Centro Andaluz de Biología Molecular y Medicina Regenerativa
Valentine Comaills

Email: valentine.comaills@cabimer.es

Main Research Lines:

  1. Understanding the biological influence of inflammation in the initiation of pancreatic tumorigenesis
  2. Genomic diversity under Epithelial to Mesenchymal transition

My scientific interests focus on understanding the mechanisms of tumor initiation, metastasis and progression as a basic and translational researcher.

I began the study of cancer drug resistance during my Ph.D at the CICBiogune in the Basque country (Spain). The main topic of my thesis was the role of cancer stem cells in the acquisition of resistance to hormonal therapy treatment in breast cancer. Then, I performed my postdoctoral training in the joint laboratory of Pr. Shyamala Maheswaran and Pr. Daniel A. Haber at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School (October 2012-December 2019), where I focused on the roles of tumor microenvironment in the generation of genetic instability and tumor growth (Comaills et al, Cell Reports, 2016) (Zheng*, Comaills* et al, PNAS, 2019). Furthermore, I was involved in several multidisciplinary projects, from basic to translational studies, focusing on circulating tumor cells (CTC) from patients which led to several important publications. The impressive environment at the MGH Cancer Center creates an exceptional training experience and supports the development of several skills including autonomy, leadership, creativity and innovation, and has enabled me to develop an independent research program.

After coming back to Spain, I got awarded several grants, such as “Aecc investigador award 2020” (Asociación Española Contra El Cáncer) and the European MSCA postdoctoral individual fellowship (MSCA-IF 2020), which helped me to transition to a Principal Investigator position. I am currently hosted by the laboratory of Dr. B. Gauthier, where I am developing my independent research line on genomic instability and inflammation in the pancreas.

In 2022, I was granted with the EMERGIA program from Junta de Andalucía to start my independent laboratory at the university of Seville in the department of cell biology.

My research projects aim to understand the origins of genetic insults that occur during inflammation and to unravel the mechanisms behind the creation of genetic heterogeneity leading to tumorigenesis. The final goal of my research will be to identify new therapeutic targets and early detection markers, which are really needed to improve the diagnostic and prognostic of those patients. My multidisciplinary approach combining complex mice models, high resolution imaging and single cells bioinformatics within the genomic instability field will lead me to develop an innovative translational research program.

ORCID: 0000-0001-8857-6976

Twitter: @ValComaills

My work is focused on understanding the origins of genomic instability in cancer. I am interested on how cellular plasticity can induce chromosomal instability and lead to genomic diversity.

Projects as principal investigator:

EMERGIA 2021 (EMC21_00318): captación de talento investigador, Junta de Andalucia. Funding to open an independent laboratory in Andalusia. (starting Aug 2023 with university of Seville)

European Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions individual fellowship MSCA-IF 2020 (Onco-Inflammation 101026137): Origin of genomic instability: Understanding the biological influence of inflammation in the initiation of pancreatic tumorigenesis (2022-2023)

Aecc investigator award 2020 (INVES20033COMA): Asociación española contra el cáncer. Origin of genomic instability: Understanding the biological influence of inflammation in the initiation of pancreatic tumorigenesis (2020-2021).

Vencer el Cancer foundation 2020-2021-2022. (co-PI Dr. Gauthier)

MGH Cancer center Excellence award 2019. Massachusetts General Hospital cancer center, Boston USA. Mechanisms and consequences behind senescence escape.

