Molecular Biomarkers Research Group (BB1)
Main lines of research:
- Search for biomolecules that may be useful marker in early diagnosis of cancer, prognostic markers for predicting the evolution of the patient and aftercare markers that allow tracking the evolution of the patient and determine the effectiveness of treatment.
- Study of the molecular basis leading to the alteration in the synthesis of glycoconjugates associated with cancer.
- The identification of potential therapeutic targets against cancer.
- Evaluation of antitumor compounds in vitro, using cell cultures.
- Development of genetic markers for both research and for the diagnosis of hereditary diseases.
- Pharmacogenetics: Study of the role of certain polymorphisms in the expression of pathology, in response to treatment and int he development of side effects to a particular medication.
The group led by Prof. F. Javier Rodriguez Berrocal focuses on research, development and application of molecular biomarkers in different human pathologies. The common goal is to find new molecular markers, with a view to their possible application in the diagnosis, prognosis, therapy or monitoring of various diseases.
Two main lines of research are, firstly, the search for tumor markers and, secondly, the development of genetic markers for the diagnosis of hereditary diseases. Markers under study may be of genetic type (pathogenic mutations in the coding or regulatory sequences of structural genes) or biochemical (changes in the structure of glucidic epitopes or cell surface protein, levels of protein expression intracellular or extracellular, or the emergence of molecular forms of proteins specifically associated with certain diseases).
The group has directed sisteen doctoral dissertations relates to biomedicine, three of them have been co-directed by medical doctors belonging to SERGAS (Servicio Gallego de Salud - Galician Health Service). Currently are under way 10 Doctoral Thesis. In two of them a Neumologist is involved, and another two, a Hospital Pharmacist.
All these research projects in collaboration with medical staff have been done under research agreements or contracts with local hospital and clinic facilities, such as Endoproctos Clinic, the Clinical Laboratory Lema and Bandin, with Hospital Complex Services of Gastroenterology and Neumology, Pharmacy and Internal Medicine (CHUVI). It has also signed contracts with Citroën Health Services, and with AstraZeneca.
This group is also an active part in several Shared Units SERGAS-University of Vigo, such as:
- Molecular biomarkers in respiratory pathology (BMPR),
- Pharmacoproteomic and Pharmacogenomics (Farmaprogen)
- Genetic basis of diseases of the thyroid gland (GENFERTI)
- Genetics of AIDS (VIHXEN)
Another key objective of our group is to ensure the applicability of research findings encouraging knowledge transfer to the clinical setting. In that sense we have recorded up to eight patents, seven of which are diagnostic or prognostic procedures for different types of cancer.
Furthermore, a spin-off called INBIOGAL Galicia SL Biological Innovations, was created in January 2008, supported by the MEC UNIEMPRENDIA program, and the Xunta de Galicia Empresa -Concepto programme. This company has been awarded the "Premio Muller" within the program "Innovation and entrepreneurial management culture in the university context", from the UNESCO Chair.