Les Pràctiques Externes corresponen a un treball de laboratori eminentment pràctic encaminat a consolidar, perfeccionar i completar la formació adquirida a través dels diferents mòduls teòrics del màster. Aquesta estada proporciona als estudiants l’oportunitat de guanyar experiència i aprendre a desenvolupar-se en l’entorn professional.

Les estades de pràctiques duren entre tres i sis mesos i es poden realitzar en un laboratori de recerca del VHIR o en una institució externa, com centres de recerca o empreses farmacèutiques i biotecnològiques. Durant aquest període, l’estudiant estarà supervisat per un tutor de pràctiques, que guiarà i avaluarà el treball diari de l’alumne.

El VHIR ofereix a tots els estudiants la possibilitat de realitzar les seves pràctiques en un dels laboratoris de l’Institut de Recerca. Els estudiants interessats han d’adreçar-se per correu electrònic a la persona de contacte indicada en cada oferta.

Una cop haguis estat admès per fer pràctiques en un grup de recerca o empresa, hauràs d’adreçar-te a la Secretaria Acadèmica del VHIR per tal de signar l’acord de col·laboració i fer tots els tràmits necessaris per iniciar l’estada.

pdf-file-ico Centres i entitats col·laboradores

pdf-file-ico Manual Pràctiques Acadèmiques Curs 2017-2018

Les ofertes de pràctiques disponibles actualment són:

Pediatric Neurology

Tutor: Alfons Macaya| Data d’obertura: 02/10/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

The Pediatric Neurology Research group is mainly involved in the study of genetic diseases of the developing nervous system. The main emphasis is on neuromuscular disorders, pediatric movement disorders and paroxysmal neurological disorders, such as epilepsy. A common theme across the different projects, besides the identification of the molecular basis of several of these rare disorders, is the investigation of molecules involved in their pathophysiological mechanisms and the effective translation of these findings into the fields of molecular diagnosis, genetic counselling and newly developed gene or drug therapies.

September 2018 through July 2019

Interest in the field of Neurogenetics
Candidates must hold a B.S. degree with average score at least 8/10
Previous experience with bioinformatics tools and good command of English will be valued
High motivation to pursue a research career

Interested candidates please send a letter of intention and CV including BS marks to: anna.marce@vhir.org

Pediatric Oncology- Molecular and cellular biology of developmental tumours – HSJD

Tutor: Jaume Mora, MD PhD| Data d’obertura: 28/09/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: Hospital Sant Joan de Deu (HSJD)

We are a research group located in SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital in the area of Developmental Cancer. Our final aim is to translate the basic knowledge acquired in the laboratory into the clinic.

We focus on Ewing Sarcoma and Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). The project on which the student will be involved is the identification of new therapeutic targets for each subtype of RMS and develop customised treatments in animal models generated in the laboratory that recapitulate the original tumours.


Oct 2019- Sep 2019

- Highly motivated students with interest in preclinical cancer research
- Previous work experience with animal models will be positively evaluated.

Jmora@sjdhospitalbarcelona.org and eprada@fsjd.org

Oncogenetics Group and Radiation Oncology Group, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology-VHIO

Tutor: Sara Gutiérrez-Enríquez and Victoria Reyes| Data d’obertura: 28/09/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIO

Genetic predisposition to radiotherapy-induced toxicity: identification of cellular and molecular biomarkers as predictive test for late toxicity after radiotherapy. Assess the role of microRNAs and long non coding RNAs in the susceptibility to radiotherapy-induced clinical toxicity.

from January 2019 to July 2019

It is not mandatory, but an average grade of around 7.5 is desirable

Sara Gutiérrez-Enríquez, sgutierrez@vhio.net


Tutor: Dr. Francesc E. Borràs and Dr. Marcel·la Franquesa Bartolomé| Data d’obertura: 31/08/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: Institut Germants Trias i Pujol (IGTP)

Extracellular vesicles, biomarkers and translational medicine: The knowledge of extracellular vesicles and their analysis have experienced an important boost in the past few years. Our group has been working for more than 10 years on its characterization, isolation and function, both from a basic research point of view (as tools to induce immunological tolerance and/or tissue repair) and translational (with special interest in the definition of biomarkers associated to pathological processes in renal and cardiovascular diseases, etc.).
Last group publications are available at: https://ivecat.wordpress.com/publications-2/

