Continuous learning

At VHIO we are committed to providing all our staff with the necessary tools to progress on their projects and duties and to take the next steps towards developing their professional careers. As such, we provide VHIO members with state-of-the-art technical and scientific skills courses and workshops required to develop research projects, as well as offer a number of other complementary skills courses, seminars and educational events. Continuous learning at VHIO enables our employees to build on their own expertise by learning simultaneously while they work. The continued development of competencies turns VHIO members into highly sought-after professionals.

VHIO – CaixaResearch Scientific Seminars Series

VHIO is committed to the dissemination of knowledge as part of its strategic research model. Through institutional support and promotion actions, it aims to reach VHIO researchers and groups through internal seminars, round tables and, in general, activities that promote the transversal dissemination of knowledge among the members of the VHIO scientific community.

One example is the VHIO – CaixaResearch Scientific Seminars Series program, where nationally and internationally renowned speakers share and debate the latest knowledge, discoveries and advances in oncology. These seminars are open to professionals outside VHIO who want to participate in knowledge exchange. Since its creation in 2019, more than 30 seminars have been held and more than 1,700 professionals have participated.

The most recent sessions were hosted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each seminar typically consists of a 30- to 45-minute talk followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Chaired be each respective VHIO host, these expert talks are typically scheduled to take place on Fridays.

Scientific Co-Chairs
  • María Abad, Group Leader, Cellular Plasticity and Cancer Group
  • Laura Soucek, Group Leader, Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group
  • Elena Élez, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator, Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Tumors Group


Friday 9 September 22 - 12:00 PM scientific-seminars Laura Fouassier I Pleotropic functions of EGFR in cholangiocarcinoma
Friday 23 September 22 - 12:00 PM scientific-seminars Jose-Javier Bravo-Cordero I High-resolution intravital microscopy reveals the plastic behavior of disseminated dormant cells and their niches
Friday 14 October 22 - 12:00 PM scientific-seminars Alejo Efeyan I TBC
Thursday 27 October 22 - 05:00 PM scientific-seminars Justin Eyquem I TBC
Friday 11 November 22 - 12:00 PM scientific-seminars Francesca Demichelis I TBC
Friday 25 November 22 - 12:00 PM scientific-seminars Manolis Kogvinas I Sleep, food, light-at-night and cancer: why circadian rhythms matter
Thursday 15 December 22 - 04:00 PM scientific-seminars Bruno Di Stefano | Dissecting mechanisms that govern cellular identity
Thursday 15 December 22 - 04:00 PM scientific-seminars Bruno Di Stefano I Dissecting mechanisms that govern cellular identity

Benchstorming Seminars

A tailor-made program for young researchers

The Benchstorming Seminars, led by VHIO postdoctoral fellows, are a program to allow young researchers to exchange research interests with the various VHIO research programs.

The specially designed informal format of these meetings encourages freedom of thought, fluency, and interaction between speakers and participants.

Established back in February 2016 by co-founders Verónica Rodilla, a former postdoctoral fellow with VHIO’s Growth Factors Group, and Jordi Martínez Quintanilla, postdoctoral fellow with our Stem Cells and Cancer Group, our series of Benchstorming Seminars represent an excellent educational opportunity for junior faculty at VHIO to both present and exchange ideas about their respective research interests across VHIO’s various research programs. Not only do our young researchers learn more about their other colleagues and the research lines currently underway, they can also express their thoughts on each seminar’s specific topic. The specially designed informal format favors free thought, flow, and interaction between the speakers and participants.

In 2019, Elena Senís, postdoctoral fellow with VHIO’s Cellular Plasticity and Cancer Group and Benchstorming co-chair, announced that Chiara Bellio, postdoctoral fellow with VHIO’s Tumor Biomarkers Group, would be taking over the reins for co-chair Toni Jauset, a former member of VHIO’s Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group. At the end of 2020, Elena Senís stood down as co-chair as well, and Sara Simonetti, Attending Physician with VHIO’s Molecular Oncology Group, and Tian Tian, postdoctoral fellow with our Chromatin Dynamics in Cancer Group, joined Chiara as Benchstorming co-chairs.

Scientific Co-Chairs
  • Sara Simonetti
  • Tian Tian
  • Chiara Bellio
  • Samuel Gonçalves


Ad-hoc courses, workshops & observerships

Based on specific lines and research areas that continue to position VHIO as an international benchmark, we share our expertise, learn from eminent guest speakers and discuss and debate our latest findings through the organization of VHIO ad-hoc courses and workshops.

Committed to exchanging information about the most recent discoveries in cancer science and medicine, VHIO organized and hosted a total of 25 courses, workshops, observerships and perceptorships in 2020. Naturally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of these were held online. In the years prior to COVID-19, the norm was to hold about 50 VHIO-organized courses and workshops each year.