Dr Laureano de la Vega

In my lab we are interested in understanding how cancer cells become resistant to treatment (a major obstacle faced by cancer patients), and how they spread through the body and invade distant organs (metastasis).  

Our goal is to identify new mechanisms that we could target to kill cancer cells and to make them less invasive, impairing their ability to invade distant organs. This is very important, as it could lead to new treatments to increase the quality of life for cancer patients. Our main projects are focused on lung and an aggressive form of breast cancer. 

I did my PhD in Spain and went to Germany to continue my career. After 7 years in Germany, I got offered a position in Dundee at the Jacqui Wood Cancer Center as a Principal Investigator to run my own lab. When I started my group in the Jacqui Wood Cancer Centre in 2013, Ninewells Cancer Campaign was instrumental in my success to stablish my research group. Major funding bodies normally ask for preliminary data, which when you just started, is very challenging. Ninewells Cancer Campaign supported me at that stage and kick-started my career by allowing me to prove that my ideas were good and worth it to be funded.  

All the work we developed in the lab supported by a NCC which included a 3 year PhD Studentship (awarded to the very bright now Dr Laura Torrente), was the basis for my CRUK Career Development Fellowship, which funded my laboratory for 6 years (£1.4 million).