Sept 2018- Sept 2019 (flexible)



Translational Molecular Pathology

Tutor: Dr. Santiago Ramón y Cajal Agüeras / Dr. Stefan Hümmer| Data d’obertura: 29/08/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

The main objective of our research group is to deepen our knowledge on the molecular mechanisms underlying tumour pathology to identify new diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic targets. We have chosen to focus on the mechanisms underlying female breast cancer, the most diagnosed malignant neoplasm and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Our current research aims at understanding the molecular mechanisms of clonal cooperation within heterogeneous tumours.

Sept 2018 to July/Sept 2019

We are looking for highly motivated candidates, interested in the field of oncology and aiming at pursuing a professional career in the field of Biomedicine, Molecular Biology or other related fields. Candidates must hold a B.S. in Biomedicine or a related field and average score should be at least 2 (scale 1-4). Previous experience in molecular and cell biology techniques, work with animal models as well as good English skills will be positively evaluated.

Please send a cover letter together with a complete CV and the records of the B.S. to sramon@vhebron.net or to stefan.hummer@vhir.org

Drug Delivery & Targeting. Functional Validation & Preclinical Research (FVPR)

Tutor: Ibane Abasolo, PhD| Data d’obertura: 21/08/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

Nanomedicine to improve enzyme replacement therapy in lysosomal storage disorders:
Lysosomal diseases are a group of rare diseases in which the defect of a lysosomal protein results in the accumulation in the lysosomes of non-metabolised products that derive in diverse pathologies. The current treatment of lysosomal diseases consists of enzyme replacement therapy in which the defective / mutant enzyme is administered parenterally. This therapy is applied with relative success in the diseases of Gaucher, Fabry, Pompe and mucopolysaccharidosis I, II, IV and VI. However, since recombinant proteins are not able to cross the blood-brain barrier. The treatment is not applicable in diseases with neuronal affectation (Sanfilippo, Niemann-Pick, Tay-Sachs, etc.).
In this scenario, the DDT/FVPR group attempts to improve enzyme replacement therapy in Fabry and cystinosis disease. To this end, specific models have been developed and various drug delivery systems have been tested from polymer capsules (Nazarenus et al, Particle & Particle System Charact 2015), chitosans (Gianotti et al, ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2016), liposomes (Cabrera et al. Adv Heahtc Mat 2016, Cabrera et al., Nano Letters, 2013) and alternative systems (pegylation, aggressives, etc.). Work is currently being done on optimizing nanoliposomal systems within the Smart4Fabry project (www.smart4fabry.eu) as well as studying the effect of protein corona in the biodistribution of different nano systems in a recently founded AES-FIS project (PI18/00871).

Sept 2018 -Oct 2019

- High motivation to pursue a research career
- Good command of English
- Experience working in a research laboratory with techniques of cell and molecular biology
- High marks in undergraduate studies (>7.5 on a scale 1 to 10) is desirable. Please, send complete CV and academic records along with the application.


Cell Signaling and Apoptosis group

Tutor: Dr. María J Pérez| Data d’obertura: 07/07/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

Alzheimer´s disease (AD) is the most frequent cause of dementia and manifests with progressive memory impairment, language disorders, apraxia and deficits in visual function. There is no viable therapy to slow or reverse AD progression. The key pathological changes observed in AD brains are amyloid-b (Ab) deposited extracellularly in plaques, and hyperphosphorylated tau (p-tau) accumulating intracellularly as neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Additional changes include reactive microgliosis and loss of neurons, white matter and synapses. Brain function depends on coordinated interactions between neurons and glial cells that include microglia, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Role of astrocytes has gained much interest in recent years as a strategy to develop new treatments for the disease.
We aim to study the factors implicated in the communication between astrocytes and neurons as AD progresses. The role of astrocytes, as a significant player in neuronal signaling, may elucidate some potential targets for treatment. For this goal, we will study the interactions of astrocytes with neurons using in vitro models, such as immortalized human astrocytes and neuroblastoma cell lines. We will investigate the proteins secreted by activated astroctyes (with Abeta or proinflammatory cytokines, a situation mimicking the alteration observed in AD) and their effects on neurons (viability, death, differentiation, expression profile), with particular interest in alterations in signaling pathways and expression of antiapoptotic molecules.

