Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer and Stemness


Cancer Programme

Group Leader

Lluís Espinosa Blay

The Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer and Stemness group is fully dedicated to the identification of elements and pathways that regulate Stem Cell and Cancer Stem Cell homeostasis, with the final goal of discovering biomarkers and therapeutic targets for regenerative medicine and cancer.

The group has historically focused on studying the Notch and NF-κB pathways, which are principal actors of these processes. However, our research now aims to integrate these pathways in the context of other important signals for stem cell and cell transformation such as BRAF or ß-catenin.

 Research group


Josune Alonso Martínez de Marañón (PhD Student)

Irene Pecharromán Ruiz (PhD Student)

Laura Solé Font (PhD Student)

Laura Marruecos Aylagas (Technician)

Teresa Lobo (Postdoctoral Researcher)


Main PublicationsOngoing Research ProjectsTheses 


Main Publications

• Colomer C, Margalef P, Villanueva A, Vert A, Pecharromán I, Solé L, González-Farré M, Alonso J, Montagut C, Martínez M, Bertran J, Borrás E, Iglesias M, Sabido E, Bigas A, Boulton S, Espinosa L. IKKα Kinase Regulates the DNA Damage Response and Drives Chemo-resistance in Cancer. Mol Cell 2019; 75(4): 669-682. IF 14.548. D1.

• Bueno C, Calero-Nieto FJ, Wang X, Valdés-Mas R, Gutiérrez-Agüera F, Roca-Ho H, Ayllón V, Real PJ, Arambile D, Espinosa L, Torres-Ruiz R, Agraz-Doblas A, Varela I, de Boer J, Bigas A, Gottgens B, Marschalek R, Menéndez P. Enhanced hemato-endothelial specification during human embryonic differentiation through developmental cooperation between AF4-MLL and MLL-AF4 fusions. Haematologica 2019; 104(6): 1189-1201. IF 7.57. D1.

• López-Arribillaga E, Rodilla V, Espinosa L. Could JAG1 protein inhibition prevent colorectal cancer? Future Oncol. 2019; 15(4): 345-347. IF 2.279. Q3.

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Ongoing Research Projects

• Identificación de nuevos biomarcadores y dianas terapéuticas asociados a la actividad IKK

- Funding institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (PI16/00437)

- Period: from 2017 to 2020

- Principal investigator: Espinosa Blay, Lluís

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• Laura Marruecos Aylagas. IkBα as an essential player in Intestinal Stem Cell homeostasis. Universitat de Barcelona

- Director: Espinosa Blay, Lluís

- Date of defense: 26/09/2019









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