Vall d’Hebron Research Institute


Dr. Simo Schwartz Jr.

Head of Drug Delivery and Targeting Group

Director of CIBBIM-Nanomedicine (, a research center focused on new biomedical nanotechnology-based applications, member of the Science Advisory Board of the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and recently appointed Director Assistant in Basic Research. Dr. Schwartz Jr. was appointed as member of the Advisory Board of NANOCAN, Southern Denmark University, and deputy director of CIBER-BBN, a center from the Spanish Health Institute CarlosIII (ISCIII) which gathers a total of 45 research groups of national excellence in the field of nanotechnology and nanomedicine. Dr Schwartz was also co-founder and science advisor of ARGON Pharma SL, former member of the editorial Board of the journals Nanomedicine-NBM and Eur. J. Nanomedicine, external science advisor for the European Nanomedicine Characterization Laboratory (EU-NCL) and science consultant of SOM BIOTECH and CELGENE.

 Dr Schwartz Jr helds 14 patents, most transferred to leading companies of the biotech and pharma sectors and coauthors more than 90 papers in high impact factor journals. Recently appointed as editor of Precission Nanomedicine journal, he also acts as coordinator and partner of several research projects directly related with the obtention and validation of therapeutic drug delivery systems, including international and EU projects involving SME’s and large Pharma companies. Acting as coordinator for technology transfer at CIBER-BBN, he was recently appointed as President of the European Society of Nanomedicine and Executive Board member of the International Society of Nanomedicine.



Dr. Ibane Abasolo

Head of Functional Validation & Preclinical Research and Senior Scientist in the Drug Delivery and Targeting Group 

Ibane Abasolo obtained degrees in Biochemistry and Biology from the University of Navarra (Spain) in 1997 and 1998, respectively. During her PhD in the labs of Dr. Calvo (CIMA, Pamplona, Spain) and Prof. Wang (Northwestern University, Chicago, USA), she studied the role of a peptidic hormone, adrenomedullin, in prostate cancer. Afterwards, she continued her post-doctoral training in the group of Prof. F.X. Real (IMIM, Barcelona), where she focused on the study of key factors on the progression of pancreatic cancer and in the Insitut d’Alta Tecnologia (PRBB, Barcelona), where she got trained in molecular imaging techniques. Since 2007, Dr. Abasolo is the coordinator of the FVPR and senior scientist of Dr. Schwartz’s group. As head of FVPR she is in charge of developing standardized assays for testing the activity and function of candidate genes, target molecules and therapeutic compounds, and providing the industry and other research groups with an optimum technological platform for testing new biomedical applications based on nanotechnology. 

Dr. Petra Gener

Senior Scientist 

Petra Gener is responsible for the production of exosomes, their modification and their validation in vitro. She obtained her masters degree in Biochemistry at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Slovakia in 2002. In 2011, she obtained her PhD degree in the Faculty of Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. During her thesis, she identified and validated new markers and potential therapeutic targets for gastrointestinal stromal tumors in murine models and in human pathological material. She then joined the Drug Delivery and Targeting Group at CIBBIM-Nanomedicine, Vall de Hebron Institute of Research and used her expertise to identify several targets/markers of Cancer Stem Cells (CSC). This knowledge has led to the effective design of new targeted nanomedicine against CSC. As a senior scientist, she is currently responsible for the biomarkers and therapeutic targets section within the group and she guides several projects concerning nanomedicine development and its pre-clinical testing in in vitro and in vivo. She is an expert in the field of biomarkers and in their use for the design of new therapies. Likewise, she has generated and validated CSC models in vitro and in vivo allowing CSCs to be visualized by fluorescence.  

Dr. Joaquin Seras

Senior Scientist 

Joaquin Seras is a member of the Drug Delivery and Targeting group led by Dr. Schwartz. His research has been focused on the study of protein nanoparticles for biomedical applications produced in microbial hosts. Joaquin has a broad expertise in recombinant protein production and in vitro validation assays of nanoparticles and nanomedicines.  

Dr. Vanessa Díaz Riascos

Senior Scientist 

Vanessa Díaz Riascos is a member of the area of Functional Validation and Preclinical Research (FVPR) of the CIBBIM-Nanomedicine. Within this area, she is the veterinary postdoctoral researcher of the In vivo Preclinical section. She is working with new experimental animal models, new therapeutic targets and new nanomedicine compounds for cancer therapy, among other diseases. In 2014, she obtained her PhD Biology and her predoctoral work was focused on the role of microRNA in pancreatic cancer progression, using patient derived xenografts (PDX) as in vivo model.  

Dr. Fernanda Raquel da Silva Andrade

Senior Scientist 

Fernanda Raquel da Silva Andrade studied pharmacy in Lisbon (2010) and carried out her doctoral thesis in the University of Porto in 2015. Currently at VHIR, her research focuses on the development of multifunctional drug delivery systems with improved characteristics such as increased therapeutic index and targeted delivery, allowing and efficient and safe treatment of challenging diseases like cancer or resistant infectious diseases, with the ultimate goal of personalized medicine. Her broad knowledge in the field of biomedical sciences, gained from her training as a pharmacist, allows her a comprehensive and integrative view of different stages of drug development. She has authored 17 research and review papers and 8 book chapters.  

Dr. Diana Fernandes de Sousa

Senior Scientist