Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-IF: Joint application at the University of Granada. Department of Bioquímica y Biología Molecular I

    01/09/2018 11:00 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Spain, Granada
    International Research Projects Office
    Promotion and Advisory Unit

Professor Pedro P. Medina Vico, from the Department of Bioquímica y Biología Molecular I at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (MSCA-IF) in 2018 at this University. Please note that applicants must comply with the Mobility Rule (more information: http://sl.ugr.es/09Qg).

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531, is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. It serves more than 60000 students per year, including many foreign students, as UGR is the leader host institution in the Erasmus program. UGR, featuring 3650 professors and more than 2000 auxiliary personnel, offers a total of 75 degrees through its 112 departments and 28 centers.

UGR is also a leading institution in research, located in the top 5/10 of Spanish universities by a variety of ranking criteria, such as national R&D projects, fellowships awarded, publications, or international funding. UGR is one of the few Spanish Universities listed in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking (http://www.arwu.org/), and it is also well recognized for its web presence (http://www.4icu.org/top200/).

Internationally, we bet decidedly by our participation in the calls of H2020, both at partner and coordination. For the duration of the Seventh Framework Programme, the UGR has obtained a total of 66 projects, with total funding of 17.97 million euros, and for H2020, until 2015, more than 25 projects with total funding of more than 6 million euros. Our more than 3,000 researchers are grouped into 365 research groups covering all scientific fields and disciplines.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group

Group CTS-993. GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION increases the functional versatility and adaptability of the cell by allowing it to express certain proteins when needed. It is, therefore, one of the most important and complex processes of biology. Changes in the gene expression patterns are key in cancer cell transformation, through an increase in expression of genes that promote carcinogenesis (oncogenes) and/or a decrease in expression of genes that prevent it (tumour suppressor genes). Non-coding RNAs and chromatin-structure both play important roles in this process and have been found to be critical in the development of human pathologies. Both of these regulatory elements, especially in the context of CANCER, have been the focus of my interest during my career.

Project description


The SWI/SNF complex is an ATP-dependent chromatin-remodelling complex that is known to regulate EPIGENETICALLY the gene expression (Kwon, Imbalzano et al. 1994). Increasing evidence demonstrates that some components of the SWI/SNF complex are tumour suppressors and are involved in human cancer development. One subunit of this complex, SNF5, is inactivated in malignant rhabdoid tumours (MRTs) and heterozygous Snf5 knockout mice develop tumours that are histologically similar to human MRTs (Roberts, Galusha et al. 2000; Roberts, Leroux et al. 2002). BRG1 (Medina and Sanchez-Cespedes 2008), the helicase/ATPase catalytic subunits of the SWI/SNF complex, is mutated in many different cancer cell lines (Wong, Shanahan et al. 2000; Medina, Romero et al. 2008). Additionally, germline BRG1 mutations linked to a Rhabdoid Tumour Predisposition Syndrome was reported in a family, strongly suggesting that is a bona fide tumour suppressor gene (Schneppenheim, Fruhwald et al.). Recently, it has been discovered that two other subunits of the chromatin-remodelling complex, BAF250 (ARID1A) and BAF180 (PBRM1) (Jones, Wang et al. ; Wiegand, Shah et al. ; Varela, Tarpey et al. 2011; Wilson and Roberts 2011), are frequently mutated in ovarian clear cell carcinoma and renal carcinoma, respectively. All these observations support an important role of the SWI/SNF complex in cancer, however its specific function is still unclear.

MiRNAs are a recently discovered class of small RNA molecules that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Due to their small size and unusual nature, miRNAs were not discovered in humans until 2000. Today, over one thousand miRNAs have been identified in the human genome. Aberrant biogenesis and/or expression of miRNAs have been linked to human diseases including cancer (Medina and Slack 2008). During my training as a postdoc in this field I have helped to reveal the critical role played by specific miRNAs in cancer. While most previous studies in the field used cell lines or in vitro systems, we pioneered the functional study of the role of miRNAs using in vivo transgenic mouse models. We demonstrated the therapeutic utility of let-7 microARN ectopic expression in vivo (Medina, Trang et al. 2010), and the important of a single microARNs (miR-21) to the drive of tumor development (Medina, Nolde et al. 2010). In my recently created group at the GenyO Center we will continue unveiling the role of the microRNAs in cancer with the hope to find novel and useful cancer therapies.

Research Area

  • Life Sciences (LIFE)

For a correct evaluation of your candidature, please send the documents below to Professor Pedro P. Medina Vico (pedromedina@ugr.es):

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)