EU Science Hub

Dr Maria Blasco

Maria Blasco, Director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid

I am devoted to the molecular biology of aging as it holds the key to prevention and treatment of age-related diseases, including cancer

Estudio el envejecimiento a nivel molecular porque tiene las claves para prever y curar enfermedades como el cancer o el Alzheimer

Maria A. Blasco is a molecular biologist whose work focuses on telomeres and telomerase and their role in cancer and aging. She contributed to identify the mammalian telomerase genes and generated the first mice without telomerase.

These mice were instrumental to demonstrate that short telomeres are sufficient to induce aging. Her group also demonstrated that it is possible to delay aging and age-related diseases by activating the telomerase enzyme.

She has authored to date 268 articles, and her h-index is of 87. Her work is routinely published in high impact journals, such as Science (3 papers), Nature (4 papers), Nature Genetics (6 papers), Nature Reviews Genetics (2 papers), Nature Cell Biology (5 papers), Nature Communications (13 papers) and Cell (9 papers).

Her group continues to engage with many scientists and Institutions world-wide. Since 2011, she is also the Director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid. Among other awards, Blasco has received the Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award, the Körber European Science Award, the EMBO Gold Medal, and the National Science Award Santiago Ramón y Cajal.

Blasco has received three Doctorate Honoris Causa in Spain: Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, Spain (2014), Universidad of Alicante (2017) and Universidad of Murcia (2018).