Prof. Dr. Rocio Sotillo


Prof. Rocio Sotillo studied Pharmacy at the University San Pablo-CEU in Madrid. Her Thesis at the Spanish National Cancer Center (CNIO) in Madrid in the group of Mariano Barbacid was crucial for understanding the essential or dispensable roles of cyclin dependent kinases in tumor development and to properly evaluate the therapeutic benefits of using specific Cdk inhibitors. In 2003 supported by a stipend from the Caja Madrid Foundation she joined Robert Benezra's laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York to further study if and how overactivation of the mitotic checkpoint contributes to aneuploidy and tumor development. This work has contributed enormously to the in vivo validation of the role of chromosomal instability in human disease. In 2010 she became an independent investigator at the EMBL-Mouse Biology Unit, in Italy, where she started her lab which was founded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the European Research Council (ERC). In 2015 she was appointed as W3-Professor to head the Division of "Molecular Thoracic Oncology" at the German Cancer Research Center supported by the W3 program for excellent female researchers of the Helmholtz Association. Her lab uses a combination of mouse genetics and 3D in vitro culture systems, to understand the molecular mechanisms that lead to chromosomal instability and the consequences it may have in tumor initiation, suppression and relapse.

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