Maria Alieva


I am an interdisciplinary scientist with a strong background in translational oncology, computational science and imaging, focused on clarifying and integrating complex data for cancer treatment development. My research focuses on the study of cellular and molecular mechanisms that direct cellular behavior in the context of tumor progression and treatment. During my early career steps I was trained as an imaging specialist (van Rheenen-lab), developing and applying non-invasive and single cell resolution technologies to monitor tumor and therapeutic cell behavior in living animals. Realizing that the field of imaging research was often hampered by the lack of tools to extract meaningful information from the data, I started to specialize in the development of new computational methods for the analysis of complex imaging data. In 2017, I joined the group of Dr. Anne Rios, where I focused on the development of computational techniques to study cellular behavior and perform large-scale tissue phenotyping in order to understand and improve the functionality of cell therapies against cancer. In 2023 I was granted a Junior Principal Investigator fellowship by the "Programa de Atraccion de Talento de la Comunidad de Madrid" that allowed me to start imAIgene-lab dedicated to the development of analytical approaches to discover biological patterns in the context of tumor progression and targeting. Moreover I am receptor of the prestigous "Beca Leonardo a Investigadores y Creadores Culturales" by the Fundacion BBVA in 2023. 

Miguel Hernandez Roca

 Ahoy! I'm Miguel, and I have an innate passion for immersing myself in the intricate world of technology and artificial intelligence. My journey commenced at the Polytechnical University of Madrid, where I successfully graduated as a software engineer.

Following that, I ventured into the private sector, consistently finding myself embedded in the R&D departments of various companies. My driving force has always been an unwavering commitment to innovation and continuous improvement. My career has ventured into various fields, including aviation, cybersecurity, and banking – seemingly unrelated domains. However, I have consistently discovered avenues to draw upon my previous experiences and apply my knowledge in innovative ways.

From early on, I harboured a profound interest in the application of AI within the realm of healthcare. This interest prompted me to embark on numerous personal side projects, such as classifying Parkinson's patients based on audio data and exploring the relationship between diet and episodes of stomach pain. Over time, this passion evolved, leading me to pursue a master's degree in bioinformatics while simultaneously working. As I approached the culmination of my studies, it became crystal clear to me that this was my calling, the field in which I wanted to make my mark.

This realization ushered me into my current role as a Ph.D. student at the imAIgene-lab, where I am genuinely excited to contribute my extensive background and experience. I firmly believe that images possess the power to convey a wealth of information, facilitating a deeper understanding. As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words." 

Sandra Fernandez Archidona

Hello, my name is Sandra. I have recently finished the higher degree of Clinical and Biomedical Laboratory Technician. I have always been interested in science and nature, and I enjoy learning about both. I ventured into the world of laboratories because I want to contribute my bit to improving people’s lives. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to work on a project as significant as this and to expand my knowledge and experience. 

Emilio Rios Jimenez

 Hi! My name is Emilio and I am currently studying a Master´s degree in Bioinformatics at the "Universidad Autónoma de Madrid". Since I was only a kid, I have been passionate about nature and its undercover mysteries. I found in Biotechnology the perfect balance between Medicine and Engineering, and therefore graduated and specialized in Medical Biotechnology. 

However, programming has always been at the back of my mind, and when I came across the Master´s degree in Bioinformatics, it was a no brainer for me to sign up. It amazes me how these two subjects can complement each other in such a beautiful but simple manner. Thus, I am grateful and excited for the opportunity I now have at the imAIgene-lab to develop my skills and take part in scientific advancements.


Alejandra Rubio

 Hey there, it's Alejandra! Science has always been my thing, so I rolled with a Biology degree, with research stints at the Spanish National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC) and IMDEA Nanoscience Institute. Following that, I pursued a Master's in Microbiology, conducting research at the Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT). Later on, I ventured into the pharmaceutical industry, spending two and a half years at a major pharmaceutical company. Starting in the Microbiology area within the Quality Control Department, I then moved to the Equipment & Systems team. During this time, my involvement in digitization projects sparked my interest in computational applications. This curiosity prompted me to dive deeper into the realm where biology meets computation, leading me to enroll in the Master's in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. My journey has been a constant drive for growth, fueled by my passion for knowledge and innovation. Now, I'm excited to have the incredible opportunity to be part of the imAIgene-lab team. Right from the start, this project clicked with me, as the fusion of biomedical research and computational techniques align with my career aspirations. Oh, and here's the scoop – I've got a soft spot for the artsy side too, so I find the artistic dimension of image analysis particularly inspiring and it converges with my personal passion for photography. As a dedicated advocate for merging life sciences and computational expertise, I am thrilled to contribute my skills and enthusiasm to this field.

Miguel Muñoz Silva

After finishing his degree in Pharmacy from the Complutense University of Madrid, Miguel Muñoz began working as a pharmacist, driven by the desire to help others. Simultaneously, he continues to seek opportunities to delve into the research world. In 2018, he embarked on his doctoral thesis in Medicinal Chemistry at the Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry lab at the same university, focusing on the discovery of novel drugs for neurodegenerative diseases. It was during this time that he encountered and fell in love with the fields of computational biology and chemistry.

Unable to satisfactorily complete his thesis and faced with a global pandemic, the realms of research and their feasible integration with informatics continue to captivate him. Thus, he embarked on a new journey as a bioinformatician, pursuing education in the Master’s program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics applied to Personalized Medicine and Health, offered by the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) and the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII).

Since then, having been fascinated by the possibilities that 2D and 3D imaging can bring to the fields of biomedicine, he is undertaking his final master’s project at imAIgene-lab, under guidance of Maria Alieva as director. He is deeply interested in further education, training and future career opportunities in this field. 

Álvaro Miranda de Larra

Hello, my name is Álvaro, I have always been fascinated by both life sciences and engineering, which has led me to pursue a degree in Biotechnology. During my undergraduate studies, I had the privilege of meeting like-minded colleagues who shared my passion for making a difference in the world of science.

One of the highlights of my undergraduate journey was the opportunity to participate in the FOWLER competition at San Diego University. Together with my colleagues, we formed a team and were thrilled to secure the second place in the competition. This experience reinforced my belief that with dedication and teamwork, we can achieve remarkable things and truly make an impact.

Inspired by this achievement, I realized that my true calling lay in the field of computational biology. I embarked on my final degree project at IDIPaz, the research center at Hospital la Paz. Motivated to further expand my knowledge and skills, I enrolled in the master's program in Bioinformatics. Now, as I approach its completion, I am excited to have been offered an opportunity to contribute to scientific advancements at the imAIgene-lab. This chance to make a meaningful impact, regardless of its magnitude, fills me with happiness and gratitude.

Ana Ballesteros

I am Ana Ballesteros, a graduate in Biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid where I focused on the field of cell biology and genetics. My first approach to the use of computational tools in biomedical research was in the lymphoma group of IDIPHISA.

Currently, I´m studying  the Master in Computational Biology at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid with great interest in training as an interdisciplinary professional in the field of biomedicine and bioinformatics/computational biology within the imAIgene-lab.