Education & Training

VHIO – CaixaResearch SCIENTIFIC SEMINARS SERIES

Launched in 2019, our VHIO – CaixaResearch Scientific Seminars Series educational program welcomes internationally renowned researchers and clinical investigators to VHIO to share, discuss and debate latest insights, discovery and next directions in oncology with our students, postdocs and senior faculty from our preclinical, translational and clinical research groups.

These sessions take place in VHIO’s state-of-the-art CELLEX Building Auditorium, although the majority in 2020, were hosted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each seminar typically consists of a 30-45 minute talk followed by a Q&A round with the audience. Chaired be each respective VHIO host, these expert talks are typically scheduled to take place on Fridays.

Scientific co-Chairs (left to right): María Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group, Laura Soucek, PI, Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group, and Elena Élez, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator, Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group.

In 2020, a total of 21 VHIO - CaixaResearch Scientific Seminars took place as follows:


Speaker: Romian Quidant, Plasmon Nano-Optics Group Leader and ICREA Professor, Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)
Talk title: New opportunities in medicine enabled by light and nanotechnology
Date: 17 January (in person)
VHIO host: Josep Tabernero, VHIO’s Director


Speaker: Marisol Soengas, Group Leader Melanoma, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre – CNIO, Madrid, Spain.
Talk title: Imaging and targeting premetastatic niches in melanoma
Date: 31 January (in person)
VHIO host: Maria Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer


Speaker: Shuji Ogino, Chief of Molecular Pathological Epidemiology (MPE) Program, Dept. of Pathology, Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH). Professor of Pathology, BWH, Harvard Medical School. Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Associate Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Boston, USA.
Talk title: Integrative Analyses of Environment, Lifestyle, Microbiota, and Tumor Immunity for Precision Oncology
Date: 10 February (in person)
VHIO hosts: Josep Tabernero, VHIO’s Director & Paolo Nuciforo, PI, Molecular Oncology


Speaker: Gerard I. Evan, Sir William Dunn Professor and Head of Biochemistry Department, University of Cambridge, UK.
Talk title: Switching the tumor immune microenvironment on and off with Myc
Date: 14 February (in person)
VHIO host: Laura Soucek, PI, Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies


Speaker: Gabriel Adrian Rabinovich, Vice-Director and Group Leader of Functional Glycomics and Head of Immunopathology, the Instituto de Biologia y Medicina Experimental (IBYME), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Talk title: The emerging role of glycocheckpoints: the sweet side of cancer immunotherapy
Date: 06 March (in person)
VHIO host: Laura Soucek, PI, Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies


Speaker: Violeta Serra, PI, VHIO’s Experimental Therapeutics Group
Talk title: Clinically relevant biomarkers of PARP1 inhibitor resistance and indicators of targeted combinatorial treatments
Date: 24 April (online)


Speaker: Raffaela Di Micco, Group Leader at San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy, Italy.
Talk title: Dissecting mechanisms of acute myeloid leukemia response to therapy and relapse
Date: 08 May (online)
VHIO host: Maria Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer


Speaker: Fran Balkwill, Professor of Cancer Biology, BartsCancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London (UK)
Talk title: Modelling and targeting the ovarian cancer microenvironment
Date: 22 May (online)
VHIO host: Laura Soucek, PI, Mouse Models of Cancer


Speaker: Oscar Fernández, Vice Director and Head of the Genomic Instability Group, Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), Madrid.
Talk title: Nucleolar Stress as a driver (and a vulnerability) in cancer
Date: 05 June (online)
VHIO host: Joan Seoane, Director of Translational Research at VHIO


Speaker: Maria Mittelbrunn, Associate Member, Head of Immunometabolism and Inflammation Lab, Centre for Molecular Biology «Severo Ochoa» (CBMSO), Madrid.
Talk title: Stressed T cells induce multimorbidity and premature senescence
Date: 19 June (online)
VHIO host: Maria Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer


