PhD Students


Arturo González Camuñas studied Chemistry at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, where he also obtained his master’s degree in Organic Chemistry under the direction of Prof. José Alemán, his work was focused on “Design of new intelligent 2D porous materials” such as: covalent organic frameworks ( COFs)”.

Later, he was working in a the chemical industry Ercros, where he developed guarantee and quality control functions.

Next, he was hired as a research assistant at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos under the supervision of Victoria Morales Perez. His work was focused on: “Design of magnetic mesoporous silica nanoparticles as vehicles with biomedical applications”.

He currently has started his industrial PhD studies at IMDEA Nanociencia and Alodia pharmaceutics under the supervision of Prof. Álvaro Somoza. His thesis is focused on the development of a sensor based on gold nanoparticles for the diagnosis of infectious diseases.


Paula Milán Rois

Paula Milán-Rois obtained her Biology degree and master in biomolecules and cell dynamics at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. In 2017 she joined Prof. Álvaro Somoza’s group at IMDEA Nanociencia, where she is carrying out her PhD. During this period, she also has done a research stay at Prof. Frank Slack at BIDMC/Harvard Medical School (USA, 2020).  Her thesis is focused in the therapy and diagnosis of cancers. Her therapy proposal is based on ncRNAs delivered by gold or magnetic nanoparticles. Regarding diagnosis, she is developing gold nanoparticle sensors to detect abnormal ncRNA levels or cancer mutations.



Demian PArdo

Demian Pardo studied Biochemistry at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, where he also obtained his master’s degree in biotechnology studying the “mechanisms implicated in the reprogramming of primordial germ cells and DNA damage caused by hypoxia” under the supervision of María Paz de Miguel Gonzalez . Then, he worked as laboratory technician at ¨Instituto de Química Orgánica General¨ at the oligosaccharides and glycosystems group in Spain till 2018.

Currently, he is carrying out his industrial PhD at IMDEA Nanociencia and Synthelia Organics under the supervision of Dr. Álvaro Somoza and Dr. Francisco Tato.

Fun facts: Cinnamon hater


Carmen Escalona

Carmen Escalona studied Biochemistry at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. In 2017, she obtained her Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven (Belgium). She carried out her Master Thesis at the Stem Cell Institute (KU Leuven), where she studied the role of the Wnt signaling pathway in the proliferation of cancer cells under the guidance of Prof. Lluis Viñas. In 2018 she joined IMDEA Nanoscience as a PhD student.


María López Valls

María López studied Biotechnology at Universidad de Murcia. In 2017, she did an internship in the biochemistry department of Technische Universität Dresden. There, she worked in a project titled “Production of new bioactive compounds by plants and bacteria using new and improved halogenases” under the supervision of Dr Karl-Heinz van Pée and Dr Eugenio Patallo. In 2018, she started her Master on Advanced Biomedical Sciences at the University of the West of Scotland (United Kingdom). During her Master thesis, she studied the role of different isoforms of RUNX1 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Currently and since 2019, she is carrying out her PhD at IMDEA Nanociencia under the supervision of Dr Begoña Sot.


Catarina Castanheira

Catarina Castanheira was born in Lisbon (Portugal) in 1994. In 2012 she moved from Braga (Portugal) to Porto (Portugal) to enroll the Integrated Master in Bioengineering at the University of Porto. In 2015 she conducted a training period in REQUIMTE Research Lab (Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto), in the group of Dr. Maria Rangel, which involved the use of pyridinone‑dansyl complexes as sensors for metal ions. In 2016 she conducted a 5 month internship at IMDEA Nanociencia, in the group of Dr. Álvaro Somoza, where she developed nanobiosensors based on gold nanoparticles for the detection cancer‑related miRNAs. In 2017, Catarina started her Master Dissertation project at the Nanomedicines & Translational Drug Delivery group in i3S/INEB (Institute of Investigation and Innovation in Heath / Institute of Biomedical Engineering), University of Porto, supervised by Dr. José das Neves and Dr. Bruno Sarmento. There she developed functionalized polymeric nanoparticles for the topical delivery of anti-HIV microbicides. Catarina obtained her MSc Degree in Bioengineering – Molecular Biotechnology in October 2017 and after that she continued her work at the Nanomedicines & Translational Drug Delivery group. In March 2018, driven by her interest in inorganic nanostructures for diagnostics and therapy, she came back to IMDEA as a visiting student. In April 2019, she started to work as technician in the RENIM Project to modify magnetic nanoparticles with different molecules for diagnostics and imaging. Since September 2019, she is carrying out her PhD, with an AECC fellowship, under the supervision of Dr. Álvaro Somoza and Dr. Milagros Castellanos. Her work focuses on the use of gold nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis and gene therapy.

Phone: +34 912998885