Success Stories

Cardiovascular Research at the CNIC (Madrid) Dr. Rui Miguel dos Santos Benedito (RYC-2013-13209)

Recently, it has been announced that he has obtained funding through the ERC Starting Grants European Program for his project entitled Epistasis analysis of angiogenes with high cellular definition (AngioGenesHD).

Rui Benedito graduated in Microbiology and Genetics at the Faculty of Sciences (University of Lisbon) in 2002. Then, he did his PhD at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Technical University of Lisbon) where he became interested in mouse genetics and developmental vascular biology. His thesis work elucidated the role of the Notch ligand Dll4 in early vasculogenesis. He then moved to the UK where he did a Postdoc at the London Research Institute (Cancer Research UK 2006-2008) under the supervision of Dr. Ralf Adams. His work in this period focused on understanding the roles of the different Notch ligands and modulators in angiogenesis. He identified a complex molecular machinery that regulates the sprouting of blood vessels. This work was completed at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine (Muenster, Germany, 2008-2012) where he received the Peter Hans Hofschneider Prize for outstanding achievement in Molecular Medicine (2009). Since then he has continued to develop new genetically modified mice that have allowed him to conditionally delete multiple genes and show that the Notch signaling pathway can control angiogenesis independently of VEGF signaling. This finding has implications for the design of therapies targeting angiogenesis. He joined the Spanish National Centre for CardioVascular Research (CNIC, Madrid) in August 2012. In 2014, Rui Benedito received the Prize Prince of Girona on his cardiovascular research and then gained a Ramón y Cajal scientific position (RYC-2013-13209).

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