The leader of the Cellular immunotherapies for cancer group is Sònia Guedan, who holds a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Barcelona, where she also obtained her PhD in Biotechnology. From the start, the main goal of her research has been to develop new therapies to combat cancer. During her postdoctoral stay at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, United States), she worked with the group that developed the first CAR T-cell immunotherapy approved for clinical use. After seven years in the US, she joined IDIBAPS as a member of the Hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation group, led by Álvaro Urbano. She has been a Ramón y Cajal researcher since 2020.
The new group's research focuses on cellular immunotherapy, a technique based on the genetic modification of immune system cells so that they learn to recognise tumours as foreign, known as CAR T-cell therapy. Among other things, the group is studying the causes that lead to the loss of function in CAR-T cells and the mechanisms of tumour escape. Similarly, through genetic engineering, genes can be added to or removed from CAR-T cells to make them more potent and safer.
Full information is available on the group’s website.