Our team

We are a young and ambitious group with the goal of developing scientific projects that help improve the prognosis of cancer patients with brain metastases.

Manuel Valiente.

DVM / PhD · Principal Investigator

My lab develops projects to study cancer cells that metastasize to the brain. Our interest is to understand cancer, but also the brain's reaction to metastasis. We develop an integrated approach that allows studying several critical aspects of the biology with the ultimate goal of blocking the development and growth of brain metastases.

Lucía Zhu.

PhD Student

Lucia was born in Valencia (1993). She obtained her bachelor degree in Biotechnology at Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville) with outstanding marks in June 2015. She was awarded with the scholarship “Atlanticus-Santander” that allowed her to move to South Carolina where she continued her studies (August-December, 2014) of her bachelor as well as trained in basic molecular techniques. In 2015, she travelled to Hamburg within the Erasmus+ Traineeship Programme to join the Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology...

Neibla Priego.


Neibla was born in Madrid (1987). When she finished her degree in Pharmacy (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, UCM) she decided to get to know the insights of Molecular Biology in more detail. While doing the Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine Master Degree at UCM, she started to work in the laboratory of Dr. Porras as a Master Thesis student. Her thesis was awarded with the best distinction. Neibla obtained a FPU fellowship to continue her PhD studies in the same laboratory...

Lourdes Osuna Almagro.

Lab Manager

Lourdes was born in Madrid. She has broad experience in basic and clinical research acquired over the years in positions held at various hospitals and research centers (Universidad Autonoma Madrid (2003-2004), Institute of Biomedicine of Valencia (2005-2006), Centro Principe Felipe, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2008-2011)). Before joining CNIO, Lourdes worked as a research technician and lab manager at Imperial College London (2012-2017) where she did research on vascular biology and produced several papers...

Natalia Yebra.

Laboratory technician

Natalia was born in Alcalá de Henares (1997). She obtained a Degree of Nursing Assistant in 2015. She did an internship at Hospital Universitario Príncipe de Asturias. In order to improve her scientific knowledge, she then obtained a Degree on Pathology and Cytodiagnostics in 2017, which allowed her to join CNIO to practice the techniques learned. Nowadays, Natalia is working as a technician at the Brain Metastasis Group where she participates in several research projects.

Pedro García.

PhD student

Pedro was born in Valencia (1992). He obtained his bachelor degree in Biotechnology (2014) at the Universitat Politècnica de València. During this time he trained on various biological and molecular techniques during internships at Hospital General de Valencia and at the Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe. His Bachelor thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Knecht’s, produced a new diagnostic tool for a rare neurodegenerative disorder. Afterwards, he moved to Sweden to join the Master of Medical Science in Molecular Medicine at Uppsala University...

Laura Álvaro.

PhD Student

Laura was born in Madrid (1993) and obtained her bachelor degree in Biotechnology (Healthcare field) at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. She carried out her bachelor’s thesis in the Molecular Diagnostics Unit at CNIO, led by Luis Lombardía. From October 2015 to September 2016 she was awarded with a “Citius” fellowship, a program from the Fundación Universidad-Empresa and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, to join the Quantitative Biology department at Eli Lilly and Company...

Ana de Pablos.

Master student

Ana was born in Segovia (1994). Before graduating from Biotechnology at Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (UFV, Madrid) in July 2016, Ana performed research trainees at Hospital Gregorio Marañón in Madrid and took part in the CNIO summer program 2015 in the group of Dra. Nuria Malats. During her bachelor studies, she was awarded with a scholarship from UFV for students with brilliant academic records. The last year of her bachelor’s degree, she travelled to United States to join the group of Professor Eva Hernando...

Available jobs

Cutting-edge neuroscience research applying optics to brain tumors

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Postdoctoral position brain metastasis group

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Past lab members


Manon Mulders:

Erasmus+ Master student: 2015-2016
Current position: Michiel Pegtel/ Rubina Baglio lab, Cancer Center Amsterdam, VU University MC


Cira Dorado:

Technician in practices, 2016. Current position: Undergraduate student, Nursing School. Universidad Pontificia de Comillas ICAI ICADE


Miguel Marín:

MD student, internship 2015.
Current position: : MD/ PhD student, Christophe Benoist and Diane Mathis lab, Harvard Medical School (Boston).


David Wasilewski:

MD student, internship 2015-2016.
Current position: MD/ PhD student. Giorgio Seano lab. Institute Curie (Paris).


Laura Doglio:

Lab Manager 2016-2017.
Current position: Lab Manager. George Kassiotis lab. Francis Crick Institute (London).


Wendy Bindeman:

Fulbright visiting student, 2017-2018.
Current position: PhD student. Barbara Mary Fingleton lab. Vanderbilt University (Nashville)


Pablo Sánchez Vela:

MD student, internship 2016.
Current position: Research Scholar, Ross Levine lab. MSKCC.


Cátia Monteiro:

PhD student, 2015-2019.