|Institution||Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO)|
Dr. Malats is the leader of the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Madrid, Spain.
Her PhD dissertation was on KRAS mutations and pancreas cancer epidemiology. From 1992-1995, she coordinated a national multicentre project on the molecular epidemiology of pancreatic cancer (PANKRAS2). In 1996, Dr. Malats was Visiting Scientist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO) in Lyon, France, where she trained until 1998 in genetic epidemiology.
She is PI of the European Study on Pancreatic Cancer Genetics and Epidemiology (PanGen-EU), one of the largest case-control/cohort studies integrating scientific interests from different disciplines in cancer development and progression. It was conducted in 6 EU countries between 2009-2014 and included 2300 cases and 1000 controls. Following previous work pointing to the importance of chronic inflammation in this tumour, her Group has analyzed inflammatory polymorphisms associated with pancreas cancer risk and shown that some also associate with chronic pancreatitis through an international collaboration. To elucidate the joint effect of previously reported inflammatory-like risk factors, the Group is integrating data from the PanGen-EU study and exploring the role of oral and gut micromiobe in chronic pancreas diseases.
Regarding genetic susceptibility of pancreas cancer, Dr. Malats supports the Spanish Registry of Familial Pancreas Cancer. This project includes a screening programme for high-risk relatives. As part of the PanScan3 project led by US NCI 11 new variants associated with pancreas cancer risk have been identified. A collaboration with ICGC-pancreas will allow dissecting the genetic susceptibility of pancreas cancer by applying whole genome and exome sequencing strategies.
Dr. Malats coordinates the COST Action BM1204 EU_Pancreas – An integrated European platform for pancreas cancer research: from basic science to clinical and public health interventions for a rare disease, aimed at uniting groups interested in pancreas cancer across Europe and providing an unique platform for collaboration. This initiative includes >150 multidiciplinary members from 20 EU countries, EU gov&non-gov institutions, and private companies.