The Institute

Scientific Director

Scientific DirectorDeputy Scientific Director
Dr. Carlos Suárez
Dr. Carlos Suárez

Carlos Suárez Nieto obtained a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the Department of Medicine of the Universidad de Valladolid. He was Resident and Consultant in the Ear, Nose and Throat Service of Hospital La Paz in Madrid, going on to hold the positions of Head of the Ear, Nose and Throat Department in the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA) and Professor of Otolaryngology at the Universidad de Oviedo. His work has focused primarily on cancer of the head, neck and the skull base, and he has been Head of the Skull Base Surgery Unit at HUCA, a leading national centre, since 1994.

Highlights of his professional career have included a one-year Research Fellowship at the University of California Los Angeles and another four-month placement at the University of Pittsburgh, where he completed advanced training in surgical oncology and skull-base surgery. He has received several awards, most notably the Honor Award of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery – and the Silver Medal of Asturias. He is author of over 300 scientific articles published in international academic journals, has been principal investigator on 24 competitively-funded, national research projects and has supervised 30 PhD theses. Additionally, he has been president of the National Otolaryngology Commission of the Ministerio de Salud, the Sociedad Española de Otorrinolaringología (Spanish Otolaryngology Society) and the Sociedad Española de Base de Cráneo (Spanish Skull Base Society). He held the post of Director of the Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias (University Oncology Institute of Asturias, IUOPA) at the Universidad de Oviedo for 11 years and was founder of the IUOPA Cancer of the Head and Neck research group, which formed part of the RTICC (Thematic Network for Cooperative Cancer Research) and is currently part of CIBERONC (Network Centre for Biomedical Research on Cancer).

He is currently Emeritus Professor at the Universidad de Oviedo.




In accordance with Article 4.1.1 of ISPA’s Rules of Procedure, the functions of the Scientific Director are as follows:

  1. To chair the Internal Scientific Committee;
  2. To develop ISPA’s Strategic Plan, present it to the Board of Governors and oversee its implementation;
  3. To coordinate the scientific activity carried out by the Research Divisions, ensuring its alignment with ISPA’s Strategic Plan;
  4. Promote biomedical, biotechnological and bioengineering research within ISPA and its sphere of influence;
  5. Foster advanced science communication through the provision of topics and speakers;
  6. Promote the research of pre-competitive groups belonging to the organisations that are members of ISPA;
  7. Provide the Board of Governors with proposed scientific and technical HR policy criteria for ISPA;
  8. Provide the Board of Governors with proposed research groups for affiliation to and separation from ISPA;
  9. Inform the Board of Governors about results and performance for the Research Divisions and their respective projects;
  10. With support from the Technical Coordination Office, organise the Research Division resources held by ISPA, in accordance with the criteria established by the Board of Governors;
  11. Work with the Technical Coordination Office to coordinate all the actions necessary to secure researchers and financial resources, and to set up and maintain research groups and laboratories;
  12. Coordinate the production of the Scientific Report, as part of the Annual Report;
  13. Present ISPA’s Annual Scientific Plan and Annual Scientific Report to the Board of Governors;
  14. Any other function allocated to the Director by the Board of Governors.

The Deputy Scientific Director supports the Scientific Director in fulfilling his or her functions, in accordance with the provisions of Article 4.2.1 of ISPA’s Rules of Procedure:

  1. Acting as substitute when the Scientific Director is absent due to holidays, sick leave or travel;
  2. Chairing the Internal Scientific Committee in the Scientific Director’s absence;
  3. Liaising between the Scientific Director and the Managing Director, so as to facilitate communication between the two areas and coordinate decision-making;
  4. Supporting the Scientific Director in monitoring the scientific activity carried out by the Research Divisions, so as to ensure its alignment with the Institute’s Strategic Plan;
  5. Providing support in fulfilling any of the Scientific Director’s functions, where required.
Deputy Scientific Director
Dr Mario F. Fraga
Dr Mario Fernández Fraga

Mario is a CSIC Research Scientist who is affiliated to the Centro de Investigación en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnología (CINN-CSIC). He was born in Asturias in 1971, gained a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1994 and completed a second degree in Biochemistry at the Universidad de Oviedo in 1996. In 2000, he received his PhD cum laude from the Universidad de Oviedo for research on developmental epigenetics.

In 2001, he began his postdoctoral career as a Fulbright grantholder in the Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory of the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (Spanish National Cancer Research Center)’s Molecular Pathology Programme , before becoming a Ramón y Cajal researcher for the same organisation in 2005. In 2006, he established a line of research on epigenetics, development, ageing and cancer. In 2008, he moved on to the Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias (IUOPA).

Since starting out as an independent researcher, Mario has received uninterrupted funding from the health research fund of Instituto de Salud Carlos III (FIS/ISCIII), as well as other national and international agencies.

He is editor and reviewer for several international scientific publications, a member of various scientific associations, a regular reviewer for national and international assessment bodies, and a member of several national and international scientific committees. He has published more than 200 scientific articles, with a H-index of over 60, and has supervised eight PhD theses.

Since December 2019 he is the Deputy Scientific Director at ISPA