CFAH MARÍA ABAD – VHIO – Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology


Current positions

Academic Qualifications

  • 2014-Ongoing Ramón y Cajal Investigator
  • 2014-2016-Postdoctoral Fellow at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA (PI: Prof. Eric N. Olson)
  • 2009-2014-Postdoctoral Fellow at Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Madrid, Spain (PI: Dr. Manuel Serrano)
  • 2008-PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine by the Autónoma University of Madrid (UAM), Spain
  • 2003-2008-Undergraduate Student at Institute of Biomedical Research “Alberto Sols” (IIB), Madrid, Spain (PI: Dr. Ignacio Palmero)
  • 2003-Degree in Biological Sciences by the Autónoma University of Madrid (UAM), Spain

Areas of Research

  • Cross-talk between cellular plasticity, stemness and cancer
  • In vivo cellular reprogramming and its impact on tumorigenesis.
  • Inhibition of cellular plasticity and stemness as an anticancer therapy.

Prizes and Scholarships

  • We were awarded with the Health Research Grant 2018 from the La Caixa Foundation.
  • We also received the Health Research Grant from La Mutua Madrileña Foundation.
  • Ramón y Cajal Grant. 2015-2020.
  • IV Premi La Vanguardia de la Ciéncia . Diario La Vanguardia and Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation, 2014.
  • “Notable Advance of Year” by Nature Medicine, 2013. Nature Medicine 19, 1564–1565 (2013).
  • “Mejores Ideas 2013” Prize. Diario Médico, 2013.


  1. Defining the Role of Exosome-Secreted Micropeptides in Pancreatic Cancer. number: HR18-00256.Health Research Grant-La Caixa Foundation.
    Award Period: 9/2019-8/2021.
    PI: Maria Abad.
  2. Identificación y Análisis del Microproteoma del Cáncer de Páncreas: Los Micropéptidos como Nuevas Dianas Terapéuticas y Biomarcadores Tumorales Fundación. XVI Convocatoria de Ayudas a la Investigación en Salud. Fundación Mutua Madrileña.
    PI: Maria Abad.
  3. Mining the Microproteome for New Molecular Targets in Cancer. number: RTI2018-102046-B-I00.Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
    PI: Maria Abad.
  4. Cellular Plasticity in Tissue Regeneration and Cancer. Ref. number: RYC-2013-14747.
    Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
    Award Period: 9/2015-8/2020.
    PI: Maria Abad.

Most relevant scientific publications

  •  Merino I, Greco E, Abad M (2020). The microproteome of cancer: from invisibility to relevance. Experimental Cell Research. 2020;392(1):111997. doi:10.1016/j.yexcr.2020.111997
  • Abad M, Hashimoto H, Zhou H, Morales MG, Chen B, Bassel-Duby R, Olson EN. Notch Inhibition Enhances Cardiac Reprogramming by Increasing MEF2C Transcriptional Activity. Stem Cell Reports. 2017 Mar 14;8(3):548-560.
  • Mosteiro L, Pantoja C, Alcázar N, Marión RM, Chondronasiou D, Rovira M, Fernández-Marcos PJ, Muñoz M, Blanco-Aparicio C, Pastor J, Gómez-Lopez G, de Martino A, Blasco MA, Abad M and Serrano M. Tissue damage and senescence provide critical signals for cellular reprogramming in vivo. Science. 2016 Nov 25;354(6315). pii: aaf4445.
  • Palla A.R., Piazzolla D., Abad M., Li H., Dominguez O., Schönthaler H.B., Wagner E.F. and Serrano M. Reprogramming activity of NANOGP8, a NANOG family member widely expressed in cancer.Oncogene. 2014 May 8;33(19):2513-9
  • Abad M, Mosteiro L, Pantoja C, Cañamero M, Rayon T, Ors I, Graña O, Megías D, Domínguez O, Martínez D, Manzanares M, Ortega S, Serrano M. Reprogramming in vivo produces teratomas and iPS cells with totipotency features. Nature. 2013 Oct 17;502(7471):340-5.
  • Abad M, Moreno A, Palacios A, Narita M, Blanco F, Moreno-Bueno G, Narita M and Palmero I. The tumor suppressor ING1 contributes to epigenetic control of cellular senescence. Aging Cell. 2011 Feb; 10:158-71.
  • Menéndez C, Abad M, Gómez-Cabello D, Moreno A and Palmero I. ING proteins in cellular senescence. Curr Drug Targets. 2009 May;10:406-1.
  • Abad M, Menéndez C, Fuchtabuer A, Serrano M, Fuchtbauer E-M and Palmero I. Ing1 mediates p53 accumulation and chromatin modification in response to oncogenic stress. J Biol Chem. 2007 Oct 19;282:31060-7
  • Goeman F.,Thormeyer D., Abad M., Serrano M., Schmidt  O., Palmero I. and Baniahmad A. Growth inibition by the tumor suppressor p33ING1 in immortalized and primary cells: Involvement of two silencing domains and effect of Ras. Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Jan;25:422-31.