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PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Laura Soucek
LAURA SOUCEK

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LAURA SOUCEK

Current positions

  • Principal Investigator of VHIO´s Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group
  • ICREA Research Professor, 2014
  • Associate Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
  • Founder and Chief-Executive-Officer (CEO) of Peptomyc S.L.
  • Scientific editor for Cancer Discovery.
  • Reviewer for: Anti-cancer Drugs, BBA (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta), BioEssays, Cancer Discovery, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, Cancer Research, Cancer Treatment Reviews, Clinical Cancer Research, Current Pharmaceutical Design, Developmental Dynamics, Drug Discovery Today, Gastroenterology Research and Practice, International Journal of Biological Sciences, Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Nature, Nature Cell Biology, Nature Communications, Nature MedicineOncogene, Oncogenesis, Oncology books (iConcept Press Ltd), Plos One, Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease, and Tumor Biology
  • Editor of the book: "The Myc gene: methods and protocols", series "Methods in Molecular Biology" (Humana Press).



 

Academic Qualifications

  • 2014-ongoing: ICREA Research Professor
  • 2015-ongoing: Associate Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
  • 2006-2011 Assistant Researcher Molecular Biologist at UCSF, San Francisco, CA (PI: Prof. Gerard Evan), USA
  • 2003-2006 Postdoctoral Fellow at Cancer Research Institute, UCSF, San Francisco, CA (PI: Prof. Gerard Evan), USA
  • 2002-2003 Molecular Biologist at IBPM (Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology), CNR, Rome (Supervisor: Dr. Sergio Nasi), Italy
  • 2001-2002 Postdoctoral fellow at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCSF, San Francisco, CA (PI: Prof. Gerard Evan), USA
  • 2001 PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology at University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.
  • 1997-1998 Molecular Biology Fellow at the Centre for Nucleic Acids, CNR, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.
  • 1996 Degree in Biological Sciences with Full Marks at University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

Areas of Research

  • Myc inhibition and its validation as potential cancer therapy
  • Design and testing of clinically-viable Omomyc-based Myc inhibitors
  • Development of pre-clinical models of cancer therapy
  • Cross-talk between tumor and tumor microenvironment

Prizes and Scholarships

  • ERC (European Commission) Proof-of-Concept Grant. Title: “Developing an anti-Myc cell-penetrating peptide for cancer treatment”. 2016-2017. Role: PI
  • Peptomyc received a grant from the Catalan Agency for Trade and Investment (ACCIÓ), for the project “Pre-clinical development of OmomycCPP: characterization of the immune response”. 2016. Role: PI
  • Peptomyc was awarded a “Seal of Excellence” and an SME Instrument Phase I by the European Commission within the Horizon2020 Program. Title: “Feasibility study of a novel treatment for cancer based on a recombinant peptide Therapy”. 2016. Role: PI
  • BBVA Foundation Grant in Biomedicine. Title: “Validation of an innovative anti-Myc therapy in glioblastoma”. 2015-2017. Role: PI
