Highlights

Scientific contributions

  1.  WW-domains, a model system of folding and amyloid formation. (Nature 1996, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 2000, PNAS 2001, 2014, 2015). 
  2. Defined phosphorylation-dependent mechanism that labels Smads, first for activation and then for degradation (Cell 2009, Mol. Cell 2009, Genes and Dev, 2011).
  3. Identified novel DNA motifs for SMAD proteins (Nature Communications, 2017).
  4. Determined the molecular basis for distinct roles of SMAD2 and SMAD3 in the regulation of progenitor differentiation genes. This result challenges an erroneous view that had prevailed in the field for two decades that SMAD2 does not interact with DNA (Genes and Dev, 2019).
  5. Elucidated the rules that define the different composition of SMAD complexes in BMP and TGFβ pathways (Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal 2021).
  6. Characterized the Conformational landscape of full-length non-activated SMAD proteins (Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal 2021).
  7. Peptide analogues with therapeutic properties (ChemBioChem 2011, Angewandte Chemie 2012, Scientific reports 2016, Nature Communications, 2021).

Financing

  1. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, PDC_2021-121162-I00 (two years). Targeting the SMAD4 transcription factor for drug discovery: applications in cancer and rare diseases, as PI.  Funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and the European Union “NextGenerationEU”/PRTR”.
  2. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación BFU2017-82675-P (2017-2021, extended up to September 2022). Deciphering the interaction sites of SMAD proteins with cofactors using high resolution structural biology, as PI. Funded by the Funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
  3. H2020-SwafS-2019-1, 873134, (2020-2023) CALIPER Linking research and innovation for gender equality, as Researcher.
  4. Marató de TV3, Genomic indicators for the prediction of recurrence and metastasis in Endometrial Cancer (2020-2023). Two partners: Gynecological oncology, Hospital Sant Pau and our laboratory, as PI of our subproject.
  5. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships awarded (1 PhD and 1 Postdoctoral), 1 FPU, 1 FI.
  6. Severo Ochoa award to IRB Barcelona. (2020-2025, 2015-2020 and 2011-2015), “participation as selected researcher” twice.
  7. Agaur SGR (since 2009).Co-PI. 1PhD fellowship (2019-2022)

Given the pivotal role of TGF-β in tumor progression, this pathway is an attractive target for cancer therapy. We are exploring the possibility to target this system thanks to the EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE and EU-OPENSCREEN-Chemistry funded projects.