ERA Chair Research Programme
As ERA Chair, Adriana Sánchez-Danés will drive an ambitious frontier project that will tackle the fate of tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. She will combine genetic mouse models, tumor organoids, mathematical modeling, imaging techniques and quantitative analysis to uncover the mechanisms involved in tumor progression, resistance and relapse.
As such, her research program bridges and transforms the three main operations at CCU i.e. neurosciences (“CNP”), physiology and cancer (“BSM”) and clinical research.
Her previous body of research focused on oncogenic transformation and progression. To this end, she has been using a set of state-of-the-art tools, including genetic and quantitative approaches to elucidate precursor-product relationships in cancer.
At the Champalimaud Foundation, Adriana now studies cellular heterogeneity within tumors, and to further explore the cellular and molecular circuits that contribute to tumor resistance and relapse after treatment, in the context of pediatric tumors and adult tumor models.
Her research interests are complementary and synergic to work currently being conducted at CCU and she brings new expertise in single cell analysis of cancer cells.
Adriana’s innovative approaches to cancer biology are amenable to large genetic and pharmacologic screenings - in addition to the use of genetics, Adriana also plans to use tumor organoid systems that will likely prove to be invaluable tools for testing and validating the therapeutic potential of the identified molecular circuits.
Thus, while the Sánchez-Danés lab's research is solidly anchored in the discovery of fundamental concepts of tumor transformation, her work also has great innovation and translational potential.
(Image: Basal Cell Carcinoma arising from the deletion of the Ptch1 gene)