  • FERO fellowship for a nanotechnology project: “Treating metastatic breast cancer with Omomyc-based nanoparticles”. 2015-2016. Role: PI
  • Grant for Emerging Research Group of Catalunya from the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR). 2014-2016. Role: PI
  • ERC (European Commission) Consolidator Grant. Title: “Pushing Myc inhibition towards the clinic”. 2014-2019. Role: PI
  • Instituto de Salud Carlos III: Proyectos FIS de Investigación en Salud. Title: “Advancing Myc inhibition towards the clinic for the treatment of lung cancer”. 2014-2017. Role: PI
  • Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) Grant. Title: "Advancing Myc inhibition towards the clinic: characterization of an Omomyc cell-penetrating peptide". 2013-2016. Role: PI
  • 2015: First prize in the Competition for Innovation by VHIR, Barcelona, Spain. Title: “Pushing Myc inhibition to the clinic using cell penetrating peptides”. The project aims at developing a new therapeutic option for patients with cancer by targeting Myc protein with an inhibitor peptide, Omomyc, a new pharmaceutical entity. Role: PI
    2013-2014: Bayer “Grants4Targets” Initiative. Title: “Pushing Myc inhibition towards the clinic”.
  • FERO Fellowship. Project: "Targeting Myc in tumors and microenvironment". 2011-2013. Role: PI
  • Miguel Servet fellowship from FIS, Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo. Project “Inhibiting Myc and Myc dependent inflammatory response as cancer therapies” . 2011-2014. Role: PI
  • Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation: Grant awarded to support an outstanding young investigator in pediatric cancer research. Subject: Modeling Myc therapeutic potential in vivo. 2009. Role: PI
  • AACR award “Future Leaders, New directions” for outstanding early-career scientists in cancer research. 2008
  • Keystone Symposia scholarship. 2007
  • Research fellowship from Fondazione Adriano Buzzati-Traverso, Rome, Italy: Competitive award for Postdoctoral students in Cancer Biology. Subject: The role of Myc as transcriptional activator and repressor. 2002
  • Post doctoral CNR fellowship, Rome, Italy: Competitive award meant to cover the salary of young investigators willing to gain research experience in a foreign country. Aim: Design of two different mouse models expressing a Myc dominant negative transgene, Omomyc. 2001
  • Research fellowship from Associazione Italiana Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC), Rome, Italy: Competitive award for young investigators in Cancer Biology. Subject: Interfering with Myc effect on chromatin structure. 2001
  • Centro Nazionale di Ricerca (CNR) fellowship for PhD students, Rome, Italy: Competitive award for Students in the Genetics and Molecular Biology PhD Program. Subject: Design of a Myc dominant negative to be used in tumor cell lines. 1998
  • Research fellowship for graduate students from the Fondazione Adriano Buzzati-Traverso, Rome, Italy: Competitive Pre-Doctoral award in Cancer Biology. The main aim of this project was to investigate the dimerization specificity of bHLHZip proteins. 1997.
  • Agenzia per il DIritto agli Studi Universitari (ADISU) Recognition Award for best students in Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, Rome, Italy. 1995

