“From time to time we have moments”

Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana

Elhuyar Zientzia

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Amaia Lujanbio Goizueta is one of the mornings, but from her village she has answered our questions to many kilometers: From New York. Lujambio Laboratory leads a cancer research laboratory at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai.

It comes directly. He says that since childhood he liked research and science; in school, mathematics and nature were his favorite subjects. Later, when studying genetics, he was “in love”: “DNA has mathematical logic. In addition, DNA keeps the secret of life and has an enormous capacity to understand our biology and even cure diseases.”

He studied biology at the University of Navarra. He was very clear that he wanted to do the thesis and did internships in several laboratories. In 2004 he obtained a scholarship for internships at the Cancer Research Center (CNIO) and then began to investigate cancer, specifically epigenetic changes.

“It is a very interesting topic and it also affects many people. That is why I decided to do the thesis in the field of cancer. And twelve years later, I’m still in the same field.” And it is that he fulfills his work a lot: “We are always learning new things and from time to time we get amazing results, at times!”

In addition, he recognized that so far it has gone very well: “First in my thesis, then in the postdoctoral, and now in my laboratory, I have had enough resources and that makes things easier.”

However, not everything is easy: “When experiments don’t go out… And we have a constant uncertainty, because to advance our work we need external funding.” But nothing would change: “There are decisions that have not been the most direct, but also in those situations you learn a lot”

Seeking effective treatment

In Lujanbio's laboratory they work with mice. The CRISPR technique consists of causing genetic mutations and then testing different treatments. “Because liver cancer is a very malignant disease and there are no good treatments for the sick.” Therefore, your goal is to achieve it.

As head of research he has a great responsibility, “even the last word,” he said. If not, working outside the home is professionally similar, but recognizes that there are cultural differences: “In America they are not as laboring as we are, but they are more optimistic and have more confidence in themselves.”

Looking ahead, the goal is to test treatments in people, and he is convinced that in the next ten years great advances will be made in this field. On a personal level, it would seek the balance between work and personal life. He says “it’s not always easy with this job!” My dream? Be happy.”

Related information

Amaia Lujanbio Goizueta was born in 1982 in Goizueta. He graduated in Biology from the University of Navarra and completed his thesis at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Since then his research career has not ceased. He has published several articles in the leading scientific journals and now directs his laboratory at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York.

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