Núria López-Bigas

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), the discovery that nucleosome covered DNA shows a 10 bp periodicity on the rate of somatic and germline mutations (Pich et al., 2018), the identification of the mutational footprints of cancer therapies (Pich et al., 2019), and the study of the evolution of relapse of adult T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Sentis et al., 2020).

Selected publications

- Martinez-Jimenez F, Muiños F, Lopez-Arribillaga E, Lopez-Bigas N, Gonzalez-Perez A 2020, 'Systematic analysis of alterations in the ubiquitin proteolysis system reveals its contribution to driver mutations in cancer', Nature Cancer 1, pages122–135.

- Martinez-Jimenez F, Muinos F, Sentis I, Deu-Pons J, Reyes-Salazar I, Arnedo-Pac C, Mularoni L, Pich O, Bonet J, Kranas H,Gonzalez-Perez A, Lopez-Bigas N 2020, 'A compendium of mutational cancer driver genes', Nature Reviews Cancer, 20, pages555–572.

- McGuire AL, Gabriel S,  Tishkoff SA, Wonkam A, Chakravarti A, Furlong EMM, Treutlein B, Meissner A, Chang HY, Lopez-Bigas N, Segal E, Kim JS, 2020, 'The road ahead in genetics and genomics', Nature Reviews Genetics, 21, pages581–596 .

- Sentis I, Gonzalez S, Genesca E, Garcia-Hernandez V, Muinos F, Gonzalez C, Lopez-Arribillaga E, Gonzalez J, Fernandez-Ibarrondo L, Mularoni L, Espinosa L, Bellosillo B, Ribera JM, Bigas A, Gonzalez-Perez A, Lopez-Bigas N 2020, 'The evolution of relapse of adult T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia', Genome Biology, 21, 1, 284.

Selected research activities

CSHL Biology of Genomes( Virtual). Discussion Leader and Invited Speaker, 1-8 May 2020
Keynote Speaker at EACR 2020 Virtual Congress: 18-19 June 2020
Invited Discussant, ESMO Virtual Congress 2020, 19-21 September 2020
Organizer Bioinformatics in cancer, EACR, 18-19 May 2021
Member of the Selection Panel for the Head of Research - European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, VHIO
Mentor of the LEAP mentorship programme - EMBL
Board member of the Spanish Society Against Cancer (AECC)
Board Member of European Association of Cancer Research (EACR)