Most relevant publications

  • Daniel Massó-Vallés, Toni Jauset and Laura Soucek. Ibrutinib repurposing: from B cell malignancies to solid tumors. Oncoscience. Onlibe Advanced Publication DOI: 10.18632/oncoscience.310. Editorial.  
  • Francesco Paolo Fiorentino, Elvan Tokgün, Sònia Solé-Sánchez, Sabrina Giampaolo, Onur Tokgün, Toni Jauset, Takashi Kohno, Manuel Perucho, Laura Soucek, Jun Yokota. Growth Suppression by MYC Inhibition in Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells with TP53 and RB1 Inactivation. Oncotarget. 2016 Apr 18. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.8826. [Epub ahead of print] Article.
  • Stephanie C. Casey, Monica Vaccari, Fahd Al-Mulla, Rabeah Al-Temaimi, Amedeo Amedei, Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, Dustin Brown, Marion Chapellier, […], Sandra Ryeom, Hosni K. Salem, Ivana Scovassi,  Neetu Singh, Laura Soucek, Louis Vermeulen, Jonathan R. Whitfield, Jordan Woodrick, Annamaria Colacci, William H. Bisson, and Dean W. Felsher. Assessing the Carcinogenic Potential of Environmental Chemicals: The Tumor Microenvironment. Carcinogenesis. 2015 Jun;36 Suppl 1:S160-83. Review. 
  • Daniel Massó-Vallés, Toni Jauset, Erika Serrano, Nicole M. Sodir, Kim Pedersen, Nesrine I. Affara, Jonathan R. Whitfield, Marie-Eve Beaulieu, Gerard I. Evan, Laurence Elias, Joaquín Arribas and Laura Soucek. Ibrutinib exerts potent anti-fibrotic and anti-tumor activity in mouse transgenic and patient derived xenograft models of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Cancer Res. 2015 Apr 15; 75(8): 1675-1681. Article.
  • Daniela Annibali, Jonathan R Whitfield, Emilia Favuzzi, Toni Jauset, Erika Serrano, Isabel Cuartas, Sara Redondo-Campos, Gerard Folch, Alba Gonzàlez-Juncà, Nicole M Sodir, Daniel Massó-Vallés, Marie-Eve Beaulieu, Lamorna B Swigart, Margaret M Mc Gee, Maria Patrizia Somma, Sergio Nasi, , Joan Seoane, Gerard I Evan, and Laura Soucek. Myc Inhibition as a Therapeutic Strategy Against Glioma: a Role for Myc in Proficient Mitosis. Nat Communications. 2014 Aug 18;5:4632. Article.
  • Laura Soucek, Jonathan R. Whitfield, Nicole M. Sodir, Daniel Massó-Vallés, Erika Serrano, Anthony N. Karnezis, Lamorna Brown Swigart and Gerard I. Evan. Inhibition of Myc family proteins eradicates KRas-driven lung cancer in mice. Genes Dev. 2013 Mar 1;27(5):504-13. Article.
  • Whitfield J, Soucek L. Tumor microenvironment: becoming sick of Myc. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012, 69(6), 931-934. Review.
  • Nicole M Sodir, Lamorna Brown Swigart, Anthony N Karnezis, Douglas Hanahan, Gerard Evan and Laura Soucek. Endogenous Myc maintains the tumor microenvironment. Genes Dev. 2011 May 1;25(9):907-16. Epub 2011 Apr 8. Article.
  • Andrew Finch*, Laura Soucek*, Melissa Junttila, Lamorna Brown Swigart and Gerard I. Evan. Acute over-expression of Myc in intestinal epithelium recapitulates some but not all the changes elicited by Wnt/β-catenin pathway activation. Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Oct;29(19):5306-15. Epub 2009 Jul 27. Article. *Joint first authors
  • Laura Soucek, Jonathan Whitfield, Carla P. Martins, Andrew J. Finch, Nicole M. Sodir, Lamorna Brown Swigart, Sergio Nasi and Gerard I. Evan. Modelling Myc inhibition as a cancer therapy. Nature. 2008 Oct 2;455(7213):679-83. Epub 2008 Aug 17. Article.
  • Soucek L, Lawlor ER, Soto D, Shchors K, Swigart LB, Evan GI. Mast cells are required for angiogenesis and macroscopic expansion of Myc-induced pancreatic islet tumors. Nat Med. 2007 Oct;13(10):1211-8. Epub 2007 Sep 30. Article.
  • Maria A. Christophorou, Dionisio Martin-Zanca, Laura Soucek, Elizabeth Lawlor, Emmy Verschuren, Lamorna Brown-Swigart and Gerard I. Evan. Temporal dissection of p53 function in vitro and in vivo. Nature Genetics. 2005 Jul;37(7):718-26. Article.
  • Laura Soucek, Sergio Nasi, and Gerard Evan. Omomyc expression in skin prevents Myc-induced papillomatosis. Cell Death Differ. 2004 Sep;11(9):1038-45. Article.
  • Laura Soucek and Gerard Evan. Myc – is this the oncogene from Hell?. Cancer Cell. 2002 June; 1(5): 406-408. Review.
  • Laura Soucek, Richard Jucker, Laura Panacchia, Ruggero Ricordy, Franco Tatò, and Sergio Nasi. Omomyc, a Potential Myc Dominant Negative, Enhances Myc-induced Apoptosis. Cancer Res. 2002; 62: 3507-3510. Article.
  • Soucek L., Citterich M.H., Sacco A., Jucker R., Cesareni G. and Nasi S. Design and properties of a Myc derivative that efficiently homodimerizes. Oncogene. 1998, 17(19): 2463-2472. Article.

