Category: Grants

Recap of the last few months

There have been some exciting news in the last few months in our lab, even though we have kept working from home! Some of these are:

  • We have published a few papers, both reviews and original research! Check out our contributions to the fields of melanoma research models and allele-specific expression, as well as our collaboration with Dr Carlos Córdova on identifying the genetic cause of a rare genetic disorder! More info in Publications.
  • Our first PhD student, Raúl Ossio Vela, graduated with honours in November! Also, more recently, our BSc student Rebeca Olvera León graduated with a superb thesis on the genetic causes of familial melanoma. She is continuing her studies at the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Sanger Institute! Congratulations to both of them for a successful culmination of studies.
  • We got a new grant! We are very thankful to the Melanoma Research Alliance for funding us through a PIlot Award. This will allow us to recruit a new member of the team to explore the role of a number of candidate genes on the ability of acral melanoma tumours to metastasise! We are very excited to be working with Dr Patrícia Possik (Brazilian National Cancer Institute) and Dr David J Adams (Wellcome Sanger Institute) to undertake this project.
  • We have welcomed a number of new students that have been working with us remotely: Ariel Pulido and César Aspiros from the Undergraduate Program in Genomics (LCGEJ-UNAM), Rodolfo Arriaga, Luisa Galicia, Mayra López and Sebastián Carrillo. Welcome! We hope to be able to get to know you in person one day 🙂
  • We have been taking part in online conferences and talks, including the European Melanoma Workshop, the meetings of the Melanoma Genetics Consortium, and the American Association for Cancer Research.

Times are still challenging, and we are proceeding a bit more slowly with our research given the restrictions still in place. However, we are hopeful that we will be able to pick up the pace soon! Keep an eye open for future job postings, preprints and talks!

We have been awarded a Newton Advanced Fellowship!

Today we were notified that Daniela has been named a Newton Advanced Fellow by the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of the UK! This Fellowship has been awarded to investigate the genetic susceptibility to acral lentiginous melanoma through population studies and the use of statistical genomics methodologies. Our partner in this project is Prof. Tim Bishop, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of the Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology. We are very excited as this project will allow students in the lab to undertake training in statistics and genetic epidemiology while exploring the genetics of acral lentiginous melanoma.

We are very thankful to the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Newton Fund, and the Royal Society for supporting us, our research and our international collaborations!

The MRC has funded our team research proposal!

We are thrilled to announce we’ve been awarded a grant, part of the Cancer Research and Global Health Initiative of the Medical Research Council (UK), to study potential drug targets of acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) in Latin American patients. This proposal is also co-led by Dr David Adams (Sanger Institute, UK) and Dr Patricia Possik (Brazilian National Cancer Institute [INCA], Brazil), with the support of Prof Meenhard Herlyn (Wistar Institute, USA) and Dr. Hector Martinez-Said (Mexican National Cancer Institute, Mexico). This award will fund our research into animal models and potential drug targets of ALM for the next two years, and will officially start our collaborations with INCA. We’re very thankful to the MRC for this funding, and can’t wait to get to work!

We’ve been awarded a UC MEXUS – CONACYT Collaborative Grant Award!

This award, given by the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS) and the National Council for Research and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT) is intended to help establish long-lasting collaborations between scientists based in University of California campuses and in Mexican institutions.

In this spirit, we are thrilled to be starting a formal collaboration with Prof. Ludmil Alexandrov, of the University of California, San Diego – widely recognised as the founder of the field of mutational signatures in cancer. This Award will allow PhD students from both groups to undertake reciprocal research internships to train in different specialised bioinformatic techniques (UCSD lab: Mutational signature analysis, UNAM lab: causal germline variant prioritisation), project planning meetings, as well as providing funds for expanding our institutional computer cluster and for performing bench experiments for hypothesis testing.

Kudos to Caro Castañeda, the PhD student in our lab who will be leading this collaboration from our side! Loads of exciting science to come 🙂

We are deeply thankful to UC MEXUS and CONACYT for this opportunity, and can’t wait to see what the results will be!