Cayetano González

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de 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. In 2007 he was elected to full membership of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).

Research interests

We model cancer in flies to understand the cellular and molecular changes that drive malignant growth. We focus on the mechanisms of malignant transformation in larval brains where we have found abnormal self-renewing asymmetric division often results in malignant growth. Some of our experimental tumor models  are driven by the ectopic expression of germline proteins. We are interested in the mechanisms that bring about genome instability in these 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

- Rossi F, Molnar C, Hashiyama K, Heinen JP, Pampalona j, Llamazares S, Reina J, Hashiyama T, Rai M, Pollarolo G, Fernandez-Hernandez I & Gonzalez C 2017, 'An in vivo genetic screen in Drosophila identifies the orthologue of human cancer/testis gene SPO11 among a network of targets to inhibit lethal(3) malignant brain tumour growth', Open Biology, 7, 8, 170156.

Selected research activities

Selected Invited Conferences and Meetings

June 2017: EMBO Symposium: Cell polarity and membrane dynamics. San Feliu de Gixols. Spain.

September 2017: Jacques Monod conference: Cell Cycle: inside out. Roscoff. France.

September 2017: EMBO Conference: Centrosome and Spindle Pole Body Conference 2017. Heidelberg. Germany.

Selected Invited Seminars

September 2017: Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. Oeiras. Portugal.

Outreach activities

March 2017: On the fly: A practical course for secondary school teachers on the development of Drosophila melanogaster. Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera. IRB Barcelona. Barcelona. Spain.

Professional Services

PhD External Examiner. Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences (University of Copenhagen). Denmark.

Comisión Científico Técnicas de Las convocatorias Excelencia y Retos 2017. Departamento Técnico BFU-BMC. MINECO. Madrid. Spain.

IRB Barcelona delegate at The Milner Therapeutics Symposium 2017: From Basic Research to Drug in Patients. West Road Concert Hall. Cambridge.