All publications

  • Daniel Massó-Vallés, Toni Jauset and Laura Soucek. Ibrutinib repurposing: from B cell malignancies to solid tumors. Oncoscience. Onlibe Advanced Publication DOI: 10.18632/oncoscience.310. Editorial.  
  • Francesco Paolo Fiorentino, Elvan Tokgün, Sònia Solé-Sánchez, Sabrina Giampaolo, Onur Tokgün, Toni Jauset, Takashi Kohno, Manuel Perucho, Laura Soucek, Jun Yokota. Growth Suppression by MYC Inhibition in Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells with TP53 and RB1 Inactivation. Oncotarget. 2016 Apr 18. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.8826. [Epub ahead of print] Article.
  • Cecconi F, Soucek L, Taub DD, Ziparo E. Live or Die: Choice Mechanisms in Stressed Cells. Mediators Inflamm. 2015; 2015:454863. Epub 2015 Oct 8. Editorial.
  • William H. Goodson III, Leroy Lowe, David O. Carpenter, Michael Gilbertson, Abdul Manaf Ali, Adela Lopez de Cerain Salsamendi, […], Laura Soucek, […], Zhiwei Hu. Assessing the Carcinogenic Potential of Low Dose Exposures to Chemical Mixtures in the Environment: The Challenge Ahead. Carcinogenesis. 2015 Jun;36 Suppl 1:S254-96. Review.
  • Stephanie C. Casey, Monica Vaccari, Fahd Al-Mulla, Rabeah Al-Temaimi, Amedeo Amedei, Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, Dustin Brown, Marion Chapellier, […], Sandra Ryeom, Hosni K. Salem, Ivana Scovassi,  Neetu Singh, Laura Soucek, Louis Vermeulen, Jonathan R. Whitfield, Jordan Woodrick, Annamaria Colacci, William H. Bisson, and Dean W. Felsher. Assessing the Carcinogenic Potential of Environmental Chemicals: The Tumor Microenvironment. Carcinogenesis. 2015 Jun;36 Suppl 1:S160-83. Review. 
  • Daniel Massó-Vallés, Toni Jauset, Erika Serrano, Nicole M. Sodir, Kim Pedersen, Nesrine I. Affara, Jonathan R. Whitfield, Marie-Eve Beaulieu, Gerard I. Evan, Laurence Elias, Joaquín Arribas and Laura Soucek. Ibrutinib exerts potent anti-fibrotic and anti-tumor activity in mouse transgenic and patient derived xenograft models of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Cancer Res. 2015 Apr 15; 75(8): 1675-1681. Article.
  • Whitfield J, Littlewood T, Evan GI, Soucek L. The estrogen receptor fusion system in mouse models: a reversible switch. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2015 Mar 2;2015(3):pdb.top069815. doi: 10.1101/pdb.top069815. Book chapter. 
  • Whitfield J, Littlewood T, Soucek L. Tamoxifen administration to mice. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2015 Mar 2;2015(3):pdb.prot077966. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot077966. Book chapter.
  • Daniela Annibali, Jonathan R Whitfield, Emilia Favuzzi, Toni Jauset, Erika Serrano, Isabel Cuartas, Sara Redondo-Campos, Gerard Folch, Alba Gonzàlez-Juncà, Nicole M Sodir, Daniel Massó-Vallés, Marie-Eve Beaulieu, Lamorna B Swigart, Margaret M Mc Gee, Maria Patrizia Somma, Sergio Nasi, , Joan Seoane, Gerard I Evan, and Laura Soucek. Myc Inhibition as a Therapeutic Strategy Against Glioma: a Role for Myc in Proficient Mitosis. Nat Communications. 2014 Aug 18;5:4632. Article.
  • Book: “The Myc gene”, Methods and Protocols, Series: Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 1012. Soucek, Laura; Sodir, Nicole M. (Editors) 2013. A product of Humana Press.
  • Nicole M. Sodir and Laura Soucek. Chapter: The Myc world within reach. “Myc: Methods and Protocols” Book, Methods Mol Biol. 2013;1012:1-6. Book chapter.
  • Laura Soucek, Jonathan R. Whitfield, Nicole M. Sodir, Daniel Massó-Vallés, Erika Serrano, Anthony N. Karnezis, Lamorna Brown Swigart and Gerard I. Evan.  Inhibition of Myc family proteins eradicates KRas-driven lung cancer in mice. Genes Dev. 2013 Mar 1;27(5):504-13. Article.
  • Whitfield J, Soucek L. Tumor microenvironment: becoming sick of Myc. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012, 69(6), 931-934. Review.
  • Oscar M. Pello, Maria De Pizzol, Massimiliano Mirolo, Laura Soucek, Luca Zammataro, Angelo Amabile, Andrea Doni, Lamorna B. Swigart, Gerard I. Evan, Alberto Mantovani, Massimo Locati. c-Myc controls alternative activation of human macrophages and tumor-associated macrophage biology. Blood. 2012,  119(2), 411-421. Article.