Speaker: Alberto Bardelli, Director of Laboratory Molecular Oncology at the Candiolo Cancer Institute IRCCS and Associate Professor at the Department of Oncology, University of Turin, IRCCS, Italy.
Talk title: Inactivation of DNA repair and high dose Vitamin C boost cancer immunotherapy
Date: 03 July (online)
VHIO host: Joan Seoane, Director of Translational Research


Speaker: Roger Paredes, Chief of Section at the HIV Unit, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol and Head of the Microbial Genomics Group at the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, Badalona, Catalonia, Spain.
Talk title: The human microbiome in HIV and cancer: what can we learn?
Date: 17 July (online)
VHIO host: Paolo Nuciforo, PI, Molecular Oncology


Speaker: Maurizio Scaltriti, Maurizio Scaltriti, Associate Laboratory Member, Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA
Talk title: Genomic dependencies and vulnerabilities in solid tumors
Date: 08 September (online)
VHIO host: Josep Tabernero, VHIO’s Director


Speaker: Andrea Alimonti, Group Leader, Molecular Oncology and Mouse Models, Institute of Oncology Research, Bellinzona, Switzerland.
Talk title: Targeting MDSC for prostate cancer therapy
Date: 18 September (online)
VHIO host: Joaquin Mateo, PI, Prostate Cancer Translational Research


Speaker: Jose Antonio Seoane, Instructor, Curtis Lab, Cancer Computational and Systems Biology Group, Stanford Cancer Institute, California, USA.
Talk title: Role of chromatin regulatory genes in breast cancer
Date: 22 September (online)
VHIO host: Josep Tabernero, VHIO’s Director


Speaker: Chris Lord, Deputy Head of Division, Team Leader of the CRUK Gene Function Laboratory and Professor of Cancer Genomics in the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.
Talk title: Exploiting synthetic lethality in the design of new therapeutic approaches for cancer
Date: 02 October (online)
VHIO hosts: Violeta Serra, PI, Experimental Therapeutics & Judith Balmaña, PI, Hereditary Cancer Genetics


Speaker: Marc Landanyi, Attending Pathologist and and Chief of the Molecular Diagnostics Service and Member in the Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York, USA.
Talk title: Clinical Cancer Genomics: Lessons and Insights from 50,000 patients with advanced solid tumors
Date: 16 October (online)
VHIO host: César Serrano, PI, Sarcoma Translational


Speaker: Mariano Barbacid, Mariano Barbacid, Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Oncology, AXA-CNIO Professor of Molecular Oncology, CNIO, Madrid, Spain.
Talk title: Targeting KRAS mutant tumors: Light at the end of the tunnel
Date: 30 October (online)
VHIO host: Laura Soucek, PI, Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies


Speaker: Luís Enjuanes, CSIC Research Professor, Head of the Laboratory of Replication, Virus-Host Interactions and Protection in Coronavirus. National Biotechnology Center (CNB), Madrid. Spain.
Talk title: SARS-2 Human Coronavirus: pathology and protection
Date: 20 November 2020 (online)
VHIO host: Maria Abad, PI, Cellular Plasticity & Cancer


Speaker: Antonis Antoniou, Professor of Cancer Risk Prediction, Academic Course Director for the MPhil in Epidemiology, University of Cambridge, London, UK.
Talk title: Breast and ovarian cancer risk stratification: progress and challenges
Date: 27 November (online)
VHIO hosts: Judith Balmaña & Sara Gutiérrez-Enríquez, Judith Balmaña and Sara Gutiérrez, PI and Senior Scientist, respectively, Hereditary Cancer Genetics


Speaker: Amparo Cano, Full Professor, Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain.
Talk title: LOXl2, Snail1 and E2A interplay in the regulation of breast cancer initiation and metastasis
Date: 11 December (online)
VHIO host: Josep Villanueva, PI, Tumor Biomarkers

Benchstorming Seminars

Established back in February 2016 by co-Founders Verónica Rodilla, a former Post-Doctoral Fellow of VHIO’s Growth Factors Group (PI: Joaquín Arribas), and Jordi Martínez Quintanilla, Post-Doctoral Fellow of our Stem Cells & Cancer Group (PI: Héctor G. Palmer), our series of Benchstoming Seminars represent an excellent educational opportunity for junior faculty at VHIO to both present and exchange on and around their respective research interests across VHIO’s various research programs.

