidant, Plasmon Nano-Optics Group Leader and ICREA Professor, Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)
  • Talk title: New opportunities in medicine enabled by light and nanotechnology
  • Date & time: Friday 17thJanuary, 13:00h
  • Host: Josep Tabernero, Director of VHIO

  • Speaker: Marisol Soengas, Group Leader Melanoma, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre – CNIO, Madrid, Spain.
  • Talk title: Imaging and targeting premetastatic niches in melanoma
  • Date & time: Friday 31stJanuary, 13:00h
  • Host: Maria Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group


Inaugural Seminar

  • Speaker: Ángela Nieto, Research Professor, Institute of Neurosciences, Miguel Hernández University (UMH) – Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
  • Talk title: Epithelial plasticity in health and disease (the Ins and Outs of the EMT)
  • Date & time: Friday 20th September, 13:00h
  • Co-hosts: VHIO’s Director Josep Tabernero & Josep Villanueva, PI of our Tumor Biomarkers Group

Role of the Notch pathway in lung adenocarcinoma: beyond the KrasG12V mouse model

  • Speaker: Antonio Maraver, Team Leader of the Oncogenic Pathways in Lung Cancer Group, Institute de Research en Cancérologie de Montpellier (ICRM), Montpellier, France.
  • Talk title: Role of the Notch pathway in lung adenocarcinoma: beyond the KrasG12V mouse model
  • Date & time: Friday 08th November, 13:00h
  • Host: Maria Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group

Role of adult stem cell niches and primed pluripotency programs in early DCC dormancy

  • Speaker: Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, Director of Head and Neck Cancer Basic Research, Direcotr of Solid Tumor and Metastasis Research, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine and Otolaryngology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA.
  • Talk title: Role of adult stem cell niches and primed pluripotency programs in early DCC dormancy
  • Date & time: Thursday 28th November, 13:00h
  • Host: Héctor G. Palmer, PI, Stem Cells & Cancer Group

  • Speaker: Nuria López Bigas, Group Leader of the Biomedical Genomics Research Group,Institute for Research in Biomedicine Barcelona – IRB, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Talk title: Tumor genomes shed light on mutational processes and cancer vulnerabilities
  • Date & time: Friday 13th December
  • Host: María Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group