Dr. Roger Gomis is an ICREA Research Professor and a member of the Oncology Program at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Barcelona. He received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Barcelona in 2002, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Prof. Joan Massagué's laboratory. In 2007, he assumed his current position. Since 2018 he is an associate professor at the University of Barcelona. Dr. Roger Gomis is interested in how growth factors, signaling pathways, and gene expression programs control normal cell behavior and cancer cell metastasis. Driven by the problem of metastasis, which is the cause of 90% of cancer deaths, his laboratory is pursuing the molecular and genetic mechanisms of metastasis. In particular, identifying genes that enable cancer to metastasize clinically relevant sites. In 2012 Roger founded Inbiomotion as an ICREA and IRB Barcelona spin-off company from his research.
Although metastasis is the leading cause of cancer death, we are still ill-prepared to fight it. Chemotherapy targets high-proliferating rather than the low-proliferating metastatic cells—allowing these to spread from the primary tumor to distant sites, where they resist conventional treatments, proliferate, and cause vital organ failure. We and others have helped to simplify our understanding of metastasis as an orderly sequence of basic steps, which allows us to rationalize the biological properties required for metastatic disease. We know that cancer cells must orchestrate diverse cellular functions to overcome the difficulties of transiting into the metastatic cascade; these functions are highly dependent on the interactions between the metastatic cell, the tumor, and host stroma. We now need a better understanding of steps of the kinetics and mechanisms that regulate tissue-specific metastasis progression, as a prerequisite for developing effective therapies in the future.