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).
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.
– Molnar C, Peter Heinen J, Reina J, Llamazares S, Palumbo E, Breschi A, Gay M, Villarreal L, Vilaseca M, Pollarolo G & Gonzalez C 2019, ‘The histone code reader PHD finger protein 7 controls sex-linked disparities in gene expression and malignancy in Drosophila’, Science Advances, 5, 8, eaaw7965.
Selected research activities
Selected Conferences and Meetings
January 2019: 2nd Asian Pacific Drosophila Neuroscience Conference “Using Drosophila larval brain tumours to understand malignant and normal growth during development”. Taipei. Taiwan.
January 2019: HFSP fellowship review committee meeting 2019. Strasbourg. France.
March 2019: PhD thesis defense member (External Examiner). Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. Oeiras. Portugal.
March 2019: PhD thesis defense member (External Examiner). The Gurdon Institute. Cambridge. UK.
May 2019: Open Biology Editorial Board meeting. London. UK.
November 2019: Member of Evaluation Committee for Professorship promotion at University of Cyprus.
2019- : Member of EMBO Global Investigator Network Committee.
2018-2021: Member of European Science Foundation (ESF) College of Expert Reviewers.
Member of Editorial Boards: G3, Genes,Genomes,Genetics; Royal Society Open Biology; EMBO Reports; Life Sciences Encyclopaedia.
Conference organization: Barcelona BioMed Conference “Drosophila as a cancer model”. Barcelona. Spain.