Section of a pancreas-derived organoid, showing clusters of cells producing insulin (stained in red). Nuclei stained in blue (DAPI).
I studied Biotechnology at Francisco de Vitoria University (2018), where professors make a real effort to stimulate students to think over life, ethics and philosophy. Those intellectual magnitudes are essential for us, as scientists and human beings, and I will always thank my University for this amazing training. Then I studied my Degree’s Thesis at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (US), in Dr. Nick Rhind group.
Finishing my enriching stay in the US, I was really passionate about cancer research, so I decided that my next movement would be a master’s degree on Oncology and I did so at Oviedo University (2019). After that, I decided to apply at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid, one of the best research institutes worldwide. I got a position there to develop my Master Project, under the supervision of Dr. María Salazar: a young professional Ph.D., meticulous and very similar to me in many senses. Afterwards, she would become my great mentor, friend and boss. My Master Project was focused on the first steps of the Innovative CaixaImpulse project that Maria got in 2019. Working with pluripotent stem cells and progenitor-derived organoids, we started to explore a potential stem cell therapy for Type 1 Diabetes.
Recently in 2020, I have been awarded with a prestigious predoctoral AECC scholarship, to immerse myself in a new fascinating opportunity: work on my Ph.D. Thesis together with Maria in the recently-established Cancer STEM Lab, at Complutense University. Our project is grounded on a miRNA-based strategy to impulse Advanced Antitumoral Therapies.
Nuria García Martínez-Illescas