Universidad Complutense de Madrid


ESR Supervisory Team

Prof. Guillermo Velasco

guillermoGuillermo Velasco studied Biology (1988-1993) and completed his doctoral thesis (1994-1997) at Complutense University (Madrid, Spain). He subsequently held a post-doctoral position (funded for an EMBO long-term fellowship) (1998-1999) at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Since February 2008 he is Professor at Complutense University. The group coordinated by Guillermo Velasco has developed different lines of research related with the study of the molecular mechanisms underlying the antitumor action of cannabinoids, the optimization of the possible clinical application of these agents, the role of autophagy in cancer or the role of Tribbles proteins in cancer.


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Dr Sonia Castillo

soniaSonia Castillo-Lluva completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at Complutense University in Madrid and performed her doctoral Thesis at the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB, CSIC). She then worked as a postdoctoral scientist (funded by an EMBO long-term fellowship) in the Laboratory of Angeliki Malliri in the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research (PICR, Manchester) and in the laboratory of Jesús Pérez-Losada (funded by a JAE-DOC fellowship) in the Centro de Investigación del Cancer in Salamanca (CIC, CSIC), Spain. In 2015, Sonia joined the Complutense University with a Ramón y Cajal tenure track contract and is currently a junior group leader at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I. The general scientific objective of her group is understanding the role of postranslational modifications on the regulation of cancer dissemination and metastasis using in vitro and in vivo models.

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Dr Mar Lorente

marMar Lorente studied Chemistry and completed her doctoral thesis (2004) at Complutense University (Madrid, Spain). From 2002 to 2004, she worked at the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (Madrid, Spain) as a PhD student. During this time, she got a wide experience in the field of Developmental Biology, functionally characterizing several members of PcG family genes of transcriptional repressors and their implications in mouse development and regulation of cell proliferation.

After obtaining her PhD, in 2004 she joined the laboratory of Dr. Manuel Guzmán and Dr. Guillermo Velasco in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I at the School of Chemistry (Complutense University) funded by a “Juan de la Cierva” contract from the Ministry of Education and Science. Since 2011, she is Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I (Complutense University).

Her scientific trajectory, as member of the research group coordinated by Guillermo Velasco has focused on the optimization of anti-tumor action of cannabinoids, the potential role of autophagy in the development of cancer and in the analysis of the role of Tribbles-3 protein in several models of cancer.

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Early Stage Researchers

Kunzangla Bhutia (IN)  ESR Project 8

img_5715I have recently completed my Masters programme in Biotechnology from Pondicherry University, India. While there, I had the opportunity to work in different ends of Molecular biology spectrum: handling cell cultures and cell lines, expression and purification of proteins, protein-protein interaction studies and protein functional studies. These experiences not only helped me to better understand my coursework, it also showed me how rewarding research can be.

I am interested in studying genetic, genomic and proteomic data to understand and model the biology of diseases. Develop methods to effectively deploy therapeutic agents in the age of molecularly guided medicine. The project of investigating the role of Tribbles pseudokinase in Cancer from a mechanistic and translational point of view seemed to me the perfect mixture of Molecular Biology and Translational Research. I knew I would have a chance to continue to explore my interests, while continuing to grow and learn in areas that are new to me.

I am excited to continue exploring and growing here at El Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Clínico San Carlos – Universidad Complutense de Madrid (IdISSC-UCM) and in my future scientific endeavours.


Jack Day (UK)  ESR Project 14

jack grew up around London and studied a Master’s undergraduate degree in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. During my undergrad, I undertook summer research projects at both my university and at Harvard University where I found my love of cell biology and physiology. After graduating, I started working at Queen Mary University of London in the Centre for Endocrinology. My chosen project is particularly interesting as TRIB3 is implicated in multiple cancers and so understanding this protein’s function may provide vital information. The weather in Madrid will also be much nicer compared to London.