Group Leader/s

Head of lab


The vasculature is in charge of optimally delivering nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, and for that, it must constantly adapt to varying tissue needs. Upon damage or ischemia, the vasculature responds by forming new capillaries from pre-existing ones (angiogenesis) and by flow-driven angioadaptation to promote vascularization. Vascular blood flow also regulates immune cells favoring their free circulation, tethering, crawling, firm adhesion or transmigration in different contexts. Our group has long dedicated to elucidate the cellular principles and molecular mechanisms that govern vascular and immune responses during inflammation and how these can contribute to tissue repair. For this, we have focused on the actions of membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs), a subfamily of proteases that can modify dynamically the extracellular matrix and the activity of soluble and membrane proteins, and particularly in their impact on the behavior of endothelial and smooth muscle cells, and of monocytes/macrophages. We have recently recognized that MT-MMPs participate in vascular network reshaping, vessel wall mechanics, and intravascular crawling of patrolling monocytes, a subset in charge of surveying endothelial integrity and combating foreign agents. Our current research lines will deepen our understanding on these blood-flow regulated processes and allow identifying targets to: i) improve capillary perfusion and tissue repair in pathologies such as inflammatory bowel disease and peripheral/cardiac ischemia; and ii) boost immune endogenous activities to combat infectious and tumor metastatic disease.



  1. Plan Nacional I+D+I (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación): Blood flow-dependent actions of MT-MMPs in health and disease 2.0. PID2020-112981RB-I00. 2021-2024. PI.
  2. BBVA Foundation: Imaging of Triple negative Breast cancer with specific miniaturized antibodies by ImmunoPET. PR[17]_BIO_IMG_0114. 2018-2021. Coordinator: M.A. Morcillo (CIEMAT). Collaborator.
  3. Sociedad Española de Inmunología (Micromecenazgo): Prevención de metástasis pulmonares por activación de leucocitos circulantes. 2019-2021. PI.
  4. Plan Nacional I+D+I (Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad): Blood flow-dependent actions of MT-MMPs in health and disease. SAF2017-83229-R; 2018-2021. PI.
  5. Plan Nacional I+D+I (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad): Cellular and molecular players in inflammation-driven angiogenesis. SAF2014-52050-R; 2015-2017. PI.
  6. The European Union: Next generation training in cardiovascular research and innovation (CardioNext). MSCA: Initial Training Networks (ITN)/Innovative Doctoral Programme (IDP). PITN-GA-2013-608027; 2013-2017. Coordinator and PI.
  7. Plan Nacional I+D+I (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad): Aortic aneurysm: from molecular mechanisms to new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Red de Enfermedades Cardiovasculares. RD12/0042/002; 2013-2016. PI.
  8. Fundación La Marató TV3: Targeting inflammation to improve heart repair and regeneration. 2013-2016. PI.
  9. Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid: Angiobodies 2.0: Desarrollo de anticuerpos recombinantes para uso terapéutico y diagnóstico en angiogénesis patológica y para la identificación de nuevos marcadores angiogénicos. S2010/BMD-2312; 2012-2016. PI.
  10. Plan Nacional I+D+I (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación): MT-MMPs and their substrates: a molecular roadmap for understanding inflammation-driven angiogenesis. SAF2011-25619; 2012-2014. PI.

More info


  1. Inhibitors of Membrane-type 4 matrix metalloproteinase (MT4-MMP) and its use in the treatment of diseases benefiting from an increase in the activity of patrolling monocytes. Inventors: Alicia G. Arroyo, C. Clemente, F. Martínez, R. A. Mota. Request nº EP17382735.3. Priority Country: European Patent Office. Request date: 3/11/2017. Entities: CNIC.
  1. Antibody Drug Conjugates. Inventors: María Garranzo García-Ibarrola, Andrés Francesch Solloso, Carmen Cuevas Marchante, María José Muñoz Alonso, Francisco Sánchez Madrid, Juan Manuel Zapata, Alicia G. Arroyo, Ángeles Ursa, Juan Manuel Domínguez Correa. Request nº. PCT/EP2014/061392. Priority Country: European Patent Office. Request date: 02/06/2014. Entities: Pharma Mar, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
  1. MT1-MMP substrates as biomarkers of inflammatory angiogenesis. Inventors: Alicia G. Arroyo, Agnieszka Koziol, Francesc Canals, Núria Colomé Calls, Joaquín Arribas. Request nº. EP11382255.5. Priority Country: European Patent Office. Request date: 26/07/2011. Entities: Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC), Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Fundació Privada Institut d´Investigació Oncològica de Vall-Hebron (VHIO), Fundació Hospital Universitari Vall d´Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR).