The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention
My research group in MD Anderson is focused in the understanding of the carcinogenesis of the colorectum and in the development of targeted therapies to halt the development and progression of premalignant polyps, as well as colorectal tumors. In order to accomplish this overarching goal, we focused in the study of patients diagnosed with genetic syndromes predisposing to the development of polyps and colorectal cancer [mainly Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and Lynch Syndrome]. We have several clinical studies that prospectively collect normal mucosa, polyps, tumor samples and germline from patients diagnosed with FAP and Lynch Syndrome currently treated in MD Anderson. These samples are essential for our research projects. We also maintain several mouse colonies that mimic the phenotype of patients with polyposis (APC/Min and APC1638) and Lynch syndrome (MSH2VilCre mice), as well as other models to study the biology of stem cells of the colonic crypt (Lgr5 mice). These mouse models are essential for cross-species comparisons. At the present time we are performing large scale sequencing of polyps and normal mucosa samples using next-generation sequencing technologies to describe the genomic and transcriptomic landscape of these lesions in both human and mouse samples. These studies are the foundation to propose targeted chemoprevention studies in FAP and Lynch syndrome.
A rotation in my lab could provide a student with wide exposure to several state-of-the-art genetic and molecular biology methodologies. We have experience with tissue handling, extraction of high-quality nucleic acids, preparation of samples for RNA-seq, whole exome and whole genome sequencing (NGS), SNP array, microarray technologies and basic methodologies (PCR, primer design, genotyping, allele specific expression, western blot, basic histology techniques, transfection of siRNA, shRNA, plasmid preparation). In addition, we have dedicated and experienced personnel in mouse handling, genotyping and experimental procedures in rodents including oral gavage, blood and tissue collection, dissection, and others that would teach students in murine experiments. The student will be assigned a project and will participate in the daily lab activities, as well as in the weekly lab meetings where data is presented and discussed within the group and with external collaborators.
The Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention-Research has space for students and postdocs located in the North Campus of MD Anderson (7th floor of BSRB) and provides a rich academic atmosphere.
Education & Training
M.D. - University Miguel Hernandez Medical School - 2002
Ph.D. - University Miguel Hernandez - 2009