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Victoria Sanz Moreno , Lab Head

Vicky Sanz-Moreno received her first degree in chemistry and later a master's degree in biochemistry from the University of Oviedo in Spain, followed by a PhD in chemical sciences in the laboratory of Piero Crespo at the University of Cantabria, awarded in 2002. After a short postdoc in the same lab funded by a Lady Tata Memorial Trust Fellowship, she moved to the Institute of Cancer Research in London as a CRUK and Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow to work with Chris Marshall. In 2008, she received the Applied Biosystems and EACR 40th Anniversary Research Award for her work on RhoGTPases and tumour cell plasticity.

In 2011, Vicky started her independent research group with a CRUK Career Development Fellowship at King's College London in the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics to study Transcriptional Programs in Melanoma metastasis. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the CRUK Communications and Brand Ambassador Prize for communicating science to the public through media work.

In 2017, Vicky was awarded the BSCB Women in Cell Biology Early Career Medal and a CRUK Senior Fellowship to study the role of Rho-kinase in melanoma progression, dissemination and therapy response. In 2018, she was badged Cancer Research UK Werth Trust Fellow.

In 2018, Vicky was promoted to Professor of Cancer Cell Biology and her lab joined Barts Cancer Institute- a Cancer Research UK Centre of Excellence (Queen Mary University of London).

Vicky’s group is interested in how ROCK and the actomyosin cytoskeleton cross-talks with transcription factors, and how this communication influences metastatic behaviour in both cancer cells and the tumour microenvironment.

When she is not in the lab, Vicky enjoys listening to music, trying new food and going to the movies / theatre with her family.

Jose Luis Orgaz Bueno, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Jose is a highly motivated and enthusiastic senior postdoc. His scientific career has been devoted to study diverse aspects of melanoma biology. During his PhD in Dr Benilde Jimenez’s lab (Biomedical Research Institute, Madrid) Jose focused on studying the role of anti-angiogenic factors in melanoma progression.

For his postdoctoral studies, in 2011 Jose moved to London and joined Dr Victoria Sanz-Moreno’s lab. Jose first studied the role of MMPs in melanoma rounded-amoeboid contractility driven invasion. More recently, Jose has focused on studying the possible role of actomyosin contractility in resistance to therapies in melanoma.

Outside the lab, Jose enjoys spending time with my family. He loves listening to music, playing guitar, reading books and travelling.

Irene Rodriguez Hernandez, Postdoctoral Researcher

Irene obtained her degree in Pharmacy and Biochemistry from the University of Salamanca, Spain. During this period, she collaborated as undergraduate research fellow at the Institute of Neuroscience of Castilla y Leon (Spain), and she also spent six months in Sainte-Marguerite and Conception hospitals (Marseille, France) performing her Practicum of Pharmacy degree.

In 2008, she joined the Molecular Medicine Unit at the University of Salamanca (Spain) under the supervision of Prof Gonzalez-Sarmiento where she completed two MSc, in Biology and Clinic of Cancer and in Multivariate Data Analysis, and she was also awarded a Junta de Castilla y Leon and the European Social Fund fellowship to develop her PhD in the characterization of genetic, epigenetic and molecular alterations in gliomas. Her postdoctoral training began at Molecular Medicine Unit and Oncology Department, University of Salamanca, Spain.

In 2014, Irene joined Dr Sanz-Moreno’s group at King’s College London (UK) funded initially by Cancer Research UK, but then by Fundacion Alfonso Martin Escudero and later by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual fellowships. In Dr Sanz-Moreno’s lab Irene is investigating the role of actomyosin contractility in tumour initiation.

Eva Crosas Molist, Postdoctoral Researcher

Eva studied a degree in Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona, in Spain, where she started being involved in biomedical research as undergraduate student. Afterwards, Eva joined the lab of Dr Isabel Fabregat, at IDIBELL, where she was awarded a studentship from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain and she obtained her MSc and PhD in Biomedicine (University of Barcelona), studying the role of the NADPH oxidase NOX4 in the physiopathology of the liver.

During her PhD, Eva visited for a brief period the labs of Prof Krause (Switzerland) and Dr Sanz-Moreno (UK), being the latter chosen for her postdoc. Eva was awarded a research associate position funded by Cancer Research UK and later, a postdoctoral fellowship from Fundación Ramón Areces (Spain), to develop her research studying the crosstalk between cytoskeleton and mitochondria during tumour progression and invasion. Outside of the lab Eva loves nature and takes any chance to go for a walk or trekking.

Mirella Georgouli, PhD student

Mirella completed her BSc in Biology with emphasis in Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology at University of Crete in Greece in 2010. She then studied for an MSc in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine, in the Department of Biology and the Section of Basic Sciences of the Department of Medicine at University of Crete in Greece. Her MSc thesis was undertaken at Prof I. Athanassakis’ lab and focused on the mechanisms of immune surveillance in leukemic cells. In 2013, she spent a short period in the Department of Urology at University of Ioannina in Greece to study the mechanisms regulating the immunologically privileged properties of the mammalian testis under Prof N. Sofikitis’ supervision. She then obtained an MRes/PhD studentship funded by the NIHR BRC at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London. During her MRes, she did her rotations at Dr V. Sanz-Moreno’s lab, Prof L. Taams’ lab and Dr S. Diebold’s lab. In September 2014, she came back to Dr V. Sanz-Moreno’s lab to start her PhD project which is focused on deciphering the crosstalk between melanoma cells and macrophages.

