Laura Soucek

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., where she is CEO. 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 miniproteins, which are going to be tested in clinical trials in 2021. These innovative treatments could boost our therapeutic arsenal against the majority of human cancers.

Selected publications

- Rafael Ikemori, Marta Gabasa, Paula Duch, Miguel Vizoso, Paloma Bragado, Marselina Arshakyan, Iuliana-Cristiana Luis, Albert Marín, Sebastian Morán, Manuel Castro, Gemma Fuster, Sabrina Gea-Sorli, Toni Jauset, Laura Soucek, Luis Montuenga, Manel Esteller, Eduard Monsó, Víctor Ivo Peinado, Pere Gascón, Cristina Fillat, Frank Hilberg, Noemí Reguart, Jordi Alcaraz 2020. “Epigenetic SMAD3 repression in tumor-associated fibroblasts impairs fibrosis and response to the antifibrotic drug nintedanib in lung squamous cell carcinoma”. Cancer Res. 80, 2, 276 - 290.

- Daniel Massó-Vallés, Marie-Eve Beaulieu and Laura Soucek 2020, 'MYC, MYCL and MYCN as therapeutic targets in lung cancer'. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 24, 2, 101 - 114.

- Beaulieu ME, Castillo F, Soucek L 2020, 'Structural and Biophysical Insights into the Function of the Intrinsically Disordered Myc Oncoprotein'. Cells. 9(4), 1038

- Massó-Vallés D and Soucek L 2020, 'Blocking Myc to Treat Cancer: Reflecting on Two Decades of Omomyc'. Cells. 2020, 9, 883.