  • Laura Soucek, Joseph J Buggy, Roderik Kortlever, Shanthi Adimoolam, Lamorna Brown Swigart and Gerard Evan. Modeling mast cell inhibition by PCI-32765 as potential therapy for insulinoma. Neoplasia. 2011; 13(11):1093–100. Article.
  • Mauro Savino, Daniela Annibali, Nicoletta Carucci, Laura Soucek, Gerard Evan, Sergio Nasi. The Action Mechanism of the Myc Inhibitor Termed Omomyc May Give Clues on How to Target Myc for Cancer Therapy. PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22284. Epub 2011 Jul 21. Article.
  • Nicole M Sodir, Lamorna Brown Swigart, Anthony N Karnezis, Douglas Hanahan, Gerard Evan and Laura Soucek. Endogenous Myc maintains the tumor microenvironment. Genes Dev. 2011 May 1;25(9):907-16. Epub 2011 Apr 8. Article.
  • Fukazawa T, Maeda Y, Matsuoka J, Yamatsuji T, Shigemitsu K, Morita I, Faiola F, Durbin ML, Soucek L, Naomoto Y. Inhibition of Myc effectively targets KRAS mutation-positive lung cancer expressing high levels of Myc. Anticancer Res. 2010 Oct;30(10):4193-200. Article.
  • Soucek L, Evan GI. The ups and downs of Myc biology. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2010 Feb;20(1):91-95. Epub 2009 Dec 3. Review.
  • Andrew Finch*, Laura Soucek*, Melissa Junttila, Lamorna Brown Swigart and Gerard I. Evan. Acute over-expression of Myc in intestinal epithelium recapitulates some but not all the changes elicited by Wnt/β-catenin pathway activation. Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Oct;29(19):5306-15. Epub 2009 Jul 27. Article. *Joint first authors
  • Laura Soucek, Jonathan Whitfield, Carla P. Martins, Andrew J. Finch, Nicole M. Sodir, Lamorna Brown Swigart, Sergio Nasi and Gerard I. Evan. Modelling Myc inhibition as a cancer therapy. Nature. 2008 Oct 2;455(7213):679-83. Epub 2008 Aug 17. Article.
  • Soucek L, Lawlor ER, Soto D, Shchors K, Swigart LB, Evan GI. Mast cells are required for angiogenesis and macroscopic expansion of Myc-induced pancreatic islet tumors. Nat Med. 2007 Oct;13(10):1211-8. Epub 2007 Sep 30. Article.
  • Finch A, Prescott J, Shchors K, Hunt A, Soucek L, Dansen TB, Swigart LB, Evan GI. Bcl-x(L) gain of function and p19(ARF) loss of function cooperate oncogenically with Myc in vivo by distinct mechanisms. Cancer Cell. 2006 Aug;10(2):113-120. Article.
  • Elizabeth R. Lawlor, Laura Soucek,  Lamorna Brown-Swigart, Ksenya Shchors, Uli Bialucha, Gerard I. Evan. Reversible Kinetic Analysis of Myc Targets In vivo Provides Novel Insights into Myc-Mediated Tumorigenesis. Cancer Res. 2006 May 1;66(9):4591-601. Article.
  • Maria A. Christophorou, Dionisio Martin-Zanca, Laura Soucek, Elizabeth Lawlor, Emmy Verschuren, Lamorna Brown-Swigart and Gerard I. Evan. Temporal dissection of p53 function in vitro and in vivo. Nature Genetics. 2005 Jul;37(7):718-26. Article.
  • Laura Soucek, Sergio Nasi, and Gerard Evan. Omomyc expression in skin prevents Myc-induced papillomatosis. Cell Death Differ. 2004 Sep;11(9):1038-45. Article.
  • Satoshi Kanasawa, Laura Soucek, Gerard Evan, Takashi Okamoto, and B. Matija Peterlin. c-Myc recruits P-TEFb for transcription, cellular proliferation and apoptosis. Oncogene. 2003 Aug 28;22(36):5707-11. Article.
  • Laura Soucek and Gerard Evan. Myc – is this the oncogene from Hell?. Cancer Cell. 2002 June; 1(5): 406-408. Review.
  • Laura Soucek, Richard Jucker, Laura Panacchia, Ruggero Ricordy, Franco Tatò, and Sergio Nasi. Omomyc, a Potential Myc Dominant Negative, Enhances Myc-induced Apoptosis. Cancer Res. 2002; 62: 3507-3510. Article.
  • Mandolesi G, Gargano S, Pennuto M, Illi B, Molfetta R, Soucek L, Mosca L, Levi A, Jucker R, Nasi S. NGF-dependent and tissue-specific transcription of vgf is regulated by a CREB-p300 and bHLH factor interaction. FEBS Lett. 2002. ¡ 510(1-2):50-6. Article.
  • Sergio Nasi, Roberta Ciarapica, Richard Jucker, Jessica Rosati and Laura Soucek. Making decisions through Myc. FEBS. 2001. 490(3): 153-162. Review.
  • Sergio Nasi and Laura Soucek. p53 Gene e Proteina, Enciclopedia Medica Italiana, Tomo III, 2000, 4313-4323. Book chapter. 
  • Soucek L., Citterich M.H., Sacco A., Jucker R., Cesareni G. and Nasi S. Design and properties of a Myc derivative that efficiently homodimerizes. Oncogene. 1998, 17(19): 2463-2472. Article.