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MSCA-PF: Joint application at the University of Granada. Department of Human Anatomy and Embryology/Excellence Research Unit “Modelin Nature"(MNat)

International Research Projects Office

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EU Research Framework Programme


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International Research Projects Office
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Gran Vía de Colón, 48, 2nd floor


ProfessorJuan Antonio Marchal from the Department of Human Anatomy and Embryology/Excellence Research Unit “Modelin Nature"(MNat) at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships (MSCA-PF) in 2021 at this University. Please note that applicants must comply with the MobilityJulio SantiagoJulio SantiagoRule (more information about the 2020 call:, the 2021 call is not yet open).

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531, is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. With over 60.000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and 6.000 staff. UGR offers a total of 89 degrees, 110 master’s degrees and 28 doctoral programmes through its 123 departments and 27 centers. Consequently, the UGR offers one of the most extensive and diverse ranges of higher education programmes in Spain.

The UGR has awarded with the "Human Resources Excellence in Research (HRS4R)", which reflects the UGR’s commitment to continuously improve its human resource policies in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. UGR is also a leading institution in research, located in the top 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 - Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ( The UGR is amongst the 201-300 first universities of the world, between 2nd-5th position of Spanish universities and number 1 in the Andalusian Region in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking. Specialties at UGR that stand out are Library & Information Science (position 32) and Food Science & Technology (position 36). Moreover, the UGR is also situated amongst the first 100 universities in Mining & Mineral Engineering between (76th-100th position), in Mathematics (between 76th-100th position) and in Hospitality & Tourism Management (between 76th-100th position). The edition of the ARWU places the UGR in 201-300th position in the world and as the 4th highest ranked University in Spain, reaffirming its position as an institution at the forefront of national and international research.

Additionally, the UGR has 8 researchers at the top of the Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list in Computer Sciences & Engineering (position 101-150). It is also well recognized for its web presence (, being positioned at 43th place in the top 200 Universities in Europe.

Internationally, we bet decidedly by our participation in the calls of the Framework Programme of the European Union. For the duration of the last two Framework Programmes, the UGR has obtained a total of 67 projects, with total funding of 18.029 million euros, and for H2020, 118 projects with total funding around 29.115 million euros.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group:

The research group “Advances Therapies: differentiation, regeneration and cancer (TERADIRECA consists of 22 members including associated professors, senior researchers, PhDs and PhD students. They are medical doctors, biologists, pharmacists, biochemists, biomedical engineers and bioinformatics. Moreover, we have several national and international collaborations with prestigious recognized scientists. The two main axes of our research, regenerative medicine and experimental oncology, not only focus on the basic aspects but also is clearly translational and multidisciplinary, with the possibility of diagnostic application and therapeutic use to benefit the health of patients with high prevalence diseases such as degenerative diseases and cancer. We also use 3D bioprinting technology and the development of new bioinks, for the regeneration of cartilage lesions, the production of autologous biomimetic skin or vascular substitutes stand out. In the field of experimental oncology, our group has implemented different therapeutic strategies directed against cancer stem cells (CSCs), based on novel natural and synthetic drugs, gene therapy, ultrasound, nanotechnology (nanoparticles of olive oil, silk proteins or polystyrene) and combinations of all of them. From the field of diagnosis, we have made a great advance in the identification of new biomarkers with prognostic and predictive value of response to cancer treatment and have developed an integrated non-invasive, highly sensitive and selective platform based on the use of bioinformatics, nanotechnology and graphene biosensor.

Project description:

The research project where the applicant will be incorporated is related to the characterization of molecular and cellular events implied in the interactions between CSCs, microenvironment, and metastatic progression; with innovative approaches integrating basic research and patient-oriented research. In fact, we have yet demonstrated that growth factors and cytokines secreted by stromal cells can induce the enrichment of CSC subpopulations with specific cytogenetic profile, which represent an advantage for the maintenance of their in vitro and in vivo stemness properties. Moreover, recently we have provided evidences showing that TGF-induced aggressiveness modulated by the transcription factor ATF4 is a valuable prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target in triple negative breast cancer. A set of in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrate that ATF4 depletion lead to reduced metastasis, cancer stemness properties and tumor cell survival through TGF/Smad and PI3K/mTOR. Based on this, we tailored a pathway-guided gene signature with prognostic potential. Finally, we have determined markers from lipid membrane of exosomes and miRNAs differentially expressed in CSCs in comparison with differentiated tumor cells both in vitro and serum samples from patients with melanoma. Also, by liquid biopsy we are analyzing cfDNA, ncRNA and SNPs from cancer patients. Finally, we are interested in the determination of modifications in the microbiota associated with the intestinal mucosa and faeces to establish predictive biomarkers of response to adjuvant chemotherapy in cancer. The ultimate goal is to establish a precision medicine in oncology by improving a better prognosis and the treatment decision-making in cancer patients

Research Area:

  • Life Sciences (LIFE)

For a correct evaluation of your candidature, please send the documents below to Professor Juan Antonio Marchal (

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)