Strategic Research

Integrative Systems Biology, Metabolomics and Cancer (BIOSIMEC)

In our group we perform a multidisciplinary research, combining techniques from the fields of biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology and bioinformatics for an integrated analysis of biological samples within the general frameworks of Systems Biology and Systems Medicine. We have large experience in modeling metabolic pathways, its regulation patterns and predicting genetic manipulation consequences towards a therapeutic or industrial purpose.

Our main research line is the study of metabolism and metabolic networks. Our current focus is on the role played by metabolic reprogramming in tumour progression. We have pioneered the development and application of 13C-based fluxomics and omics integration to quantify the metabolic flux alterations accompanying cancer development. Particularly, using systems biology approaches, we study the relationship between cancer metabolism and many different aspects of tumour biology, such as oncogene activation, tumour progression vulnerabilities and search for vulnerabilities exploitable as therapeutic targets.

Our current methodological developments are in the integration of 13C-based fluxomics with a new generation of genome scale metabolic models to characterize the metabolic alterations underlying human diseases.

Main projects

  • 1.

    Targeting metastasis through metabolic characterization of cancer cell models SAF2014-56059-R

    Taking advantage of our expertise in metabolomics and fluxomics we are developing new systems medicine multi-omic approaches for the treatment of cancer that will permit to identify new biomarkers and anti-metastatic drug targets at metabolic level.

  • 2.

    PhenoMeNal-A comprehensive and standardized e-infrastructure for analyzing medical metabolic phenotype data H2020-654241

    We are developing and deploying an e-infrastructure that makes it feasible for researchers and healthcare providers to process, analyse and mine medical molecular phenotyping and genotyping data in the coming age of personalized medicine.

  • 3.

    HAEMETABOLOME-Deciphering the metabolism of haematological cancers Marie Curie Action - ITN - European Joint Doctorate H2020-675790

    We plan to unravel deregulated metabolic pathways relevant for the development of haematological malignancies and to identify and validate new combinations of synthetic lethal drug targets using a new generation of genome scale metabolic network flux modeling techniques.



Bioinformatics expertise:

Group Leader:

Marta Cascante

Bioinformatics services offered

  • 13C metabolic flux analysis and genome scale reconstruction

    On demand we can use our in-house software to generate genome scale metabolic models specific to different cell lines or tissues by integrating 13C-based data, metabolomics and transcriptomics.

  • Analysis of mitochondrial function

    On demand we can use our kinetic model of electron transport chain to analyze mitochondrial function (respiration rate, NADH dynamics, reactive oxygen species production etc.).