Scientific Coordination Area

VHIO’s Scientific Management Area is a strategic Unit that supports our leadership and promotes the scientific activity of our research groups by facilitating the development and execution of scientific proposals and programs. In addition, we coordinate the activities of VHIO’s Task Forces to foster synergies between our multidisciplinary teams and spur joint research programs in oncology at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital – HUVH (Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus).

Our responsibilities include financial and scientific management, strategic scientific support, and the implementation of institutional actions across transversal areas such as education, ethics and regulatory issues, scientific dissemination, and the coordination of research activities related to VHIO’s participation in several consortia and partnerships globally. Additional activities include the assessment and preparation of grant application proposals, dissemination of national and international funding opportunities for our research groups, as well as the continued monitoring and coordination of awarded research projects, among others.

Our group further optimizes opportunities for the internationalization of researchers by devising personalized plans for VHIO’s scientific groups, centralizes and conceptualizes research proposals from our Task Forces, and proactively matches selected research priorities with competitive calls. Importantly, we lead and co-lead EU initiatives including the Coordination and Support Action (CSA – 4.UNCAN.eu) of the UNderstand CANcer (UNCAN.eu) project linked to the EU’s Horizon Europe Mission on Cancer, among others. We also spearhead highly innovative technological project proposals to increase VHIO’s success rate in calls, such as the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) within the Horizon Europe framework, and oversee VHIO’s involvement in European projects as project coordinators or partners. 

Lastly, our Area is continuously working to enhance its organizational structure and project management processes with the goal of expanding VHIO’s capacity to conduct research of excellence in oncology.

Alejandro Piris
Chief Scientific Officer
Chief Scientific Officer
Alejandro Piris Giménez
Scientific Strategy Officer
Javier Carmona
Senior Grants Manager
Sandra Porta
Senior Project Managers
Neus Bayó
Javier Gonzalo
Xenia Villalobos
Senior Finances & Projects Manager
Elena Chavarria
Clinical Senior Manager (Advanced Therapies)
Silvia Martin-Lluesma
Clinical Projects Manager
Arantxa Romero
Task Force Officers
Ana Carmona (Gastroesophageal Cancer and GI non-CRC)
Mireia Sanchís (Colorectal Cancer)
Project Manager Technicians
Isabel Vallvé (Senior)
Sara Belón (Junior)
Berta Colldeforns (Junior)
Alba López (Junior)
Marc López (Junior)
Mireia Monrás (Junior)
Masters Student
Ariadna Lechón, Raimon Vivancos
  • Identify and promote new research opportunities involving academic and industry partners.
  • Lead/co-lead EU initiatives/projects
  • Write, coordinate and manage scientific proposals.
  • Launch and monitor institutional research programs.
  • Promote intramural research through education, networking and communication programs.

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  • In 2022, we maintained a good track record with a success rate of 30%, out of 208 grant (competitive) applications.
  • Reflective of the research support that we provide to VHIO is our co-authorship of several publications
  • We have obtained funds from the prestigious AECC’s Excellence Program to develop our Advanced Therapies Accelerator AECC Excellence Program, that will allow us to consolidate as one of the pioneering centers in Spain in the development of cancer cell therapies. 
  • We co-lead major EU consortia. Just some of these include the Coordination and Support Action (CSA – 4.UNCAN.eu) of the UNderstand CANcer, the Cancer Core Europe (CCE) consortium’s CCE-DART project – the first H2020 grant awarded to CCE, and CCE’s Basket of Baskets. We are also collaborating with numerous project boards and are in involved in several other work packages.
  • We have provided support to our Scientific Direction through the management of scientific data and all the necessary documentation and actions required to develop research proposals. Additionally, together with VHIO’s Business Development Area we have secured funding for 8 collaborative private-public projects from the Ministerio de Asuntos Económicos y Transformación Digital – MINECO (Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation), among many others.

Most relevant papers

  • Elez E, Ros J, Fernández J, Villacampa G, Moreno-Cárdenas AB, Arenillas C, Bernatowicz K, Comas R, Li S, Kodack DP, Fasani R, Garcia A, Gonzalo-Ruiz J, Piris-Gimenez A, Nuciforo P, Kerr G, Intini R, Montagna A, Germani MM, Randon G, Vivancos A, Smits R, Graus D, Perez-Lopez R, Cremolini C, Lonardi S, Pietrantonio F, Dienstmann R, Tabernero J, Toledo RA. RNF43 mutations predict response to anti-BRAF/EGFR combinatory therapies in BRAFV600E metastatic colorectal cancer. Nat Med. 2022 Oct;28(10):2162-2170. 
  • Tamborero D, Dienstmann R, Rachid MH, Boekel J, Lopez-Fernandez A, Jonsson M, Razzak A, Braña I, De Petris L, Yachnin J, Baird RD, Loriot Y, Massard C, Martin-Romano P, Opdam F, Schlenk RF, Vernieri C, Masucci M, Villalobos X, Chavarria E; Cancer Core Europe consortium; Balmaña J, Apolone G, Caldas C, Bergh J, Ernberg I, Fröhling S, Garralda E, Karlsson C, Tabernero J, Voest E, Rodon J, Lehtiö J. The Molecular Tumor Board Portal supports clinical decisions and automated reporting for precision oncology. Nat Cancer. 2022 Feb;3(2):251-261.
  • Verdaguer H, Saurí T, Acosta DA, Guardiola M, Sierra A, Hernando J, Nuciforo P, Miquel JM, Molero C, Peiró S, Serra-Camprubí Q, Villacampa G, Aguilar S, Vivancos A, Tabernero J, Dienstmann R, Macarulla T. ESMO Scale for Clinical Actionability of Molecular Targets Driving Targeted Treatment in Patients with Cholangiocarcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Apr 14;28(8):1662-1671.
  • Monti M, Degenhardt T, Brain E, Wuerstlein R, Argusti A, Puntoni M, Rollandi GA, Corradengo D, Boni L, Ilhan H, Nanni O, Cortes J, Piris-Gimenez A, Piccardo A, Iacozzi M, Matteucci F, Di Iorio V, Alberini JL, Schröder C, Harbeck N, Gennari A. ERANET JTC 2011: Submission and Activation of an International Academic Translational Project in Advanced Breast Cancer. Experience From the ET-FES Study. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 Jan 13;8:817678. 
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