My name is Gabriela Ávila Morales and I come from Costa Rica, a wonderful place in Central America filled with nature and with kind people.
I am a biotechnologist graduated from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica. I have a M.Sc. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. During this period, I realized how much I wanted to work in the cancer research field. Indeed, I was involved in a project that aimed at enhancing the ex vivo expansion of T cells used in cancer immunotherapies at the Material Sciences Institute of Barcelona.
I obtained a double Ph.D. degree from the European Joint Doctorate in Molecular Animal Nutrition, while working at both, the Università degli Studi di Milano and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. I investigated the in vitro impact of dietary molecules used in animal nutrition on mammalian and avian immunity. In vitro functional analyses and OMIC technologies were implemented for an integral characterization of the molecules’ impact. During this period I realized the importance of a system biology or multi omics approach for a deeper understanding of serious diseases such as cancer, and for their diagnostics and therapy selection.
Currently, I am Postdoc researcher at Dr. Ugo Cavallaro's laboratory, Unit of Gynecological Oncology Research of IEO (Milan). I am investigating the biology of ovarian cancer stem cells and their interaction with the tumor microenvironment.