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

High motivation to pursue a research career/ Good command of English/ Send complete CV and academic records along with the application

maria.perez@vhir.org / joaquin.lopez.soriano@vhir.org

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Tutor: Dra. Marta Martínez Vicente| Data d’obertura: 03/07/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

Project: Pathogenic role of autofagic / lysosomal dysfunction in Parkinson's disease (PD) associated to GBA mutations. Characterization and development of new preclinical therapies:

Specific aims:
1. Study of the role of lipid metabolism in the pathogenicity of PD associated to mutations in the GBA.
2. Development of new preclinical therapies for the restoration of GBA activity through i) enzymatic replacement therapy with recombinated GBA nanoconjugates (collaboration with ICN2-UAB) and ii) pharmacological chaperones (collaboration with Gain Therapeutics).

Oct 2018- Sept 2019

- Experience working in a research laboratory (cell and molecular biology techniques)
- High marks in undergraduate studies (>2 in a scale of 1 to 4) is preferable
- High level of English


Cystic fibrosis, Bronchiectasis and Immundeficiencies

Tutor: Dr. Antonio Álvarez/Dra. Eva Polverin| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

We currently have 3 lines of clinical research aimed at improving clinical care of patients with Cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis and immunodeficiencies with lung disease. Each line has several projects and we offer participation in the development and pubblication any of the following:
1. Longitudinal follow up of adult patients with Cystic Fibrosis: determinants of quality of life and lung function deterioration
2. Bronchiectasis in adulthood: novel functional tests for monitoring and telemedicine
3. Cystic fibrosis from childhood to adulthood: risk factors for premature onset of adult comorbidities.
4. Bronchiectasis: investigation of new inflammatory biomarkers of disease activity and progression
5. Cystic fibrosis: investigation of new inflammatory biomarkers of disease activity and progression
6. Bronchiectasis and immunedeficiencies: longitudinal follow up and clinical phenotyping

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

Fluent english is higly recommended

Antonio Álvarez (aalvarez@vhebron.net) or Eva Polverino (eva.polverino@vhir.org)

Dug delivery and targeting group – CIBBIM nanomedicine

Tutor: Dr. Simo Schwartz/ Dra. Petra Gener| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

Exosomes and its biomedical application: We are currently running several research lines concerning exosomes for biomedical use, including cancer, tissue regeneration and rare disease (Fabry disease) . The offered position is to cover the master student position that will learn the basic techniques to isolate, to validate and to use exosomes in in vitro settings.

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

Basic knowledge of functioning of biomedical laboratory, independence in daily laboratory work, willing to learn


Biomedical Research in Digestive Tract Tumors – CIBBIM Nanomedicine

Tutor: Dr. Diego Arango| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

1) Investigation of the molecular mechanisms of colon cancer. Different techniques of cell and molecular biology will be used to study the molecular mechanisms involved in the initiation and progression of colorectal tumors using in vitro cellular systems, animal models and large collections of human primary tumors.

2) Identification and validation of new molecular markers of response to treatment for cancer. Here, high throughput techniques will be used to identify new biomarkers of response to chemotherapeutic treatment for colorectal cancer patients, that will subsequently be validated in large collections of patients with colorectal cancer that received chemotheapy.

Oct 2018- Sept 2019

Experience working in a research laboratory with techniques of cell and molecular biology/High marks in undergraduate studies (>7.5 on a scale 1 to 10) is desirable.


Translational Molecular Pathology – Gap Junction Lab

Tutor: Dr. Trond Aasen| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

We are interested in how direct cell-to-cell communication via gap junctions is implicated in healthy and diseased tissue and in particular cancer. See our review: “Gap junctions and cancer: communicating for 50 years. Nat Rev Cancer. 2016 Dec;16(12):775-788.PMID: 27782134” LINK.
We study the gap junction proteins (connexins) as well as the channel protein Pannexin 1, promising prognostic markers and therapeutic targets. Techniques used in the lab includes cell communication assays, cloning, cell culture (overexpression and RNAi-knockdown using virus), CRISPR-technology, drug-response studies (cell viability, proliferation and apoptosis assays), protein analysis (Immunohistochemistry, western blot) etc.
Our focus is on breast cancer and how Cx43 is regulated by unusual translational mechanism to produce more than one protein form from the same mRNA. We are interested in how this is regulated and how this affect the malignant phenotype, especially due to a truncated C-terminal Cx43 fragment. Key approaches include: a) CRISPR knockout of Cx43 expression in cancer cell lines (including in mouse models). b) Generation of chimeric constructs specifically directing the trafficking of Cx43 to the mitochondria or nucleus. Functional analysis of malignant properties (cell migration, apoptosis, resistance to chemotherapeutics etc.)
We value the contribution of each Master student highly, and will give them plenty of freedom to develop their own project, with full support from the rest of the team members. Possible student projects will be tailored to the latest results and the experience of the student. We will provide daily interaction, training, feedback, discussions and will be eager to search for funding for the possibility for a PhD position.

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

Experience working in a research laboratory with techniques of cell and molecular biology/High marks in undergraduate studies (>7.5 on a scale 1 to 10) is preferable/High level of English

trond.aasen@vhir.org (attachment of CV, support letters and/or previous mini-projects, will be highly appreciated if available). Informal visits and questions are welcomed.


Tutor: Dra. Susana Gómez| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR


Graft dysfunction is one of the main causes of death after lung transplantation. The aim of this study is to identify the role of donor-derived cell-free DNA (ddcfDNA) levels in the lung transplant recipient as a non-invasive biomarker of primary graft dysfunction (PGD), infection and rejection. Besides, the association of this biomarker with the development of chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD) would be studied. To do so, pre-transplant genotyping will be performed with RT-qPCR for the detection of an informative INDEL polymorphism for each donor/recipient. Subsequently, with the aim of determining the levels of ddcfDNA, the informative INDEL will be quantified by digital PCR in the plasma of the recipient at different time points after transplantation. The association of these measurements with the onset of PGD, infection, rejection and the development of CLAD will be analyzed.

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

PCR knowledge


Biomedical Research in Urology

Tutor: Dra. Rosanna Paciucci| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

New therapeutic targets and factors predictors of resistance in metastatic prostate cancer/The role in the resistance to therapy of newly discovered differential factors will be studied in metastatic prostate cancer cells by molecular and cellular biology techniques/ Function of the oncogenic protein PTOV1 in the resistance to drugs in cancer cells. Identification of specific inhibitors.

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

Candidates should have good academic records (>2, scale 0 to 4), ​good English level, and be highly motivated.


Neuromuscular and mitochondrial disorders

Tutor: Dr. Ramon Martí/Dr. Tomàs Pinós| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

Relapsed or metastatic tumors acquire multi-drug resistance, raising the need for alternative treatments. Owing to the diverse mechanisms that are responsible of tumor chemoresistance, we aimed to target epigenetic factors that control multiple pathways to bypass therapy resistance. The modulation of chromatin structure or function is a promising approach to targeting gene expression programs that sustain the proliferation and viability of tumor cells. The combination of different epigenetic elements is considered to be tissue-specific; therefore, identifying and understanding cancer-specific dependencies on chromatin regulatory activities pose a major challenge. We perform functional screenings to identify those epigenetic regulators for each tumor type that contribute to the proliferation and viability of the tumor cells and provide new targets for therapeutic intervention. We also test new epigenetic drugs on models of pediatric tumors of the nervous system such as Neuroblastoma or Ependymoma.

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

Students will be selected after interview


Neurovascular Research Lab-Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy

Tutor: Dra. Mar Hernandez Guillamon| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

The impaired B-amyloid (AB) clearance and a deficient efflux across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) are key points involverin Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy (CAA). Due to the evident involvement of certain Apolipop ApoE isoforms, these lipid.carriers appear to be excellent candidates to mediate the AB traffic througth thr BBB. In the deeply investigate the association of different variants of apolipoproteins and AB, regarding BBB-crossing efficiency and using in vivo in vitro models of AD/CAA.

