Lorea Blazquez, Principal Investigator

I am a molecular biologist interested in understanding how RNA-processing regulates gene-expression and causes human diseases. Likewise, I am interested in developing RNA-therapeutics and CRISPR-based strategies to treat these disorders. Since 2020, I am a 'Ramon y Cajal' and 'Ikerbasque' researcher in the Neurosciences Department of Biodonostia Health Research Institute, where I lead the 'RNA-processing and therapeutics' lab.

I obtained my PhD in Genetics from the University of the Basque Country in 2009. In my PhD project, I studied splicing mutations in muscular dystrophies and developed RNA-based antisense therapies. From 2009 to 2014, I used modified RNA molecules (U1i and RNAi) to inhibit gene expression in Dr. Fortes lab at CIMA-University of Navarra. In 2014, I joined Prof. Ule’s lab (UCL Institute of Neurology & The Francis Crick Institute), where I studied recursive splicing mechanism and its regulation by RNA-binding proteins.

Mikel Garcia-Puga, Postdoctoral researcher

I studied Biology at the University of Basque Country in 2013 and in 2014 I completed a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine in Santander. After my Master’s degree, I joined the Neuromuscular Diseases and Oncology groups in Biodonostia Health Research Institute. During my PhD I have studied the molecular mechanisms implicated in aging and cancer processes in a neuromuscular disease named myotonic dystrophy type 1. In 2021, I joined Blazquez’s lab, where I am studying alternative splicing in cancer.

Ane Velasco Bilbao, Predoctoral researcher

I am a geneticist interested in understanding how gene expression can impact on human health and how we can treat genetic diseases. During my PhD, I pursue to investigate alterations at the RNA processing level associated with progranulin deficiency in Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) in order to identify molecular markers with therapeutic potential and develop personalized medicine strategies based on the CRISPR-dCas13 system.

Education and Research experience:

  • 2021- : Predoctoral researcher at 'RNA processing and therapeutics' lab. Neuroscience’s area - Biodonostia Health Research Institute.

  • 2020-2021: Gene editing Internship. Oxford Genetics LTD-OXGENE.

  • 2020: MSc in Molecular Biomedicine. Autonomous University of Madrid.

  • 2020: MSc in Philosophy, Science and Values. University of the Basque Country.

  • 2018: BSc in Genetics. Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Olatz Arnold Garcia, MSc student

MSc student in Bioanalytics and Pharmatechnology at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). I am interested in the bioinformatic data analysis; in hereditary disease research; and gene therapies. I joined the “RNA processing and therapeutics” research group for my Master Thesis at HRI Biodonostia in January 2021. I am currently studying different splicing events that occur in hereditary frontotemporal dementia disorder.

I studied my BSc in Genetics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. As an undergraduate student, I did an internship at Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina (IBB) for 6 months in Barcelona as well. There I was part of the “Genome Integrity and Instability” research group of the unit Genomics in Evolution and Disease. For my final degree project, I performed a bibliographic research on the topic of “Neuropharmacology of mental disorders”. This topic raised my interest in neurosciences and encouraged me to continue this path.

Xabier Bujanda, MSc student

MSc student in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine at the University of the Basque Country (UPV), he joined the “RNA processing and therapeutics” lab in January 2021. He combines wet-lab and computational data analysis for his research project in Frontotemporal Dementia. He has a BSc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Navarra. 

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