Núria López-Bigas

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona

Life & Medical Sciences

Núria López-Bigas has a PhD in Biology from the University of Barcelona and has expertise in Medical Genetics and in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. During her PhD work, she studied the molecular causes of hereditary deafness at the group of Xavier Estivill. Next she moved to the European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton (Cambridge, UK) to work on Computational Genomics at the group of Christos A. Ouzounis and then at the Center for Regulatory Genomics (Barcelona) at the group of Roderic Guigó. Núria joined the Pompeu Fabra University in April 2006 with a Ramón y Cajal Position, was appointed ICREA Research Professor in October 2011 and her lab moved to Institute for Research in Biomedicine in November 2016. She leads the Biomedical Genomics Research Group (http://bbglab.irbbarcelona.org). In 2015 she was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant.

Research interests

Núria López-Bigas research is focused on the study of cancer from a genomics perspective. She is particularly interested in the identification of cancer driver mutations, genes and pathways across tumor types and in understanding the mutational processes leading to accumulation of mutations in tumors. Among the most important achievements obtained by Lopez-Bigas' lab are the development of pioneer methods to identify driver genes (Oncodrive methods), the creation of IntOGen (http://www.intogen.org), a discovery tool for cancer research, the discovery that protein-bound DNA impairs nucleotide excision repair (Radhakrishnan et al., 2016), the finding that exons have reduced mutation rate due to differential mismatch repair (Frigola et al., 2017) and the discovery that nucleosome covered DNA shows a 10 bp periodicity on the rate of somatic and germline mutations (Pich et al., 2018).

Selected publications

- Tamborero D, Rubio-Perez C, Deu-Pons J, Schroeder MP, Vivancos A, Rovira A, Tusquets I, Albanell J, Rodon J, Tabernero J, de Torres C, Dienstmann R, Gonzalez-Perez A & Lopez-Bigas N 2018, 'Cancer Genome Interpreter annotates the biological and clinical relevance of tumor alterations', Genome Medicine, 10, 25.

- Pich O, Muiños F, Sabarinathan R, Reyes-Salazar I, Gonzalez-Perez A & Lopez-Bigas N 2018, 'Somatic and Germline Mutation Periodicity Follow the Orientation of the DNA Minor Groove around Nucleosomes', Cell, Vol. 175, no4, 1, pp 1074-1087.e18  

Selected research activities

- Invited speaker at The 49th International Symposium of the Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund, Tokyo, Japan

- Invited speaker at EMBO Meeting on Cellular Signalling and Cancer Therapy, Dubrovnik, Croatia

- Keynote speaker at Molecular Analysis for Personalised Therapy (MAP) Congress 2018, Paris, France

- Invited speaker at Cell Symposia: TCGA Legacy: Multi-Omic Studies in Cancer, Washington, USA