It’s been a while since we’ve posted an update, but that’s because the lab has been very busy this first part of the year! Here are some events that have happened:

Profs Julia and Tim and Drs Mark and Daniela with the attendants of the “Statistics for GWAS” course

– In January, Daniela participated as an instructor of the Next Generation Sequencing Bioinformatics course that took place during one week in Santiago de Chile, Chile. Caro Castañeda, a PhD student in the lab, attended as a course participant.

– In March, we hosted Prof. Julia Newton-Bishop, Prof. Tim Bishop and Dr. Mark Iles, from the University of Leeds in the UK, who came for a week to teach a course on Statistics for GWAS as part of our Newton Advanced Fellowship. We had participants from several schools at UNAM, as well as students and postdocs from other entities and states in Mexico.

– In April, our first alumnus, Isaac García, started his MPhil in Genome Sciences at the University of Cambridge (Sanger Institute)! Also, Daniela spoke at the 16th GenoMEL Annual Meeting in Athens, Greece, on the lab’s wet lab project investigating the effect of particular germline variants on melanoma risk.

– In May, Daniela spoke at the 11th European Melanoma Workshop in Otranto, Italy, on the lab’s project investigating acral lentiginous melanoma development in Mexico and Latin America, and in the Liquid Biopsy Symposium organised by INMEGEN, Mexico, on the analytical and bioinformatics challenges for the analysis of liquid biopsy specimens. Also, our guest Dr Heinz Arnheiter, scientist emeritus at NIH, arrived to our lab as a visiting professor. Heinz will stay for 2.5 months giving lectures to our academic community on various biological phenomena and interacting with students and postdocs.

– And finally, during June, our PhD student Caro started her academic internships attending the IARC Summer School on Cancer Epidemiology in Lyon, France. She will then visit our collaborators’ labs at the University of Leeds, UK, and then she will undertake a 2-month internship at Prof Ludmil Alexandrov’s lab at UCSD, part of our UC Mexus award investigating the somatic effects of genetic variants in melanoma patients. Also, Daniela spoke at the Noreen O’Neill Melanoma Research Symposium, which took place at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Also, the first official publication from our lab was published in Bioinformatics! VCF/Plotein is a web application that allows biologists, clinicians and bioinformaticians to prioritise and filter genetic data in the VCF format by displaying information graphically and interactively! Take a look at the paper and the website! You can also see other work that we have participated in in the Publications section.

We also got notification that CONACyT, Mexico’s Council for Science and Technology, will fund us through two awards: One to investigate the transcriptomic profiles of acral lentiginous melanoma tumours from Mexican patients (from the Health Sectoral Fund), and another one led by postdoc Christian Molina to start a new exciting collaboration with Dr Mauricio Díaz at the Neurobiology Institute at UNAM (from the Basic Scientific Research Sectoral Fund). This exciting grant will allow us to expand the repertoire of cancer types we study to investigate by transcriptomic analysis the effects of caloric restriction on liver cancer, which is the fourth most common cause of death from neoplasia in Mexico. This project is a follow-up of work that Christian did during his PhD (you can read the main paper here).

This may be all for the time being – we will try to update our website more frequently from now on! 🙂