Our Team

We are an ambitious group of researchers with the goal of developing scientific projects that help to 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.

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.

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…

Ana de Pablos

PhD student

Ana was born in Segovia (1994). Before graduating from Biotechnology at Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (UFV, Madrid) in July 2016, Ana performed research internships at Hospital Gregorio Marañón (Madrid) and at CNIO, under the supervision of Dra. Nuria Malats as part of the CNIO Summer Program (2015). During her bachelor studies, she was awarded with a scholarship from UFV for students with brilliant academic records…

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…

Mariam Al-Masmudi


Mariam was born in Madrid (1986). As an undergraduate student at the University of Malaga (Biology degree), she developed a strong interest for neuroscience. This led her to join the laboratory of Dr. Zafaruddin Khan as an intern student at the Centro de Investigaciones Medico Sanitarias (CIMES)…

Diana Retana Fernández

Senior laboratory technician

Diana was born in Madrid (1984). After obtaining a degree in Chemical Analysis and Quality Control in 2004 she graduated in Biology (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, UCM). Diana did her Bachelor Thesis in the laboratory of Dra. Martínez-Delgado (ISCIII), working on the deficit of alpha-1 antitrypsin and investigating the mechanisms that regulate the transcription of serpins…

Carolina Hernández

PhD student

Carolina was born in Valencia (1996). She obtained her bachelor degree in Biotechnology at Universidad Católica de Valencia (UCV). At the University, she collaborated with different departments, as well as with the Joint Research Unit in Clinical Metabolomics CIPF/IIS La Fe (Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe/ Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria La Fe) and the Drug Discovery Unit at IIS La Fe…

Lluís Cordón Barris


Lluís was born in Cruïlles (1988). He graduated in Biology at the University of Girona (UdG) in June 2006 where he approached Science for the very first time working on HIV at the Haematology Department at the University Hospital Dr.Josep Trueta.

Patricia Baena Galán

Junior laboratory technician

Patricia was born in Madrid in 1994. She obtained a Degree of Pathology and Cytodiagnostics in 2018. She did an internship at CBMSO in the group of Transcription Factors and the Formation of Heterocromatin in Drosophila Melanogaster.

Oliva Sánchez de Diego

Senior laboratory technician

Oliva was born in El Escorial (Madrid) in 1984. She first obtained the technical degree on Pathological Anatomy and Cytology in 2006 with an internship at the Cajal Institute.

Irene Salgado Crespo

PhD student

Irene was born in Gran Canaria (1996). She moved to Madrid to pursue a Medical Degree in Universidad Complutense (2014-2021) and train as a member of the Spanish National Olympic Shooting team.

Virginia García-Calvo

Junior laboratory technician

Virginia was born in Toledo (1998). She obtained her degree in Biology (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, UCM) in 2020. She carried out her bachelor thesis in the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department working with extremophiles.

Jorge Ortiz Crawford

Laboratory administrative assistant

With a vast experience in business development and consulting, Jorge switched gears in 2022 and joined the Brain Metastasis Group.

Valentina Pieri

MD Internship 2023

Valentina was born in Milan, Italy. Doctor in Medicine and Surgery, PhD in Molecular Medicine, Medical Resident in Neurology, strong background in Clinical and Basic Sciences, with a peculiar interest in Neurosciences. Extremely curious and highly motivated, ready for new challenges and ambitious projects.

Tania Arranz

Laboratory Technician

Tania was born in Segovia (1993). She obtained a technical degree on Clinical Diagnostic laboratory in 2011 and on Pathological Anatomy and Cytology in 2013. Then she started to work at IBGM in the Ion Channels and Vascular Pathophysiology Group.

Past lab members 

Manon Mulders

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

Cira Dorado

Technician in practices, 2016. Current position: Nurse (Tretten) 

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: Resident, Neurosurgery Department. Charité University Hospital (Berlin)

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.
Current position: Medical scientific liaison, Oncology therapeutic area, MSD (Valencia).

Lourdes Osuna Almagro

Lab Manager 2017-2019.

Pablo Sanz

Master student, 2020.
Current position: PhD student. Alexandra Stolz lab. Institute of Biochemistry, Goethe University (Frankfurt).

Mabela García

Senior laboratory technician 2020-2021.

Natalia Yebra

Technician 2017-2019.
Current position: Undergraduate student, Nursing School. Universidad de Alcalá (Madrid).

Luz Saavedra

CNIO Summer Training Student: 2017
Current position: PhD student, MGM, Duke University School of Medicine (Durham).

Clara Cabañuz

Internship: 2021
Current position: MD, Pathology (R4), Hospital La Paz

Paniz Rahimi

Master student: 2021
Current position: PhD student, Translational Oncology Lab, Prof. Dr. Miguel Martín Jiménez, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón (Madrid).

Lucía Zhu

Master student: 2016.
PhD student: 2016-2021.
Current position: Experienced Consultant (Amaris Consulting)

Lauritz Miarka

MD student, internship: 2020-2021
Current position: Medical student (6th year), CAU (Kiel)

María Perea

Junior laboratory technician

Current position: Técnico de Laboratorio en la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Job opportunities 

We are always interested in outstanding candidates excited with the research we do at the Brain Metastasis Group. So, if you think you are one of us, go ahead and send us an email!

Lab members achievements