"There are many challenges, such as the need for infrastructure and financial resources, cultural issues, among others. But the main one is for our research to be useful to cancer patients."
Rocío Ortiz López specialized in molecular biology of disease and genomic medicine but slowly made her way into the area of cancer. She likes finding out and implementing methodological tools that allow for the research of this disease. To her, this is a fascinating area where imagination is the limit because nothing is set in stone.
Among her interests are identifying metabolic pathways and key molecular mechanisms that alter when a tumour develops knowing for certain what the medical condition means in order to understand the chronic process of the development of a complex disease such as cancer, and understanding the importance of the environment and the patient's habits in a neoplastic process.
In order to achieve this, Ortiz López analyzes metabolic profiles and gene signatures in cancer patients, particularly breast cancer, and relates them to habits and environmental exposure. The ultimate goal of her research is to identify molecular and metabolic targets that might work as clinical tools to enhance early cancer detection, improve therapies and reduce mortality.
Given that the world of cancer research has plenty of new information, she absorbs new knowledge everyday, which offers her more and improved tools to share with her students in class and, at the same time, to put into practice in her research.