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Women in the fight against breast cancer: Ibane Ibasolo

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 honor women’s significant achievements in science and place a much-needed focus on girls entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers.

We want to take this day to congratulate all the women scientists, especially our scientists at NANBIOSIS ICTS. Some of them take an active role in the dissemination of research results and reseach contribution to the society, as Dr. Ibane Abasolo who last week participated in different events to explain her team work in the figth against breast cancer.

Ibane Abasolo is the Scientific Coordinator of NANBIOSIS U20 and also the leader of the Drug Delivery & Targeting group of the CIBER-BBN at the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) which coordinates the unit 20 of NANBIOSIS, a team composed mainly by women.

The group cooworks to improve cancer treatment through the development of nanoparticles specially directed towards breast cancer stem cells. These cells are the ones that, despite dividing slowly, give rise to the differentiation of the rest of the tumor cells and are also the most resistant to conventional antitumor treatments.

That is why the group seeks to attack these cells in three ways:

i) selected drugs that induce the differentiation of tumor stem cells into more differentiated cells (and easier to treat),

2) using mechanisms to evade the efflux pumps of drugs and

3) targeting the nanoparticles specifically towards tumor stem cells by using targeting agents (ie antibodies) against antigens on the surface of tumor stem cells.

Dr. Abasolo has illustrated these three approaches by citing papers published in her group during 2021, in which the ICTS Nanbiosis U20 has also directly participated:

Gustavo Carreño, Alfredo Pereira, Fabián Ávila-Salas, Adolfo Marican, Fernanda Andrade, Maria Mercé Roca-Melendres, Oscar Valdés, Sekar Vijayakumar, Simó Schwartz, Ibane Abasolo, Diana Rafael, Esteban F. Durán-Lara, Development of “on-demand” thermo-responsive hydrogels for anti-cancer drugs sustained release: Rational design, in silico prediction and in vitro validation in colon cancer models, Materials Science and Engineering: C, Volume 131, 2021, 112483, ISSN 0928-4931, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2021.112483.

Yolanda Fernández, Julie Movellan,Laia Foradada, Vanessa Giménez, Natalia García-Aranda, Sandra Mancilla, Ana Armiñán, Sven Even Borgos, Astrid Hyldbakk, Anna Bogdanska, Oliviero L. Gobbo, Adriele Prina-Mello, Jessica Ponti, Luigi Calzolai, Oleksandr Zagorodko, Elena Gallon, Amaya Niño-Pariente, Alison Paul, Simó Schwartz Jr, Ibane Abasolo, María J. Vicent In Vivo Antitumor and Antimetastatic Efficacy of a Polyacetal-Based Paclitaxel Conjugate for Prostate Cancer Therapy. Adv Healthc Mater. 2021 Oct 27;e2101544. doi: 10.1002/adhm.202101544.

Diana Rafael, Maria Mercè Roca Melendres, Fernanda Andrade, Sara Montero, Francesc Martinez-Trucharte, Mireia Vilar-Hernandez, Esteban Francisco Durán-Lara, Simó Schwartz Jr, Ibane Abasolo,
Thermo-responsive hydrogels for cancer local therapy: Challenges and state-of-art, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 606, 2021,
120954, ISSN 0378-5173, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2021.120954.

Marwa M Abu-Serie , Fernanda Andrade, Patricia Cámara-Sánchez, Joaquin Seras-Franzoso, Diana Rafael, Zamira V Díaz-Riascos, Petra Gener, Ibane Abasolo, Simó Schwartz Jr Pluronic F127 micelles improve the stability and enhance the anticancer stem cell efficacy of citral in breast cancer. Nanomedicine VOL. 16, NO. 17. 2021 Jul;16(17):1471-1485. doi: 10.2217/nnm-2021-0013.

Eva Espinosa-Cano, Miguel Huerta-Madroñal, Patricia Cámara-Sánchez, Joaquin Seras-Franzoso, Simo Schwartz, Ibane Abasolo, Julio San Román, Maria Rosa Aguilar, Hyaluronic acid (HA)-coated naproxen-nanoparticles selectively target breast cancer stem cells through COX-independent pathways, Materials Science and Engineering: C, Volume 124, 2021, 112024, ISSN 0928-4931, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2021.112024.

Fernanda Andrade, Diana Rafael, Mireia Vilar-Hernández, Sara Montero, Francesc Martínez-Trucharte, Joaquin Seras-Franzoso, Zamira V. Díaz-Riascos, Ana Boullosa, Natalia García-Aranda, Patricia Cámara-Sánchez, Diego Arango, Marika Nestor, Ibane Abasolo, Bruno Sarmento, Simó Schwartz, Polymeric micelles targeted against CD44v6 receptor increase niclosamide efficacy against colorectal cancer stem cells and reduce circulating tumor cells in vivo, Journal of Controlled Release, Volume 331, 2021, 198-212, ISSN 0168-3659, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2021.01.022.

