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Our team is formed by enthusiastic and motivated people, whom hard-work for making significant advances in the fight against cancer.


Verónica Rodilla, PhD

Group Leader

Born in Barcelona, Verónica was always passionate about science and decided to study Biology at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She obtained her PhD in Biomedicine in 2011, basing her thesis on the study of Notch and Wnt signaling pathways in colorectal cancer and intestinal homeostasis. She performed her doctoral thesis at the IMIM-Hospital del Mar under the supervision of Dr Anna Bigas and Dr Lluis Espinosa. Then, she moved to Paris to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institut Curie (2011-2015) under the incredible mentorship of Dr Silvia Fre. Back in Barcelona, she performed a second postdoctoral training at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (2015-2020) before starting her own research group at the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC), with a Ramon y Cajal contract. 

Verónica loves chocolate and is addicted to TV-shows

David Olivares

Lab Manager


Born in Barcelona, David started as a trainee lab technician in Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), he spent three years at the Catalan Institute of Oncology, and after a brief contact with a biotech company located at Barcelona Scientific Park, he decided to focus in cancer research. In 2015, he joined Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, where he enrolled in the Master's Degree in Translational Biomedical Research. In 2017, the Spanish Association of Laboratory Technicians awarded him with the XXII Soria Melguizo Foundation Prize. From 2018 until 2020, based in Asunción (Paraguay), he worked with national and international institutions for the development of cancer research in Latin America. David joined CHH Lab in 2021 as a lab manager.

David is a Star Wars fan and amateur guitarist

PhD Student

Elena Vinuesa


Born in Alcalá de Xivert (Castellón), Elena studied Biotechnology at the Universitat de Lleida (2019) and obtained her Master’s Degree in Biomedicine in the Universitat de Barcelona (2020). She performed her Master’s Final Project in the Growth Factors Group headed by Prof Joaquín Arribas at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO). Elena joined CHH Lab as a PhD student in September 2020. Thereafter, she was granted with a FI-2021 grant from the Agency for the Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) and a PIF-Salut grant (2021-2025) from the Health Research and Innovation Strategic Plan (PERIS), which was accepted to develop her project on breast cancer and cellular plasticity.

Elena loves  music and plays her clarinet in her town's festival

PhD Student

Joan Balibrea


Born in Tarragona and raised in Barcelona, Joan studied Biotechnology at the Chemical Institute of Sarrià (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2019) where he carried out his final degree project with Prof Salvador Borrós related to nanomedicine and lung cancer research. Then, he obtained an MSc in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) in 2020, after doing his Master’s thesis in the Structural Biology of Alzheimer’s lab, studying a dendrimer with therapeutic potential. In the summer of 2021, Joan joined Verónica Rodilla’s group as a research assistant to study the role of therapy-induced senescence in non-Hodgkin lymphoma relapse and metastasis.

Joan is a sports enthusiast and a nature enjoyer

PhD Student

Daniel Ortega


Born in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), Dani studied Biotechnology at the Universitat de Barcelona (2021) and finished his master's degree in Translational Medicine at Universitat de Barcelona (2022) with excellent marks. He joined Cancer heterogeneity and hierarchies group as a graduate student in July 2021 with the aim of performing his master's final project, and he enjoyed it so much that finally decided to stay for his PhD with us. He is a passionate PhD student searching for new biomarkers that can help us to better classify breast cancer patients. 

Dani is a saxophonist and loves watching cult movies

Postdoctoral Researcher

Cristina Guardia

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Born in Barcelona, Spain, Cristina studied Biology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, graduating in 2012. She obtained her PhD in Biomedicine in 2019, under the supervision of Dr. Albanell and Dr. Rovira at the IMIM-Hospital del Mar. In December 2021, she joined the CHH Lab as a postdoctoral researcher and has been awarded a Juan de la Cierva fellowship. With a translational background in cancer biology, she is currently involved in the MonDime project, which aims to unravel how therapy-induced damaged or senescent cells remodel premetastatic niches to facilitate NHL dissemination.

Cristina is a beach volleyball enthusiast and a cheesecake lover

Elena Castillo

Lab technician

Elena Castillo

Born in Cazorla (Jaén), Elena moved to Barcelona to study Biomedicine at the Universitat de Barcelona (2022) and decided to start a master degree specialising in basic and translational research in cancer (2022-2023). She joined Cancer heterogeneity and hierarchies group as a technician in September 2023.

Elena plays piano and is a sport lover, she loves running on the beach 

     Former members     


Laura Yera - TFG Trainee (2021)

Born in Barcelona, Laura finished her degree in Biotechnology at the University of Barcelona. She carried out her final degree project at our laboratory.  Laura is passionate about cancer research and she is currently working in Transcriptional dynamics in leukemia group at IJC.

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Laura loves sports and is addicted to travel

Mariia Sydorenko - TFM Trainee (2023)

Born in Odesa, Mariia was in love with nature and science and, following her dream, obtained her bachelor's degree in Biology.  She carried out her Master in Biomedicine in the University of Barcelona with us. In October 2023, she joined VTorrano Lab to perform her PhD.


Mariia loves photography and finds inspiration in nature

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     Join us     

We are periodically seeking enthusiastic new members; so, if you are interested, please contact us.  

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