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: Professor Fran Balkwill, Professor of Cancer Biology, BartsCancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London (UK)
  • Talk title: “Modelling and targeting the ovarian cancer microenvironment”
  • Date & time: Friday 22nd May 2020, 12:00h
  • ONLINE – Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/8215893703562/WN_K-MIxb62RU-jnTHYPwGVAA
  • Host: Laura Soucek


Professor Fran Balkwill, Professor of Cancer Biology in the Barts Cancer Institute (Queen Mary University of London, UK) and Deputy Lead of the Centre for the Tumour Microenvironment, will give the next virtual VHIO Scientific Seminars Series (VSSS) named “Modelling and targeting the ovarian cancer microenvironment”, hosted by Dr. Laura Soucek.

Her key research areas of interest are the tumour microenvironment with an especial focus on innate immune reactions, development of novel multi-cellular models of the tumour microenvironment, ovarian cancer with a focus on high grade serous and clear cell subtypes, and public engagement with biomedical science and science policy.

The webinar will be held next Friday, May  22nd, at 12:00h, via Zoom Webinar. At the end of the talk it will be a Q&A session. Registration is required and it will be open until the beginning of the talk. You can register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/8215893703562/WN_K-MIxb62RU-jnTHYPwGVAA

JUNE 2020

  • Speaker: Oscar Fernandez-Capetillo, Vice Director Grupo Inestabilidad Genómica del CNIO
  • Talk title: Nucleolar Stress as a driver (and a vulnerability) in cancer
  • Date & time: Friday 5th June, 12:00h
  • Host: Joan Seoane

Oscar Fernandez-Capetillo did his PhD in the University of The Basque Country working with mouse models of autoimmunity with Dr. Ana Zubiaga. For his postdoctoral stay he joined the group of André Nussenzweig, where he started to work on DNA repair and the role of histone H2AX. In 2005, he joined CNIO to lead the Genomic Instability Group where he has been ever since. His main focus has been on exploring the role of replicative stress in cancer and ageing, for which the group has combined cell biology, mouse models and drug development projects. Since 2015 Oscar is also the Vicedirector of CNIO, and professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

  • Speaker: Maria Mittelbrunn, Associate Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Boston (USA).
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 19th June, 12:00h
  • Host: Maria Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group

JULY 2020

  • Speaker:  Alberto Bardelli
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 3rd July, 12:00h
  • Host: Joan Seoane

  • Speaker: Roger Paredes, MD, PhD. Infectious Diseases Department & Institut de Recerca de la SIDA. IRSI CAIXA / GERMANS TRIAS I PUJOL.
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 10th July, 12:00 h
  • Co-Hosts: Paolo Nuciforo


  • Speaker:  Andrea Alimonti, Group Leader, Molecular Oncology and Mouse Models, Institute of Oncology Research, Bellinzona, Switzerland
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 18th September, 12:00h
  • Host: Joaquin Mateo, Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group

  • Speaker:  Marie Arsenian Henriksson, Karolinska Institut.
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: TBC
  • Host: Laura Soucek


  • Speaker:  Chris Lord, ICR London. Deputy Head of Division and the leader of the Gene Function Team. ICR, London.
  • Talk title: Using Synthetic Lethality to Target Cancer
  • Date & time: Friday 2nd October, 12:00h
  • Host: Violeta Serra / Judit Balmaña

  • 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, 12:00h
  • Host: César Serrano, PI, Sarcoma Translational Research Group

  • Speaker:  Mariano Barbacid, CNIO. AXA-CNIO Professor of Molecular Oncology, CNIO
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 30th October, 12:00h
  • Host: Laura Soucek


  • Speaker:  Antonis Antoniou, Professor of Cancer Risk Prediction, Academic Course Director, Epidemiology, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 27th November, 12:00h
  • Hosts: Judith Balmaña and Sara Gutiérrez, PI and Senior Scientist, respectively, Hereditary Cancer Genetics Group


  • Speaker:  Amparo Cano
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Friday 11st December, 12:00h
  • Hosts: Josep Villanueva


  • Speaker:  Jean Yves Masson
  • Talk title: TBC
  • Date & time: Thursday 29th January 2021, 12:00h
  • Host: Sara Gutierrez


  • 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, 12:00h
  • 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

  • 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

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