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

Highly-motivated student and interested in neuroscience


BioMedical Research in Melanoma

Tutor: Dr. Juan A. Recio| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

BioMedical Research in Melanoma- Animal Models and Cancer group is very intersted in skin cancer. We investigate the molecular causes for these diseases in order to design effective therapies against them. This is done in close proximity to patients where our goal is to translate our discoveries as fast as possible to patients. Consequently, we have a multidisciplinary group that associate dermatologists, oncologists, pathologists and basic-scientists that ask relevant clinical questions that need biological answers. Our workflow contemplates information obtained from patients (tumors deep-sequencing, immunohistochemistry, clinical history…etc) that is translated into animal models and in vitro experiments in order to answer relevant questions. These results will be used to design new therapeutic approaches and preclinical studies that ultimately will be translated to patients. The candidate will be involved the discovery of the mechanisms involved in melanoma development and progression to develop novel therapeutic strategies for melanoma treatment

OCT. 2018-SET. 19

willing to be enrolled or enrolled in the course of experimental animals and have a record equal or higher than 2-2.5.


Laboratory of Metabolism and Obesity/Unit of Diabetes and Metabolism

Tutor: Dr. Josep A. Villena| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

The main research lines of our laboratory focus at understanding the molecular mechanisms that control energy homeostasis in the organism and how alterations in such mechanisms are linked to the development of metabolic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

We are looking for highly motivated candidates, interested in pursuing a professional career in the field translational research by joining a PhD program in Biomedicine or similar in the future. Candidates must hold a B.S. in Biology, Biomedicine, Biochemistry or similar. A strong background in molecular and cellular biology, as well as good English speaking and writing skills will be positively valued


Laboratory of Cardiovascular Diseases

Tutor: Dr. Javier Inserte| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

Iron deficiency is one of the most prevalent nutritional deficiencies in the world population. However, it is unknown whether this deficiency modifies myocardial tolerance to ischemia or the progression to post-infarction adverse ventricular remodeling.
The student will participate in a project that addresses the effect of iron deficiency induced by diet on the tolerance to myocardial ischemia and the occurrence of post-infarction adverse ventricular remodeling in an in vivo mouse model with transient coronary occlusion. The student will be directly involved in the analysis of the mechanisms associated to oxidative/nitrosative stress and eNOS/sGC/PKG pathway inhibition in correlation with the development of myocardial fibrosis induced by iron deficiency.

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

Motivated students with interest in basic and clinical research and good academic marks.


Group of Biomedical Research in Gynecology​

Tutor: Dra. Eva Colas| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

The project will be focused on increase our knowledge on endometrial carcinogenesis to improve the clinical management of the disease. We work in the areas of early diagnosis, prediction of recurrent patient and identification and validation of therapies. 

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

students with an average grade over 8 and a good level of english 



Tutor: Dra. María José Soler| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

We propose to perform "in vitro” experimental studies to assess the molecular changes when RAS blockade is combined with an  SGLT2 inhibition in the renal cells mainly involved in podocytes, SGLT2 has demonstrated a protective effect in diabetic kidney disease. Its effect is mainly related to the glucosuria and natriuresis for its direct action in the proximal tubular cells. However, other mechanism seems to be involved. We propose to study the effect of SGLT2 and RAS blockade on the podocyte in diabetic conditions (with modifications of glucose in culture media). We will study fibrotic and inflammatory genes within the podocyte.

OCT. 2018-SET. 2019

Personal interview and curriculum vitae (if needed)


Sarcoma Translational Research Lab (at Growth Factors Group) – Preclinical Program

Tutor: Dr. César Serrano García| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIO

We are a young group at VHIO devoted to sarcoma translational research, with an emphasis on biological understanding of sarcomas oriented to drug development. Particularly, our group deepens on mechanisms of oncogenic addiction to oncogenic KIT signaling in GIST models with clinically relevant primary and resistance mutations. The final goal is to model cutting-edge therapeutic strategies to target tumor heterogeneity.

