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    04/02/2021 23:00 - Europe/Athens
    Not funded by an EU programme
    Spain, Córdoba
    Maimonides Biomedical Research Institute of Cordoba - IMIBIC
    GC08 Hormones and Cancer


La Caixa INPhINIT INCOMING Doctoral Fellowship Programme Call 2021


Prof. Justo P. Castaño (justo@uco.es)




GC08 Hormones and Cancer



Research Project / Research Group Description

Our group investigates the cellular and molecular principles underlying the natural neuroendocrine-metabolic regulation and their dysfunctions in tumors and cancer. We specially focus on the role of specific neuropeptide/receptor systems and their regulation by distinct mechanisms, especially alternative splicing and related RNA controlling processes and signalling pathways. Our initial interest in pituitary cell biology, particularly somatotropes and their regulatory signals/receptors (somatostatin-SST1-5, GHRH-GHRHR, ghrelin-GHSR1) evolved to include pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (PitNETs) and expanded with the discovery of novel, abnormal splicing variants (SST5TMD4, In1-ghrelin) and their study in endocrine cells and tumor development. Currently, we study neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), investigating key regulatory systems (e.g. somatostatin, ghrelin) and the role of alternative splicing and RNA biology.

We use a wide range of techniques, including primary cultures of tumor cells and cell lines, genetically modified animals, measurements of hormones, second messengers, and gene expression of diverse molecular systems (e.g. splicing machinery), and molecular imaging and confocal microscopy. We also develop and apply biocomputational tools to explore the spliceosomic landscape and elucidate the role of splicing and RNA metabolism in cancer and other diseases.

Our studies enabled the discovery of new splicing variants and mechanisms for neuroendocrine-metabolic signals and drugs controlling hormone secretion, tumorigenesis or cell death/survival in different conditions, such as metabolic dysregulations and cancer. Our ultimate aim is to discover novel tumor biomarkers for early detection, improved diagnosis and predictive prognosis, and to identify actionable targets to develop innovative, personalized therapeutic strategies enabling the advancement of precision medicine in NETs and pancreatic cancer.

Job position description

Cancer and tumoral pathologies represent one of the most serious and complex threats for Public Health worldwide. One emerging common hallmark shared by all cancer types is the alteration of the normal process of alternative splicing. The regulation and execution of alternative splicing is deployed by a complex cellular machinery named spliceosome, which is assembled from small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and auxiliary proteins forming a core structure that binds to additional splicing factors to recognize target introns.

This project is based in the hypothesis that the cellular machinery involved in the splicing process is dysregulated during the development and progression of tumor pathologies, which, in turn, generates an alteration of the normal alternative splicing pattern, originating a tumor-specific profile of aberrant mRNA and proteins (alternative splicing surrogate markers). Consequently, the aim of the project is to identify spliceosome components, associated splicing factors, spliceosome regulatory elements and/or subsidiary splicing markers dysregulated in cancer and tumoral pathologies, which could thereby represent key factors during tumoral development and progression. We will assess the role of the factors found to be altered in these pathologies in the development and progression of the tumors, their potential validity as diagnostic and/or prognostic markers as well as their putative role as targets for anti-tumoral therapies by using a battery of biocomputational and experimental approaches, including functional studies using in vitro cellular and in vivo animal models.

How to Search for this offer:

You can find this offer via the Offer Finder, available at https://finder.lacaixafellowships.org/finder

Select “IMIBIC – Maimonides Biomedical Research Institute to Cordoba” from the dropdown list under “HOST ORGANIZATION”

You can also search the position by its title "ALTERED RNA HOMEOSTASIS AND ALTERNATIVE SPLICING IN NEUROENDOCRINE TUMORS: MECHANISTIC INSIGHTS AND TRANSLATIONAL POTENTIAL" under "Search by project title / Job position / Positions description”


Eligibility Criteria

1) At the call deadline (4th Feb 2021), applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.

2) At the time of recruitment, candidates must comply with one of the following options:

  • To have completed the studies that lead to an official university degree adapted to the European Higher Education Area awarding 300 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits must correspond to master level.
  • To have completed a degree in university not adapted to the European Higher Education Area that gives access to doctoral studies. The verification of an equivalent level of studies to the ones mentioned above will be made by the university when the admission procedure starts.

3) Candidates must not have resided or have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline (4th Feb 2021). Short stays, such as holidays, done in a country other than their country of usual residence (where they carried out their main activity), will be considered as time spent in their country of usual residence.

4) Candidates must have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).

5) Only candidates whose applications meet all the requirements of the call may be accepted.


How to Apply:

If you want to apply for an INPhINIT fellowship, click on the link below to create your personal account and fill in the on-line application form: https://candidate.lacaixafellowships.org/login



4 February 2021: Application deadline.

18 February 2021: Deadline for submitting the language certificate.

22 April 2021: Notification of the shortlist results.

25, 26 and 27 May 2021: Face-to-face interviews in Barcelona.

7 June 2021: Publication of the final list of selected candidates.

7 – 30 June 2021: Matching between the research centres – fellows.


More Information:

Call for application:


Programme Rules:


Email (for questions concerning the host organisation IMIBIC):



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