Not only do our young researchers learn more about their other colleagues and research lines currently underway, they can also express their ideas surrounding a given topic presented at each seminar; the specially crafted informal format favors free thought, flow, and interaction between the speakers and participants.

In 2019 Elena Senís, Post-Doctoral Fellow of VHIO’s Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group (PI: Maria Abad) and Benchstorming Co-Chair, announced that Chiara Bellio, Post-Doctoral Fellow of VHIO’s Tumor Biomarkers Group (PI: Josep Villanueva), had taken over the reins from previous Co-Chair Toni Jauset, a former member of VHIO’s Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group (PI: Laura Soucek).

At the end of 2020, Elena Senís stood down as Benchstorming co-Chair, and Sara Simonetti, Attending Physician of VHIO’s Molecular Oncology Group (PI: Paolo Nuciforo), and Tian Tian, Post-Doctoral Fellow of our Chromatin Dynamics in Cancer Group (PI: Sandra Peiró), joined Chiara as Benchstorming co-Chairs. We take this opportunity to thank Elena for her hard work and dedication.

Our Benchstorming co-Chairs (left to right): Sara SImonetti, Tian Tian and Chiara Bellio.

In 2020, 11 Benchstorming Sessions took place, during which each invited VHIO investigator discussed and ‘benchstormed’ their respective research areas. Each session is graded by all attendees and one presenter is announced as winner of the best presentation. Emanuela Greco, Graduate Student of our Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group (PI: María Abad), was ‘crowned’ for her presentation from season one: MIDORI micropeptide: when epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition commits hara-kiri.

Emanuela Greco, Graduate Student of our Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group (PI: María Abad), was announced as the best ‘Benchstormer’ for her presentation during season one: MIDORI micropeptide: when epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition commits hara-kiri.

  • Date:  Thursday 09th January
  • Invited Speaker: Raquel Perez-Lopez, PI of VHIO’s Radiomics Group
  • Talk titleMedical imaging for accelerating cancer research

  • Date: Thursday 23rd  January
  • Invited Speaker: Juan Antonio Cámara
  • Talk titlePreclinical imaging in oncology research

  • Date: Thursday 23rd  January
  • Invited Speaker: Juan Antonio Cámara
  • Talk titlePreclinical imaging in oncology research

  • Date:  Thursday 13th February – Peptide Month
  • Invited Speaker: Emanuela Greco, Graduate Student of VHIO’s Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group (PI: Mara Abad)
  • Talk titleMIDORI micropeptide: when epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition commits hara-kiri

  • Date:  Thursday 13th February – Peptide Month
  • Invited Speaker: Emanuela Greco, Graduate Student of VHIO’s Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group (PI: Mara Abad)
  • Talk titleMIDORI micropeptide: when epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition commits hara-kiri

  • Date:  Thursday 11st June
  • Invited Speaker: Irene Casanova– Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Joaquín Mateo Lab
  • Talk title: Integrated liquid biopsy analysis in Prostate Cancer: a new tool to monitor tumor genomic evolution and therapy response

  • Date:  23st September
  • Invited Speaker: Tian Tian– Postdoctoral Fellow, Dra. Sandra Peiró Lab
  • Talk title: Chromatin related factor in cell fate change

  • Date:  8th October
  • Invited Speaker: Alfonso Garcia Valverde – Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. César Serrano Lab
  • Talk title: Role of E3 ubiquitin-ligase Atrogin-1 in gastrointestinal stromal tumors

  • Date:  22nd October
  • Invited Speaker: Jastrinjan Kaur (Trini) – Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Laura Soucek Lab
  • Talk title: Expanding horizons- Omomyc against colorectal cancer