OCT. 18-SET. 19

Highly-motivated student/Aiming to develop a long-term research career/Fluent English


Grup de Neuroimmunologia Clínica

Tutor: Dra. Carmen Espejo| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

Immunosenescence in multiple sclerosis. Innate immunity as potential     therapeutic target in multiple sclerosis. The general objective of the study is to investigate the impact of aging in adaptive and innate immune responses, both in the periphery and in the central nervous system in the context of multiple sclerosis (MS). For that, we propose the following specific objectives: i) To study the clinical course and the histopathological features of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in young and in old mice; ii) To study the immunological changes that occur during EAE in young and in old mice.
The study will be conducted in the experimental model of MS, EAE. In vivo studies will be carried out to characterize the clinical evolution of animals of different ages. Histopathological and ex vivo and in vitro immunological studies will also be carried out to fully characterize how aging influences the immune system in the periphery and in the CNS in MS.

OCT 2018-SET. 2019

no requirements


Group of Cardiovascular Disease

Tutor: Dra. Marisol Ruiz-Meana| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

"Role of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) in the ischemia-reperfusion injury of the aging heart: Insight from mouse and human studies”

The number of elderly people is exponentially growing worldwide. Advanced age increases the risk of myocardial infarction (AMI) and aggravates its clinical outcome, due to reduced tolerance to ischemiareperfusion (IR) of senescent hearts. Because advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) accumulate with age and are associated with oxidative stress, we hypothesize that increased production/accumulation of AGEs are determinants of the deleterious effects of aging on cardiac function and susceptibility to IR. The purpose of this study is to investigate the determinants of AGE production/accumulation using myocardial samples, isolated cardiomyocytes, cultured cell lines and in vitro mitochondria obtained from the heart of aged mice, and to determine the functional consequences of glycative damage of certain key proteins involved in mitochondrial function and cell survival (i.e., mitochondrial ATP synthase). The obtained results will be corroborated in mitochondria and myocardial human samples obtained from patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

OCT. 2018-JUL 2019

no requirements


Cardiovascular Diseases Research Group

Tutor: Dr. Antonio Rodriguez| Data d’obertura: 27/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The social impact of ischemic heart disease is enormous, not only due to its mortality, but also because of its high morbidity, the loss of quality of life and its high economic costs. Cardiomyocyte death is the most important factor that determines mortality and morbidity associated with ischemic heart disease. Therefore, the treatment of choice in patients with acute myocardial infarction is to reperfuse the ischemic tissue as quickly as possible (through angioplasty or thrombolytic treatments). However, despite the improvements made in recent years to shorten the time of application of reperfusion, many patients end up with extensive areas of infarction, which will eventually affect their quality of life. For this reason, research in the field is now focused to develop adjuvant therapies added during reperfusion, with the aim to reduce reperfusion injury, that is, to increase the number of surviving cardiomyocytes, or to reduce the subsequent adverse remodeling (which includes collagen deposition and hypertrophy of surviving cardiomyocytes). Currently, we are investigating treatments aimed at reducing the size of the myocardial infarction by inhibiting mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase, or to attenuate adverse remodeling by modulating the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43), a protein that forms channels in the plasma membrane of cardiomyocytes, and that is essential for the propagation of the cardiac electrical impulse. The candidate would join one of these two lines (depending on the degree of progress of each one obtained up to the date of incorporation). In the first line, therefore, we intend to determine the utility of the selective inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase in reperfused myocardium by intracoronary administration of malonate to prevent reperfusion damage after transient coronary occlusion. We will use a porcine in situ heart model of ischemia-reperfusion, together with atrial and plasma samples from animals and patients. Techniques to be used include nuclear magnetic resonance, Western Blot, or immunofluorescence. The second line aims to analyze the role of Cx43 in myocardial scarring, adverse left ventricular remodeling and heart failure in an in vivo model of transient coronary occlusion in mice. This line includes the use of transgenic animals, deficient for Cx43. Techniques such as Western Blot, immunofluorescence, or confocal microscopy will be used.

OCT 2018-JULIO 2019

Good knowledge of english. High degree qualifications will be a value.


