Research area: Zebrafish Xenotransplantation
Pablo Cabezas Sáinz (Lugo, 1990) graduated in Biology from the University of Santiago de Compostela on 2013 and started his PhD in Molecular Medicine in 2014.
He obtained a two years fellowship from Fundación Ramón Domínguez (IDIS) for his PhD being replaced in 2016 for a three years fellowship from Xunta de Galicia to finish his PhD. In between he combined the short research stay grant from Xunta de Galicia associated to the PhD Grant with a private grant from Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza to stay in Leiden (Netherlands) for six months during the PhD, gaining skills related to the xenotransplantation technnique, under the supervision of Prof. Ewa B. Snaar-Jagalska. During his PhD, he gave Genetic classes at University of Santiago de Compostela for the 3 years of the Xunta de Galicia grant, allowing him to improve his communication skills.
He finished his PhD in Molecular Medicine in 2019 obtaining the maximum qualification 'Cum Laude' for the defense of his thesis entitled 'HCT116 colorectal and MCF7 breast cancer cell lines xenografted into zebrafish embryos gives insight into the importance of microenvironment in tumor growth and metastasis for a future use of the model in clinical research' under the supervision of Prof. Laura Sánchez, Dra. Laura Muinelo and Dr. Rafael López. After the PhD defense, he obtained a Postdoctoral Grant from Xunta de Galicia, allowing him to work as a PostDoc in Porto for 2 years. Because of that, nowadays he is working on his PostDoc project entitled 'HNF4a and HNF1a biological implications in Type II Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer' at the i3S institute (Instituto de Investigação e Inovação da Universidade do Porto) integrated in the Vertebrate Development and Regeneration group, leaded by Dr. Jose Bessa. After that, he will be able to return to Universidad de Santiago de Compostela and continue the work on that project for one year, with the possibility of applying for a two years funding to initiate his own research line in the Nutrigenomics in Cancer research field.
During his PhD period in Lugo and his six months in Leiden (Netherlands), Pablo learned several techniques, being the most important one the focus of his PhD: the xenotransplantation technique in zebrafish. Apart from that, he learned stereomicroscopy and confocal imaging, analysis and quantification of the images with different softwares, cell culture, compounds toxicity and basic molecular techniques as PCR, qPCR, etc. Due to the nature of the xenograft technique, Pablo has a broad knowledge of the cancer field because of the collaborations he performed, allowing him to participate in projects with more different groups in different disciplines and types of cancer, providing an in vivo model to the assays.
Nowadays, Pablo is gaining knowledge to fill some gaps he had during his PhD in order to stablish his own research line as previously mentioned in Nutrigenomics, by learning CRISPR/Cas9 technique in zebrafish, aswell as related molecular techniques as ChIP-Seq, RNA-Seq, ATAC-Seq, 4C or Hi-Chip, and the bioinformatic analysis of them. Those techniques are part of the work for the project he is working on under the supervision of Jose Bessa at the i3S institute in Porto during his Postdoc. Pablo's contribution to the scientific community is condensed in 8 peer-reviewed articles, most of them in Q1 of cancer research with impact factors ranging from 3,5 to 11 in journals such Scientific Reports, Oncogene or Journal of Pathology; with an average of 9 cites per year with a total of 44. Apart from that, he has presented several research posters and oral presentations in national and international congresses, for example, the AACR (American Association for Cancer Research).