Marta M Alonso (Navarra, 1974). I am the co-director of the Solid Tumor Program at CIMA and the Brain Tumor Group at the Cancer Center of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra. Our research aims to implement biological therapies for high-risk pediatric brain tumors, specifically oncolytic viruses. In 2010,

I began my career as an independent investigator thanks to a “Ramón y Cajal” and a ” Marie Curie IRG grant.” Since then, I have obtained extramural funding from international (DOD USA or an ERC-Consolidator), national (funded non-stop by Institute Carlos III), and regional organizations. My work has been recognized by several awards, including the “Loreal- Unesco for Women in Science Award” (2013), “Cadena SER_Navarra_Ciencia” awards (2019), EANO best clinical publication (2023). Last year, I obtained the Dr. Baselga FERO award, which is special to me because it recognizes our effort to bring innovative therapies to patients.

During this time, I have published as the last author in prestigious journals in our field, with an H factor of 44 and more than 8000 citations. Among them are prestigious journals such as NEJM, Cancer Cell, Lancet Oncol, and Nat Med. Our collaborative spirit has led to numerous publications with other great scientists, which is especially important in the field of pediatric brain tumors. We participate in international pediatric networks such as the PNOC consortium, DMG-ACT, or the SiopE working groups. I routinely serve as a reviewer for grants (ANEP, Horizon 2020, ERC EIC, etc.) and journals (Lancet Oncol, Cancer Discov,etc.). Moreover, I am part of the scientific committee (SPARC) of the International Society for Pediatric Oncology; I served as an advisor in the European Society of Cell and Gene Therapy for the Oncolytic Viruses chapter, amongst others. I have supervised more than 15 Ph.D. students and fellows.

Under my mentorship, some trainees have achieved relevant positions and obtained awards. Our lab has broad experience bringing oncolytic viruses from the bench to the bed, and we are leading this area in the pediatric brain tumor field. We have the expertise to generate viruses; I count with several patents, characterize them in vitro and in vivo in relevant models for our research, and perform all the necessary regulatory experiments to arrive at clinical trials. Our research led to several clinical trials implementing oncolytic viruses for pediatric and adult brain tumors in our institution. These trials show that the viruses are safe and efficacious for a group of patients; this is highly relevant and denotes the translation of our research. Moreover, we serve routinely as patient advocates and family resources for those suffering from these devastating tumors.

Marta M Alonso