Stem Cells and Cancer Laboratory

Tutor: Dr. Héctor Palmer and Dr. Jordi Martínez-Quintanilla| Data d’obertura: 26/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIO

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of death worldwide, mostly because acquisition of resistance to current treatments. Our team has discovered that hyperactivation of the Wnt oncogenic pathway is involved in such resistance. Hypermutant CRC tumors affect 15-20% of all CRC patients and are characterized by presenting mutations in key components of the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) machinery, resulting in amplifications in repetitive sequences in the genome known as microsatellites (MS).

The hosting group recently described that frameshift mutations in upstream components of the Wnt signaling, RNF43 or ZNRF3 (R/Z), that confer Wnt addiction, are present in 70% of MMR-deficient CRC tumors, and these mutations preferentially occur in a codifying MS. Recently, pharmaceutical companies have developed inhibitors that revert Wnt addiction and have shown clinical potential in tumors with mutations in R/Z.

In this project we propose to identify molecular alterations driving the response to Wnt inhibitors and gene expression signatures to predict drug response. We also aim to evaluate the efficacy of Wnt inhibitors on hypermutant human organoids as well as in transgenic mouse models with sporadic MMR deficient intestinal tumors. Finally, we propose to correlate immune infiltration with Wnt signaling activation in human CRC tumors and determine the synergistic effect of Wnt inhibitors and checkpoint inhibitors in mouse models. By achieving our main expectations, we believe that not patients with hypermutant CRC tumors but also those with any other cancer type presenting Wnt activation could benefit from these combined treatments. Our collaboration with the Oncology Service and major pharmaceutical companies will accelerate the translation of our findings into the clinical practice.

Oct 2018 - Sept 2019

- Minimum academic average grades: 8.5
- Skills and predisposition to work with mice

hgpalmer@vhio.net and jmartinez@vhio.net

Diagnostic Immunology

Tutor: Dr. Joan Sayós| Data d’obertura: 26/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a life-threatening syndrome characterized by persistent macrophages/lymphocytes activation and a multisystem hyperinflammatory syndrome. HLH can be classified into familial or primary (FHL) and acquired or secondary. FHL is caused by homozygous mutations in genes encoding proteins of the cytotoxic pathway. Patients developing a clinical picture of HLH but carrying a single mutated allele, hypomorphic variants or defects in two different HLH-related genes have been recently reported. Monoallelic mutations in HLH-related genes in patients with HLH is a challenge in the diagnosis, and our objective is study the functional and molecular impact of monoallelic mutations involved in Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in order to determine whether they act as dominant negatives.

Oct 2018- Sept 2019

Highly motivated students
Good academic marks


Translational Mucosal Immunology Group

Tutor: Dr. Maria Vicario| Data d’obertura: 26/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

Study of the role of specific immune cells (mast cells, eosinophils and B cells) as major players in the control of mucosal barrier mechanisms in health and disease. Our approach to translational research in digestive diseases involves the development of preclinical and clinical studies aimed at identifying biomarkers of gastrointestinal dysfunction and gut health.

October 2018- July 2019

Highly motivated students
Good academic marks


Cell cycle and Cancer – Biomedical Group in Gynaecology

Tutor: Dra. Anna Santamaria| Data d’obertura: 26/06/2018 | Centre en pràctiques: VHIR

We are a young, newly formed research group at the Vall Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), within the group of Biomedical Research in Gynecology. The primary interest of the group is to understand the mechanisms that give rise to tumorigenesis, with the main focus in ovarian cancer. From a broad perspective, we study mechanisms contributing to aneuploidy with the aim of being able to translate the potential knowledge that we will acquire into the clinics. We are interested in the role of key mitotic kinases and other cell cycle regulators focusing on cancer progression and resistance to chemotherapy, but making it also extensible to other topics such as the role of miRNAs in ovarian cancer progression or genes involved in tumor dissemination. We also cover a transversal line studying the role of mitotic kinases and downstream effectors in Prostate cancer.

between Oct 2018 and Sept 2019

We seek for a motivated student. The ideal candidate should be an organized person, happy to work as part of a team and with good communication skills and a positive attitude. Fluid English and previous experience will be advantageous.