Frontiers of Science: Precision Medicine and K-RAS Mutant Cancers


February 28, 2019    
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


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Professor Mariano Barbacid, Spanish National Cancer Research Center, Madrid, Spain

Host: Jukka Westermarck (

Welcome to listen to Dr. Mariano Barbacid who is real legend of molecular cancer biology. His work not only led to the isolation of the first human cancer gene, H-RAS, but also identification of the first mutation associated with the development of human cancer. He also has made fundamental discoveries related to cell cycle regulation by CDKs and Cyclins

Dr. Barbacid was born in Madrid in 1949. He was awarded his Ph.D. from the Universidad Complutense in 1974. From 1974 to 1978 he trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, Maryland, USA. In 1978 he started his own group to work on the molecular biology of human tumors. In 1984, he moved to the NCI-Frederick, Maryland as Head of the Developmental Oncology Section and in 1988, he joined the Bristol Myers-Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Princeton, New Jersey where he became Vice President, Oncology Drug Discovery. In 1998, he returned to his native Madrid to create and direct the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO). He stepped down as Director in June 2011 to concentrate on his own research that currently focuses on the design of new animal models of cancer and on the identification and validation of molecular targets with potential therapeutic value.
The relevance of his work has been recognized by many domestic and international awards. To date, Dr. Barbacid has authored 267 publications and has Hirsch “h” factor of 96.

Selected recent publications
RAF inhibitor PLX8394 selectively disrupts BRAF dimers and RAS-independent BRAF-mutant-driven signaling. Nat Med. 2019 Feb;25(2):284-291.

Afatinib restrains K-RAS-driven lung tumorigenesis. Sci Transl Med. 2018 Jun 20;10(446).

c-RAF Ablation Induces Regression of Advanced Kras/Trp53 Mutant Lung Adenocarcinomas by a Mechanism Independent of MAPK Signaling. Cancer Cell. 2018 Feb 12;33(2):217-228.

Saa3 is a key mediator of the protumorigenic properties of cancer-associated fibroblasts in pancreatic tumors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Feb 6;115(6)

Inactivation of Capicua in adult mice causes T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. Genes Dev. 2017 Jul 15;31(14):1456-1468.

A Braf kinase-inactive mutant induces lung adenocarcinoma.Nature. 2017 Aug 10;548(7666):239-243.

Tumours with class 3 BRAF mutants are sensitive to the inhibition of activated RAS. Nature. 2017 Aug 10;548(7666):234-238