Short CV/Education and training

  • Dr. Ainhoa Mielgo is a principal investigator and associate professor at the University of Liverpool who obtained her PhD with honors at the University of Basel (Switzerland) and further trained in the field of tumor biology at the Moores cancer centre, University of California San Diego (U.S.A). In 2013, she obtained a career development award (Sir Henry Dale Fellowship) from the Royal Society and the Wellcome trust and joined the University of Liverpool, U.K to start her independent research team.

  • Dr Mielgo’s laboratory focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms that regulate the complex tumor microenvironment in cancer. Her team is especially interested in understanding the crosstalk between stromal, immune cells and tumor cells and the cell-signaling networks that support tumor progression, metastasis and resistance to therapy. To address these important questions, her laboratory uses a combination of technologies, including co-culture cell-based assays, proteomics, single cell RNA sequencing, Flow & mass cytometry, bioinformatics and pre-clinical mouse tumor models.

Selected publications

  • Lucy Ireland, Teifion Luckett, Michael C. Schmid, Ainhoa Mielgo. Blockade of stromal Gas6 alters cancer cell plasticity, activates NK cells and inhibits pancreatic cancer metastasis. Frontiers in Immunology, 2020; doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00297. eCollection 2020.

  • Carlos R Figueiredo, Ricardo A Azevedo, Sasha Mousdell, Pedro T Resende-Lara, Lucy Ireland, Almudena Santos, Natalia Girola, Rodrigo L.O.R Cunha, Michael Schmid, Luciano Polonelli, Luiz R. Travassos, Ainhoa Mielgo. Interfering with MIF-CD74 signalling on macrophages and dendritic cells with a peptide-based approach restores the immune response against metastatic melanoma.

    Frontiers in Immunology, 2018; https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.01132.

  • Lucy Ireland, Almudena Santos, Fiona Campbell, Carlos Figueiredo, Lesley Ellies, Ulrike Weyer-Czernilofsky, Thomas Bogenrieder, Michael Schmid, Ainhoa Mielgo. Blockade of insulin-like growth factors increases efficacy of paclitaxel in metastatic breast cancer. Oncogene (January, 2018; doi: 10.1038/s41388-017-0115-x).

  • Quaranta V, Rainer C, Nielsen SR, Raymant ML, Ahmed MS, Engle DD, Taylor A, Murray T, Campbell F, Palmer DH, Tuveson DA, Mielgo A, Schmid MC. Macrophage-derived granulin drives resistance to immune checkpoint inhibition in metastatic pancreatic cancer. Cancer Research, 2018

  • Ireland L, Santos A, Ahmed MS, Rainer C, Nielsen SR, Quaranta V, Weyer-Czernilofsky U, Engle DD, Perez-Mancera P, Coupland SE, Taktak AF, Bogenrieder T, Tuveson DA, Campbell F, Schmid MC, Mielgo A. Chemoresistance in pancreatic cancer is driven by stroma-derived insulin-like growth factors. Cancer Research, October 2016.

  • Sebastian Nielsen, Valeria Quaranta, Andrea Linford, Perpetua Emeagi, Carolyn Rainer, Almudena Santos, Lucy Ireland, Takao Sakai, Keiko Sakai, Yong-Sam Kim, Dannielle Engle, Fiona Campbell, Daniel Palmer, Jeong Heon Ko, David Tuveson, Emilio Hirsch, Ainhoa Mielgo, and Michael Schmid. Macrophage-secreted granulin supports pancreatic cancer metastasis by inducing liver fibrosis. Nature Cell Biology, March 2016.

  • Sunil Advani, Maria Fernanda Camargo, Laetitia Seguin, Ainhoa Mielgo , Sudarshan Anand, Angel Hicks , Joseph Aguilera, Aleksandra Franovic, Sara Weis and David Cheresh. Kinase-independent role for CRAF drives tumor radioresistance via CHK2. Nature Communications, 2015. Sep 3;6:8154.

  • Laetitia Seguin, Shumei Kato, Aleksandra Franovic, M. Fernanda Camargo, Jacqueline Lesperance, Kathryn C. Elliott, Mayra Yebra, Ainhoa Mielgo, Andrew M. Lowy, Hatim Husain, Tina Cascone, Lixia Diao, Jing Wang, Ignacio I. Wistuba, John V. Heymach, Scott M. Lippman, Jay S. Desgrosellier, Sudarshan Anand, Sara M. Weis, David A. Cheresh. An integrin β3–KRAS–RalB complex drives tumour stemness and resistance to EGFR inhibition. Nature Cell Biology. 2014. May;16(5):457-68.

  • Ainhoa Mielgo, Laetitia Seguin, Miller Huang, Fernanda Camargo, Sudarshan Anand, Aleksandra Franovic, Sara Weis, Sunil Advani, Eric Murphy, David A. Cheresh. A MEK-independent role for CRAF in mitosis and tumor progression. Nature Medicine, Nov 2011 13; 17(12):1641-5.

  • Ainhoa Mielgo, Vicente A. Torres, Kiran Clair and Dwayne G. Stupack. Paclitaxel promotes a caspase 8-mediated apoptosis via death effector domain association with microtubules. Oncogene, October 2009; 8;28(40):3551-62.


Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the editorial board of Frontiers in Cell & Developmental Biology

  • AACR membership

  • EACR membership

  • Member of Research & Impact committee at my host Institution (University of Liverpool)

  • Expert reviewer for the Medical Research council (UK), European Research Council, Institut National du Cancer and INSERM (France) and other UK charities

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Other activities and achievements/family

  • I am also the programme director of the MSc in Cancer Biology & Therapy at the University of Liverpool and teach cancer biology in several undergraduate and post-graduate programmes at the University of Liverpool.


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