Cayetano González

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (IRB Barcelona)

Life & Medical Sciences

After completing a PhD on fly genetics in the laboratory of Pedro Ripoll at the Centre for Molecular Biology (CBM, Madrid, Spain), Cayetano González moved to David Glover's lab in the UK, first at Imperial College and later as a CRC Joint Principal Investigator at Dundee. In 1994, he took his first independent position, as a Group Leader at EMBL (Heidelberg, Germany). After the customary nine-year period at EMBL, he moved to the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (CNIO, Madrid, Spain). In 2004 he moved to his present post at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) where he leads the Cell Division Group.

Research interests

We model cancer in flies to understand the cellular changes that drive malignant growth and to identify conserved mechanisms that might be relevant for human cancer therapy. We focus on the mechanisms of malignant transformation in larval brains where we have found that neuroblasts can originate tumors if the process of self-renewing asymmetric division is disrupted, and that some tumor types are driven by the ectopic expression of germline proteins. We work on the mechanisms that bring about genome instability in Drosophila tumors and try establishing the actual extent to which such lesions contribute to tumor progression. We develop and make extensive use of microscopy techniques. We demonstrated that the microtubule cytoskeleton of Drosophila neuroblasts is governed by the distinct behaviour displayed by centrosomes in these cells. We maintain an active line of research to identify new centrosomal proteins and found some with human orthologs that are linked to human pathologies.

Selected publications

– Zhang Y, Rai M, Wang C, Gonzalez C & Wang H 2016, ‘Prefoldin and Pins synergistically regulate asymmetric division and suppress dedifferentiation’, Scientific Reports, 6, 23735.

– Chen K, Koe CT, Xing ZB, Tian X, Rossi F, Wang C, Tang Q, Zong W, Hong WJ, Taneja R, Yu F, Gonzalez C, Wu C, Endow S & Wang H 2016, ‘Arl2-and Msps-dependent microtubule growth governs asymmetric division’, Journal Of Cell Biology, 212, 6, 661 – 676.

– Fernandez-Hernandez I, Scheenaard E, Pollarolo G & Gonzalez C 2016, ‘The translational relevance of Drosophila in drug discovery’, Embo Reports, 17, 4, 471 – 472.

Selected research activities

Organized Conferences

Sep 2016: 3rd Spanish Conference: The molecular, cellular and developmental biology of Drosophila. Aiguablava. Spain.

Selected Invited Conferences and Meetings

May 2016: 8th Course on Optical Microscopy Imaging for Biosciences. Porto. Portugal.

Jun 2016: EMBO Conference: The molecular and developmental biology of Drosophila. Chania. Greece.

Oct 2016:  B·Debate ‘Beyond Cancer Genomes. Barcelona Conference on Epigenetics and Cancer’. Barcelona. Spain.

Nov 2016: 2016 NCRI Cancer Conference. Liverpool. UK.

Nov 2016: Symposium on Developmental Biology and Cell Cycle. Montpellier. France

Selected Invited Seminars

Feb 2016: Université de Geneve. Geneve. Switzerland.

Mar 2016: Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research. Copenhagen. Denmark.

Oct 2016: EMBL. Heidelberg. Germany.