  • Date:  5th November
  • Invited Speaker: Olga Boix – PhD student, Dr. Maria Abad Lab
  • Talk title: pTINCR, a novel ubiquitin-like protein that promotes keratinocyte differentiation and suppresses Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Date:  19th November
  • Invited Speaker: Ricky Fong Tirtakasuma – PostDoc, Dr Alena Gros Lab
  • Talk title: T cell immune-monitoring in peripheral blood following treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors

  • Date:  3rd December
  • Invited Speaker: Carlota Arenillas Lallana – PhD student, Rodrigo Toledo Lab
  • Talk title: Genetic landscape of neuroendocrine tumors in patients with a systemic prolonged hypoxia

  • Date:  17th December
  • Invited Speaker: Sara Simonetti – Attending Physician, Dr Paolo Nuciforo Lab
  • Talk title: Molecular Oncology Laboratory: Overview of activities, techniques and resources supporting clinic and research

VHIO´s Ad-Hoc Courses,
Workshops & Observerships

Based on specific lines and research areas that continue to position VHIO as a leading international reference, we share our expertise, learn from eminent guest speakers, discuss and debate our latest findings through the organization of VHIO ad-hoc courses and workshops.

Exchanging latest discovery in cancer science and medicine, VHIO organized and hosted a total of 18 Courses, Workshops, Observerships and Perceptorships in 2020. Naturally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of these were conducted virtually, online.


Masterclass en gestión sanitaria: las claves de un modelo de excelencia en MM y LLC (PDF)
  • Date: 17 September 2020
  • Directors: Dr. Juan José Lahuerta – Dr. Francesc Bosch

PRECEPTORSHIP EN GENÉTICA DEL CÁNCER HEREDITARIO (PDF)
  • Date: 17 July 2020
  • Director: Judith Balmaña

CAR-T EN TIEMPOS DE COVID (PDF)
  • Date: 12 May 2020
  • Director: Francesc Bosch

PRECEPTORSHIP EN CÁNCER DE OVARIO (PDF)
  • Date: 6 March 2020
  • Coordinadora científica y tutora académica del preceptorship: Dra. Ana Oaknin

B-CELL Malignancies Observership (PDF)
  • Date: 22- 24 January 2020
  • Director: Francesc Bosch

Sesión de Actualización en Terapias Dirigidas en Pacientes EGFR y ALK+ (PDF)
  • Date: 31 January 2020
  • Coordinator: Enriqueta Felip

Public Engagement & Outreach

VHIO supports and organizes activities to increase public interest in cancer research and promote the important advances reported by our scientists and clinical investigators. These efforts are aimed at patients, youngsters and non-specialized adult audiences to enrich scientific culture as well as promote science as a stimulating career path for young people – the future of our research.

Importantly, some of these initiatives have resulted in considerable funding for research at VHIO. We will continue to identify, lead and participate in all these precious initiatives and launch new ones based on identified opportunities.

In addition to VHIO’s comprehensive lay media program and the invited participation and presence of our researchers and clinical investigators across a broad range of communication channels, as well as campaigns tailored to our social media platforms and respective target audiences, VHIO led and/or participated in over 20 public outreach events, programs and fundraising initiatives.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our planned activities had to be cancelled. The majority those that could go ahead were either conducted virtually, or carried out in strict accordance with the stipulated social distancing rules and required safety measures.

Illustrative of these efforts, we take this opportunity to mention just a few of the many highlights in 2020:

6th edition of our annual breast cancer workshops, aimed at cancer patients, their friends and families, and the general public. These meetings are coordinated by Marta Capelan (featured in photos 2 and 4 below), Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator of VHIO’s Breast Cancer Group (PI: Cristina Saura). Organized in collaboration with the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital’s Breast Cancer Unit and other expert teams across the Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, these workshops were supported by Pfizer this year.

HUVH-VHIO's annual breast cancer workshops for our cancer patients, their families and friends, as well as the general public.