For a complete list of publications see: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Comaills

Selected publications:

  • Gauthier, B.R#.; Lorenzo, P.I.; Comaills, V#. (2022) Physical Forces and Transient Nuclear Envelope Rupture during Metastasis: The Key for Success? Cancers. (co-corresponding authors)
  • Guo H, Golczer G, Wittner BS, Langenbucher A, Zachariah M, Dubash TD, Hong X, Comaills V, Burr R, Ebright RY, Horwitz E, Vuille JA, Hajizadeh S, Wiley DF, Reeves BA, Zhang JM, Niederhoffer KL, Lu C, Wesley B, Ho U, Nieman LT, Toner M, Vasudevan S, Zou L, Mostoslavsky R, Maheswaran S, Lawrence MS, Haber DA. (2021) NR4A1 regulates expression of immediate early genes, suppressing replication stress in cancer. Molecular Cell.
  • Gauthier, B.R#.; Comaills, V#. (2021) Nuclear Envelope Integrity in Health and Disease: Consequences on Genome Instability and Inflammation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. (co-corresponding authors)
  • Ebright RY, Lee S, Wittner BS, Niederhoffer KL, Nicholson BT, Bardia A, Truesdell S, Wiley DF, Wesley B, Li S, Mai A, Aceto N, Vincent-Jordan N, Szabolcs A, Chirn B, Kreuzer J, Comaills V, Kalinich M, Haas W, Ting DT, Toner M, Vasudevan S, Haber DA, Maheswaran S, Micalizzi DS. (2020) Deregulation of ribosomal protein expression and translation promotes breast cancer metastasis. Science.
  • Zheng Y¥, Comaills V¥, Burr R¥, Wittner BS, Miyamoto DT, Boulay G, Emmons E, Sil S, Koulopoulos MK, Broderick KT, Tai E, Shioda T, Wu CL, Rivera M, Toner M, Ramaswamy S, Ting DT, Maheswaran S and Haber DA (¥ contribute equally). (2019) COX-2 mediates tumor-stromal Prolactin Signaling to initiate tumorigenesis. PNAS.
  • Domenici G, Aurrekoetxea-Rodríguez I, Simões BM, Rábano M, Lee SY, Millán JS, Comaills V, Oliemuller E, López-Ruiz JA, Zabalza I, Howard BA, Kypta RM, Vivanco MD. (2019) A Sox2-Sox9 signalling axis maintains human breast luminal progenitor and breast cancer stem cells. Oncogene.
  • Yazinski SA, Comaills V, Buisson R, Genois MM, Nguyen HD, Ho CH, Todorova Kwan T, Morris R, Lauffer S, Nussenzweig A, Ramaswamy S, Benes CH, Haber DA, Maheswaran S, Birrer MJ, Zou L. (2017) ATR inhibition disrupts rewired homologous recombination and fork protection pathways in PARP inhibitor-resistant BRCA cancer cells. Genes Dev.
  • Comaills V, Kabeche L, Morris R, Buisson R, Yu M, Madden MW, LiCausi JA, Boukhali M, Tajima K, Pan S, Aceto N, Sil S, Zheng Y, Sundaresan T, Yae T, Miyamoto D, Ting DT, Ramaswamy S, Hass W, Zou L, Haber DA, Maheswaran S. (2016) Genomic Instability Induced by Persistent Proliferation of Cells Undergoing Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition. Cell Reports.
  • Yu M, Bardia A, Aceto N, Bersani F, Madden MW, Donaldson MC, Desai R, Zhu H, Comaills V, Zheng Y, Wittner BS, Stojanov P, Brachtel E, Sgroi D, Kapur R, Shioda T, Ting DT, Ramaswamy S, Getz G, Iafrate AJ, Benes C, Toner M, Maheswaran S, Haber DA. (2014) Cancer therapy: Ex vivo culture of circulating breast tumor cells for individualized testing of drug susceptibility. Science.
  • Piva M, Domenici G, Iriondo O, Rábano M, Simões BM, Comaills V, Barredo I, López-Ruiz JA, Zabalza I, Kypta R, Vivanco Md. (2014) Sox2 promotes tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer cells. EMBO Mol Med.
  • Chiba N, Comaills V, Shiotani B, Takahashi F, Shimada T, Tajima K, Winokur D, Hayashida T, Willers H, Brachtel E, Vivanco MD, Haber DA, Zou L, Maheswaran S. (2012) Homeobox B9 induces epithelial to mesenchymal transition associated radioresistance by accelerating DNA damage responses. PNAS.