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Women in Signal Processing: Raquel Bailón

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 honor women’s significant achievements in science and place a much-needed focus on girls entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. We want to take this day to congratulate all the women scientists, especially to our scientists at NANBIOSIS ICTS.

In this occasion we want to put the spotlight on Raquel Bailon, researcher of Bsicos Group coordinating NANBIOSIS Unit 27 of High-Performance Computing form CIBER-BBN and University of Zaragoza-I3A, who last month has been highlighted by Inside Signal Processing Newsletter.

In the interview Dr. Raquel Bailon talks about her motivations and aspirations when she was a child and how she chose to develop her career in the field of Signal Processing, explains her passion for biomedical signal processing research and the relevance of her work for society.

Dr. Bailon also gives wise and practical advices to young scientists/engineers in the field of signal processing. Raquel stresses the need of having a deep knowledge of the field of application, working in a multidisciplinary team and promoting collaboration and clinical translation of research, without frontiers

To access the full interview, click here

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Women Scientists in your neighborhood: Estefanía Peña

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 honor women’s significant achievements in science and place a much-needed focus on girls entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. We want to take this day to congratulate all the women scientists, especially to our scientists at NANBIOSIS ICTS, some of whom take an active role in the organization of events to celebrate this day, as Estefanía Peña in the initiative “Women Scientists in your neighborhood” form the University of Zaragoza.

Estefanía Peña is the Cientific Coordinator of Unit 13 of Tissue & Scaffold Characterization from the ICTS NANBIOSIS since the creation of the Unit in 2007 by the Network Biomedical Research Center in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine, (CIBER-BBN) and the University of Zaragoza-I3A. Estefanía participates this year in the Campaign “I’m a Scientist, I live in your neighborhood” organised by Scientific Culture Unit of the University of Zaragoza to break stereotypes that present the women scientists as heroines, geeks or with little social life, while the scientists who live in our neighborhoods show the reality of a vibrant and exciting career choice, to vindicate the role of women in science, break the gender gap and offer close references to girls and adolescents.

“My name is Estefanía Peña and I am Professor of Mechanics of Continuous Media and Theory of Structures at the School of Engineering and Architecture. In addition to teaching, I am dedicated to research in the field of Biomedical Engineering at the Engineering Research Institute of Aragon (I3A).

I am delighted to share with you the story of why I ended up being a scientist and dedicated myself to research in Engineering applied to Life Sciences. I was born in Zaragoza and have lived in Zaragoza practically all my life, except for a few short periods in France and England. From a very young age I liked science, but I have always had a split heart between physics and mathematics and literature and history. Since I was little, I also liked teaching, and my classmates know that in exchange for a snack I gave classes to whoever asked me. In the end I opted for mathematics and physics, because I was attracted to knowing when and why things happened, and since then I have dedicated much of my time to continue learning about the world around us and reading books in my spare time. literature and history, the mountains and gardening. I have always had the support of my family and friends who have understood and supported a woman dedicating herself to a field that until a few years ago was traditionally masculine and now is no longer. Just to say that among my colleagues we are equal parts men and women. I have a fantastic family and being a mother has made me value even more the things I do and what I dedicate my time to. That is why I know that dedicating myself to research and teaching is something fantastic and that it fills me with gratitude to know how lucky I am.

I started my Engineering career in the specialty of structures and then the doctorate in Biomechanics, the branch of Engineering that applies the principles of Mechanics to Life Sciences such as Biology, Veterinary Medicine and Medicine. I was especially attracted to this field because I find that applying Engineering to something as warm and rewarding as trying to improve people’s lives every day is an exciting profession, developing diagnostic, treatment and/or surgical techniques, medical instruments and devices and treating to contribute a grain of sand to make this world better. In my work I live surrounded by great people, I love meeting new people, helping to train new scientists and enriching myself with knowledge.

I am delighted to participate in this initiative with my colleagues, all of them fantastic scientists who in their day to day show that science is open to women and that it is a fascinating way to make this world a little better.”

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In order to achieve full and equitable access and participation in science for women and girls, and also to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim in 2016 (resolution A / RES / 70/212) February 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

We want to take this day to congratulate all the women who lead research and innovation and contribute to the breakdown of the barriers that still exist, especially to the scientists from NANBIOSIS ICTS.

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

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