Selected international media were invited by Barcelona Global to meet out research teams, and learn more about our various activities and programs. Hosted by VHIO, this event took place on 23 January, prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was hosted by VHIO’s Enriqueta Felip (PI: Thoracic Tumors & Head and Neck Cancer Group), on behalf of our Director, Josep Tabernero, who could not attend due to prior engagements.


To mark World Cancer Day, February 04, 2020, VHIO’s Judith Balmaña (PI: Hereditary Cancer Genetics Group), Laura Soucek (PI: Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group), and Elena Garralda (PI: VHIO’s Early Clinical Drug Development Group, and Director of our Research Unit for Molecular Cancer Therapy of Cancer – UITM, CaixaResearch), were invited among other leading experts in oncology across the Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, to participate as panelists and speakers.

Including the participation of cancer patients, and aimed at the general public at large, this special session addressed key topics including the latest advancements and novel therapies in oncology driven through research, cancer prevention, and important aspects regarding the wellbeing and care of people suffering from this disease.

VHIO invesigators joined together with other reasearchers and healthcare professionals in oncology at Vall d'Hebron to mark World Cancer Day 2020.

Aimed at patients suffering from colorectal cancer, their friends and families, and organized within the scope of the COLOSSUS and MoTriColor consortia an early evening session exploring the latest developments in the diagnosis and treatment of this tumor type, provided the perfect forum for interactive debate and a special Q&A session between experts in oncology and those effected and touched by this disease. This workshop was moderated by VHIO’s Rodrigo Dienstmann (PI: Oncology Data Science –ODysSEy- Group).

Aimed at patients, their families and friends, VHIO co-organized a special workshop to update on the very latest developments in the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer.

Specifically organized for cancer patients, their families and friends, a virtual conference was organized by VHIO to discuss and update on new measures, protocols, and infrastructures in place as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Expert speakers included Josep Tabernero (VHIO’s Director), Enriqueta Felip (PI: Thoracic Tumors & Head and Neck Cancer Group), and Elena Garralda (PI: VHIO’s Early Clinical Drug Development Group, and Director of our Research Unit for Molecular Cancer Therapy of Cancer – UITM, CaixaResearch).

An HUVH-VHIO virtual conference aimed at patients, their families and caregivers in oncology, focused on how best to afront cancer in the COVID-19 era.

Launched back in 2016 by the Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (Spanish Association against Cancer – AECC), and officially co-promoted in collaboration with leading organizations and Societies in oncology, World Cancer Research Day (WCRD) is held annually on 24 September to encourage the active involvement of citizens, institutions and leaders across various fields to support the advancement of research against cancer.

In celebration of WCRD 2020, the AECC organized a timely Dialogue Session focused on COVID-19 and the effects on cancer research as well as possible future implications for investigation. The discussion streamed live and counted on the presence of two renowned leaders in oncology, VHIO’s Director and Head of the Medical Oncology Department at Vall d’Hebron, Josep Tabernero, and Mariano Barbacid, AXA-CNIO Professor of Molecular Oncology, the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, Madrid.

Moderated by Spanish journalist, Purificación Beltrán, and joined by the other invited panelists, Isabel Orbe, Director General of AECC’s Scientific Foundation, Marta Pujol, Director of Biomedical Research of AECC’s Scientific Foundation, as well as Belén Pastor, an AECC-supported cancer researcher at the Valencian Institute of Oncology (IVO), conversations also centered on the importance of increased investment in cancer science and clinical research, incentives to nurture, grow and support the careers of researchers in Spain, and the strengthening of national cancer planning.

AECC’s World Cancer Day 2020 streamed Dialogue Session (left to right): Isabel Orbe, Director General of AECC’s Scientific Foundation, Purificación Beltrán (Moderator), Mariano Barbacid, AXA-CNIO Professor of Molecular Oncology, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Marta Pujol, Director of Biomedical Research of AECC’s Scientific Foundation, Josep Tabernero, VHIO’s Director, and Belén Pastor, cancer researcher at the Valencian Institute of Oncology (IVO).

