Laura Soucek

Vall d'Hebron Institut d'Oncologia

Life & Medical Sciences

Laura Soucek graduated in 1996 in Biological Sciences at University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy. She obtained her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the National Research Center, in Rome. In 2001 she joined University of California San Francisco, initially as postdoctoral fellow and later, in 2006 as Assistant Researcher. There she published in high impact international journals. Since early 2011, Dr. Soucek heads the Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group at the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), in Barcelona. She received prestigious awards and grants from AACR, the Miguel Servet Program, the FERO Foundation, the Association for International Cancer Research, the European Research Council, FIS and BBVA. In October 2014 she was appointed ICREA Research Professor. In December 2014 she founded a spin-off company, Peptomyc S.L.. In April 2015, she became Associate Professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 

Research interests

Our focus is the Myc oncoprotein, whose deregulation is implicated in almost all human cancer types. We have designed a Myc dominant negative, Omomyc, to investigate the therapeutic benefit of inhibiting Myc in cancer. We demonstrated that Myc inhibition has a remarkable therapeutic index in many mouse models of cancer, while only causing mild and reversible side effects in normal tissues. We also showed that Myc is a safe pharmacological target for many, perhaps all, cancers. Our goal is now to push such a therapeutic approach further towards the clinic. To do so we are making use of a new generation of Myc inhibitory Cell-Penetrating Peptides (CPPs) and nanoparticle technologies. These innovative treatments could boost our therapeutic arsenal against the majority of human cancers.

Selected publications

- Casacuberta-Serra S & Soucek L 2018, 'Myc and Ras, the Bonnie and Clyde of immune evasion', Translational Cancer Research, 7, S457 - S459.

- Jauset T, Massó-Vallés D, Martínez-Martín S, Beaulieu M-E, Foradada L, Fiorentino FP, Yokota J, Haendler B, Siegel S, Whitfield JR & Soucek  L 2018, 'BET inhibition is an effective approach against KRAS-driven PDAC and NSCLC', Oncotarget, 9:18734-18746.

Selected research activities

Scientific Editor for: Cancer Discovery.

Reviewer for: Anti-cancer Drugs, BBA (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta), BioEssays, Cancer Discovery, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, Cancer Immunology Research, Cancer Research, Cancer Treatment Review, Cell Chemical Biology, Clinical Cancer Research, Current Pharmaceutical Design, Developmental Dynamics, Drug Discovery Today, E-Biomedicine, Gastroenterology Research and Practice, Gut, International Journal of Biological Sciences, IJEP (International Journal of Experimental Pathology), Journal of Cellular Biochemistry (JCB), Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research, JoVE Peer Reviewed Scientific Video Journal – Methods and Protocols, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Molecular Biology Reports, Nature, Nature Cell Biology, Nature Communications, Nature Medicine, Oncogene, Oncogenesis, “Oncology” books iConcept Press Ltd, Oncotarget, Peptide Science, Plos One, Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease, Tumor Biology.