IIT People Search

Ramiro Vazquez

Postdoc student
Post Doc
Genomic Science
Research center

Professional Background

I received my M.Sc. degree in Biochemistry in 2007, and my Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 2011, both from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2012, I moved to Italy to take up a postdoctoral position in the Department of Oncology at the Mario Negri Institute, in Milan. In 2015, I started a second postdoctoral research at the Institute of Oncology Research (IOR), in Bellinzona, Switzerland. I joined Dr. Stefano Campaner’s group in December 2019. My current research project at IIT focuses on understanding genetic factors that are critical to maintain genome stability in cancer cells and in devising therapeutic strategies based on the selective destabilization of cancer cells genome.

Current project

Oncogenes are able to highjack normal cells transforming them into tumor cells by driving their uncontrolled growth. In doing so, oncogenes fail to properly activate safeguarding mechanism that are meant to correct potential errors in the execution of cellular programs. This creates inherent weak-spots in tumors cells which we are trying to identify in order to design targeted therapies. c-Myc is one of these oncogenes, frequently found deregulated in human cancers. In particular, it is a transcription factor acting as a master regulator of genes involved in cell cycle progression, cell growth, differentiation, metabolism and apoptosis. Both in vitro and in vivo models indicate that its overexpression is associated with the activation of the DNA damage response (DDR) and that c-Myc-driven cancers prone to experience ramping genomic instability. In this context, I am studying c-MYC-regulated genes that we have found to be required to properly coordinate oncogene-driven transcription and DNA replication, by focusing on two aspects:

  1. the implementation of Next Generation Sequencing methods to derive a genome wide map of DNA breaks when transcription collides with DNA replication.
  2. Utilize genome editing technologies based on CRISPR/Cas9 to engineer genetic models of cancer for the study of genome instability.


1-Targeting adrenomedullin in oncology: a feasible strategy with potential as much more than an alternative anti-angiogenic therapy. Ramiro Vázquez*, María E. Riveiro*, Caroline Berenguer-Daizé, Anthony O’Kane, Julie Gormley, Olivier Touzelet, Keyvan Rezai, Mohamed Bekradda and L’Houcine Ouafik. Frontiers in Oncology. 2021. 10:589218. Doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.589218. *Shared authorship.

2-Identifying pathophysiological bases of disease in COVID-19. Carla J. Goldin, Ramiro Vázquez, Fernando P. Polack, Damian Alvarez-Paggi. Translational Medicine Communications. 2020. Doi: 10.1186/s41231-020-00067-w.

3- Efficacy of novel BET inhibitors in combination with chemotherapy for castration-resistant prostate cancer. Ramiro Vázquez, Gianluca Civenni, Dheeraj Shinde, Jasmine Cantergiani, Martina Marchetti, Giada Zoppi, Aleksandra Kokanovic, Jessica Merulla, Domenico Albino, Bruce Ruggeri, Phillip C. C. Liu, Giuseppina M. Carbone, Carlo V. Catapano. European Urology Oncology. 2019. Doi: 10.1016/j.euo.2019.07.013.

4- Epigenetic control of mitochondrial fission enables self-renewal of stem-like tumor cells in human prostate cancer. Gianluca Civenni, Roberto Bosotti, Andrea Timpanaro, Ramiro Vázquez, Jessica Merulla, Shusil Pandit, Simona Rossi, Domenico Albino, Sara Allegrini, Abhishek Mitra, Sarah N. Mapelli, Luca Vierling, Martina Giurdanella, Martina Marchetti, Alyssa Paganoni, Andrea Rinaldi, Marco Losa, Enrica Mira-Catò, Rocco D’Antuono, Diego Morone, Keyvan Rezai, Gioacchino D’Ambrosio, L’Houcine Ouafik, Sarah Mackenzie, María E. Riveiro, Esteban Cvitkovic, Giuseppina M. Carbone, Carlo V. Catapano. Cell Metabolism. 2019. Doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2019.05.004.

5- Insights into the cellular pharmacological properties of the BET-inhibitor OTX015/MK-8628 (birabresib), alone and in combination, in leukemia models. Lucile Astorgues-Xerri*, Ramiro Vázquez*, Elodie Odore, Keyvan Rezai, Carmen Kahatt, Sarah MacKenzie, Mohamed Bekradda, Marie-Magdelaine Coudé, Hervé Dombret, Claude Gardin, Francois Lokiec, Eric Raymond, Kay Noel, Esteban Cvitkovic, Patrice Herait, Francesco Bertoni, María E. Riveiro. Leukemia & Lymphoma. 2019. Doi: 10.1080/10428194.2019.1617860. *Shared authorship.

6- Transcriptional reprogramming and novel therapeutic approaches for targeting prostate cancer stem cells. Gianluca Civenni, Domenico Albino, Dheeraj Shinde, Ramiro Vázquez, Jessica Merulla, Aleksandra Kokanovic, Sarah Mapelli, Giuseppina M. Carbona, Carlo V. Catapano. Frontiers in Oncology. 2019. Doi: 10.3389/fonc.2019.00385.

7- Potential negative effects of anti-histamines on male reproductive function. Carolina Mondillo, María Luisa Varela, Adriana María Belén Abiuso, Ramiro Vázquez. Reproduction. 2018. Doi: 10.1530/REP-17-0685.

8- The bromodomain inhibitor OTX015 (MK-8628) exerts anti-tumor activity in triple-negative breast cancer models as single agent and in combination with everolimus. Ramiro Vázquez, María E. Riveiro, Lucile Astorgues-Xerri, Elodie Odore, Keyvan Rezai, Eugenio Erba, Nicolò Panini, Andrea Rinaldi, Ivo Kwee, Luca Beltrame, Mohamed Bekradda, Esteban Cvitkovic, Francesco Bertoni, Roberta Frapolli, Maurizio D'Incalci. Oncotarget. 2017. Doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13814.