Pau Donés y Jarabe Contra el Cáncer. Regarding the amazing support that VHIO receives from individuals, we were all deeply saddened by the passing of Pau Donés, singer, songwriter, guitarist and leader of the renowned Spanish rock group Jarabe de Palo, who, having been diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2015, succumbed to his disease in June 2020.

Receiving treatment at our Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (HUVH), and cared for by our medical teams and specialists, particularly Elena Élez, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator of our Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group, he was a treasured patient, friend, and an ardent believer in the importance of research against cancer.

To raise funds for research at VHIO, he not only organized four sell-out concerts (see photo collage below), but also spoke out to raise awareness on and around cancer. As Pau Donés prepared for his death, he contacted journalist Jordi Évole to discuss his final fundraising initiative against cancer. Eso que tú me das –the title of one of his very last songs recorded with and his band, Jarabe de Palo, was to be the title of the documentary and very final interview, which broadcasted in cinemas across Spain, following his passing.

Directed by Ramón Lara and Jordi Évole, and produced by Producciones del Barrio y Atresmedia, proceeds will help to support new VHIO research projects aimed at solving cancer sooner.

One of Pau Donés’ fundraising concerts in 2018: Jarabe y Amigos Contra el Cáncer – in support of research at VHIO. Photo collage: Jarabe de Palo.


The Backstage ‘Let’s talk about sarcoma’ documentary launched online in October 2020. This project was initiated two years ago by the family of patient treated at Vall d’Hebron who passed away from a sarcoma. More specifically, Carlota Coloma, Executive Producer and Founder of 15LFilms led the documentary in the memory of her mother in order to offer support to other patients and families going through a similar experience by explaining how cancer researchers and clinical investigators are determinedly working together to develop more effective and precise therapies against this tumor type.

Funded through a dedicated crowdfunding initiative, as well as support received from the Spanish Association against Cancer (AECC), Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), Spanish Association of those Affected by Sarcomas (AEAS), Spanish Group of Investigation into Sarcomas (GEIS), and the Mari Paz Jiménez Casado Foundation, this documentary was filmed at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and captured the day to day of professionals leading research and treatment against sarcomas, including VHIO’s César Serrano (PI: Sarcoma Translational Research Group) Ana Vivancos (PI: Cancer Genomics Group), Claudia Valverde, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator of our Genitourinary, CNS Tumors, and Sarcoma Group (PI: Joan Carles), as well Manolo Pérez, a specialized surgeon in sarcoma at Vall d’Hebron.


The Movember movement against prostate cancer: much more than moustaches. Movember, celebrated globally throughout the month of November, was established back in 2003 by a few friends over a beer in a pub in Melbourne, Australia. Since then, this public awareness movement has gathered tremendous momentum worldwide. These collective efforts aim at reversing the burden of this disease which is the second most common cancer in men, with more than 1.3 million registered cases each year.

In celebration of Movember and to help raise funds for research against prostate cancer, a group of healthcare professionals and researchers from our Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, set up its official VHIO-HUVH Movember Team page (pictured below), with Nicolas Herranz, an investigator of VHIO’s Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group, directed by Joaquin Mateo , as the captain for their 2020 campaign.

HUVH-VHIO Movember movement: raising awareness on the importance of research against prostate cancer.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this dedicated VHIO educational program (established back in 2017) once again welcomed under-twelves from 3 local primary schools – Escolas Samaranch, Mireia, and Virolai, to meet our faculty, tour our laboratories and learn more about cancer biology and research.

The main objectives of this outreach program are to teach young and inquisitive minds about the importance of research in solving cancer sooner, how we at VHIO conduct our investigations, and to hopefully inspire some to ultimately become the next generation of cancer scientists.

During their half day visits our young visitors participated in junior masterclasses and hands-on activities to explain the origins and development of cancer, led and supervised by VHIO faculty. In view of the tremendous success and excellent feedback received from the students and teachers, we will continue to open our doors to all primary schools who wish to participate in this program, with dates already in the diary for 2021 – pandemic restrictions permitting.

VHIO's Schools and Science educational program.