Bruce Fanshawe, PhD student

Bruce began his career in science by studying for an undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of Bath. Having experienced academic research both in the UK and abroad whilst an undergraduate, Bruce decided to pursue further research and was accepted on to the 4 year Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity Prize MRes/PhD Programme. During his MRes year Bruce worked on a rotation project with Dr Victoria Sanz-Moreno and Dr Gilbert Fruhwirth to develop in vivo cell tracking strategies for melanoma, which he currently continues to work on for his PhD. Outside of work Bruce enjoys outdoor pursuits and is a keen runner and cyclist, competing in half marathons and having cycled across the continent from the UK to Switzerland.

Anna Perdrix, PhD student

After finishing a BSc in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Barcelona Anna came to London to do a 6-month Erasmus, and never left since…

Doing a MRes in Translational Cancer Medicine at King’s College London gave her the motivation to start a PhD in Ilaria Malanchi and Vicky Sanz-Moreno’s labs, between the Francis Crick institute and King’s College London. Anna’s project is about understanding the link between the contractile status of breast cancer cells and their ability to recruit a more or less favourable tumour microenvironment. When she escapes from the lab, Anna loves travelling and going to the pub with my friends.

Laura Stennet, PhD student

Laura completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science with Intercalated Year at The University of Warwick from 2011-2015. This included a year spent at Medical Research Council Technology (MRCT) on a project focused on DNA repair targets in melanoma and ovarian cancer. After graduating Laura decided to pursue further research, and was accepted to do a PhD as part of the London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme (LIDo), funded by the BBSRC. As part of the programme Laura selected a PhD project at King’s College London, co-supervised by Dr Gilbert Fruhwirth and Dr Victoria Sanz-Moreno, which focuses on novel experimental approaches to study cancer spread to the brain. When not in the laboratory Laura enjoys salsa dancing and travelling, as well as spending time with friends and family.

Yaiza Jung, PhD student

Yaiza is an adventurous biologist who travelled all the way up from the Canary Islands to Glasgow to obtain a Master in Medical Genetics and Genomics. She did her Master dissertation in cell migration and metastasis in melanoma and pancreatic cancer in Laura Machesky´s group at the Beatson Institute of Cancer Research.

Yaiza obtained a Crick-King´s PhD studentship to work with Jeremy Carlton’s and Victoria Sanz-Moreno’s labs. The project combines molecular and cancer cell biology tools in order to shed some light into the role of membrane-remodelling machineries in melanoma invasion and metastasis.

Oscar Maiques, Postdoctoral Researcher

Oscar holds a Biotechnology BsC and a Biotechnology in Health Sciences MSc (Univeristy of Lleida Spain). His PhD in the Oncological pathology group (IRBLleida) was co-supervised by Prof Xavier Matias-Guiu and Prof Rosa M Marti, where Oscar studied the role of T-Type Calcium Channels during melanoma progression and autophagic flux.
Molecular and digital pathology are close to Oscar’s heart as he masters techniques such as Immunohistochemistry and Tissue microarray design that confers a translational impact to life sciences. He is a highly motivated researcher that joined Dr. Victoria Sanz-Moreno’s Lab in 2018. His project will focus on studying Myosin II function during melanoma progression and its cross-talk with inflammatory and immune responses.

Leonie Kohlhammer, PhD Student

Leonie completed an MRes in Biomedical Research at Imperial College working on a project involving migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. After a brief stint working in communications at a biopharmaceutical company, she realized research is what she was meant to be doing. She is now a CRUK funded PhD student looking at the direct crosstalk between the cytoskeleton, ROCK and gene transcription in melanoma. Outside of the lab, she enjoys the outdoors, hiking and exploring London.


  • Dr Gaia Cantelli
  • Rimple Dalmeida
  • Dr Cecilia Herraiz Serrano
  • Dr Tokuwa Kanno
  • Dr Pahini Pandya
  • Guang Yang
  • Hoyin Lam



  • Dr Paula Colon Bolea, Francesca Di Giuseppe, Silvia Diez Fernandez, Gemma Ferrer Mayorga, Chu Ting Hine Simon, Rachel Hunt, Na Ra Kang, Cecilia Osorio, Dr Patricia Ruiz Ortanon, Lorea Valcarcel, Dr Angeles Villaronga, Samuel Wallis, Candice Ashmore Harris, Maia Rowe Sampson, Saba Malik, Lena Boheme, Alexander Mastrogiannopoulos, Vittoria Granziani, Oscar Maiques

get in touch

+ 44 (0) 7725112986

where to find us

Barts Cancer Institute- a Cancer Research UK Centre of Excellence
Queen Mary University of London, John Vane Science Building
Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ

about the lab

The Sanz-Moreno lab works on understanding how the cytoskeleton and Rho GTPase signalling in cancer cells promotes tumour growth and dissemination.