9- OTX015 (MK-8628), a novel BET inhibitor, exhibits antitumor activity in non-small cell and small-cell lung cancer models harboring different oncogenic mutations. Maria E. Riveiro, Lucile Astorgues-Xerri, Ramiro Vázquez, Roberta Frapolli, Ivo Kwee, Andrea Rinaldi, Elodie Odore, Keyvan Rezai, Mohamed Bekradda, Giorgio Inghirami, Maurizio D’Incalci, Kay Noel, Esteban Cvitkovic, Eric Raymond, Francesco Bertoni. Oncotarget. 2016. Doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13181.

10- Promising in vivo efficacy of the BET bromodomain inhibitor OTX015/MK-8628 in malignant pleural mesothelioma xenografts. Ramiro Vázquez*, Simonetta Andrea Licandro*, Lucile Astorgues-Xerri*, Emanuele Lettera, Nicolò Panini, Michela Romano, Eugenio Erba, Ezia Bello, Roberta Libener, Sara Orecchia, Federica Grosso, María E. Riveiro, Esteban Cvitkovic, Mohamed Bekradda, Maurizio D’Incalci, Roberta Frapolli. International Journal of Cancer. 2016. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30412. *Shared authorship.

11- Fsn0503h antibody-mediated blockade of cathepsin S as a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of solid tumors. Ramiro Vázquez, Lucile Astorgues-Xerri, Mohamed Bekradda, Julie Gormley, Richard Buick, Paul Kerr, Esteban Cvitkovic, Eric Raymond, Maurizio D’Incalci, Roberta Frapolli, María E. Riveiro. Biochimie. 2015. Doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2014.10.025.

12- Pharmacodynamic study of the 7,8-dihydroxy-4-methylcoumarin-induced selective cytotoxicity toward U-937 leukemic cells versus mature monocytes: cytoplasmic p21(Cip1/WAF1) as resistance factor. Ramiro Vázquez, María E. Riveiro, Carolina Mondillo, Juan Carlos Perazzo, Mónica Vermeulen, Alberto Baldi, Carlos Davio, Carina Shayo. Biochemical Pharmacology. 2013. Doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2013.04.021.

13- Structure-anti-leukemic activity relationship study of ortho-dihydroxycoumarins in U-937 cells: key role of the δ-lactone ring in determining differentiation-inducing potency and selective pro-apoptotic action. Ramiro Vázquez, María E. Riveiro, Mónica Vermeulen, Eliana Alonso, Carolina Mondillo, Graciela Facorro, Lidia Piehl, Natalia Gómez, Albertina Moglioni, Alberto Baldi, Carina Shayo, Carlos Davio. Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry. 2012. Doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2012.07.043.

14- Toddaculin, a natural coumarin from Toddalia asiatica, induces differentiation and apoptosis in U-937 leukemic cells. Ramiro Vázquez, María E. Riveiro, Mónica Vermeulen, Carolina Mondillo, Philip H. Coombes, Neil Crouch, Fathima Ismail, Dulcie A. Mulholland, Alberto Baldi, Carina Shayo, Carlos Davio. Phytomedicine. 2012. Doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2012.03.008.

15- Synthesis, structural characterization and pro-apoptotic activity of 1-indanone thiosemicarbazone platinum(II) and palladium(II) complexes: potential as antileukemic agents. Natalia Gómez, Diego Santos, Ramiro Vázquez, Leopoldo Suescun, Alvaro Mombrú, Mónica Vermeulen, Liliana Finkielsztein, Carina Shayo, Albertina Moglioni, Dinorah Gambino, Carlos Davio. ChemMedChem. 2011. Doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201100060.

16- Coumarins: Old compounds with novel promising therapeutic perspectives. María E. Riveiro, Norbert De Kimpe, Albertina Moglioni, Ramiro Vázquez, Federico Monczor, Carina Shayo, Carlos Davio. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2010;17(13):1325-38.

17- Towards establishing structure-activity relationships for oxygenated coumarins as differentiation inducers of promonocytic leukemic cells. María E. Riveiro, Dominick Maes, Ramiro Vázquez, Silvia Debenedetti, Carina Shayo, Norbert De Kimpe, Carlos Davio. Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry. 2009. Doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2009.08.002.

18- Biochemical mechanisms underlying the pro-apoptotic activity of 7,8-dihydroxy-4-methylcoumarin in human leukemic cells. María E. Riveiro, Ramiro Vázquez, Albertina Moglioni, Natalia Gómez, Alberto Baldi, Carlos Davio, Carina Shayo. Biochemical Pharmacology. 2008 Feb 1;75(3):725-36.

19- Structural insights into hydroxycoumarin-induced apoptosis in U-937 cells. María E. Riveiro, Albertina Moglioni, Ramiro Vázquez, Natalia Gómez, Graciela Facorro, Lidia Piehl, Emilio Rubín de Celis, Carina Shayo, Carlos Davio. Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry. 2008 Mar 1;16(5):2665-75.

Experience External

Title: Postdoc student
Institute: Institute of Oncology Research (IOR)
Location: Bellinzona
Country: Switzerland
From: 2015 To: 2019

Title: Postdoc student
Institute: Istituto di Ricerche farmacologiche Mario Negri
Location: Milan
Country: Italy
From: 2012 To: 2014

Title: PH.D. student
Institute: Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental (IByME)
Location: Buenos Aires
Country: Argentina
From: 2007 To: 2012