Research Divisions

Abdominal Surgical Pathology

Group LeaderLocation and ContactMembersLines of ResearchNotable PublicationsProjectsPhD ThesesPatents and TrademarksNews
Dr. Luis J. García Flórez

Luis Joaquín García Flórez

Doctor Luis García Flórez is a surgeon at the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA) and an associate lecturer at the Universidad de Oviedo.

He was awarded a degree in Medicine at the Universidad de Oviedo in 1988 and became a Consultant in General and Gastroenterological Surgery in 1993, before completing his PhD at the Universidad de Oviedo in 2013. Having previously worked at Hospital Carmen y Severo Ochoa and Hospital Universitario San Agustín, he is currently Head of the Coloproctology Section at the HUCA. He completed his training with postings at Lahey Clinic Medical Center (1992), UCSF Medical Center (2206), St Mark’s Hospital and Academic Institute (2009) and Churchill Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals (2017), in addition to having participated in over 100 national and international courses and conferences, and having completed supplementary training in clinical and quality management.The areas on which his work focuses most closely are rectal cancer, minimally invasive colorectal surgery and anal fistula surgery.
He was a member of the research group formerly known as Hepatobiliopancreatic Surgical Oncology (now Abdominal Surgical Pathology), led by Dr. Barneo Serra, in which he participated in experimental diabetes research and pancreatic islet transplants. His research interests currently centre on colorectal pathology: he is participating in several national and international collaborative studies related to colon and rectal cancer, anal fistulas and inflammatory bowel disease.

He also participates in the Universidad de Oviedo’s Nanoparticles, Membranes and Bioanalysis (NanoBioMem) research group, working on a line of research exploring the use of biosensors for the early, non-invasive diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Doctor García Flórez has authored over 100 conference presentations and 50 scientific publications.

He is a member of the Asociación Española de Cirujanos (Spanish Association of Surgeons), the Asociación Española de Coloproctología (Spanish Coloproctology Association), the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP), the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO); he sits on the editorial board of the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, and has collaborated as a reviewer for several international scientific journals.</191>

Group leader until September 2020
Professor Luis Barneo

Luis Barneo Serra

Luis Barneo is Professor of General Surgery at the Universidad de Oviedo and the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Barcelona in 1972, completed his specialist training in General Surgery at the Universidad de Oviedo in 1980 and was awarded his PhD in Medicine by the Universidad de Oviedo in 1986. He has a Master’s degree in Surgical Research Laboratories from the University of Minnesota (1987), a professional postgraduate diploma in Colorectal Surgery from the Public Universidad Pública de Pamplona (2001) and a Master’s degree in Medical Administration and Clinical Management from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED, 2012).

Professor Barneo completed his professional training with postings in: the Surgery Department of the University of Minnesota, working on experimental and clinical transplants in 1984 and 1987; the Kidney Transplant Department of UCLouvain’s Hospital Saint-Luc in 1988; the Surgery Department of John Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore) in 2000, as well as the UCLA Surgery Department and the Dumont-UCLA Transplant Center in 2001.

A Personal Introduction

Experimental Diabetes and Islet Transplantation

I have extensive experience in experimental surgery, which I gained in the Surgery Department of the University of Minnesota with Dr D.E.R Sutherland in 1984 and 1987, my work involving specific practice in experimental pancreas and islet transplantation. In the 1980s and 1990s, I researched various methods of islet isolation and experimental immunosuppression. And in recent years, my work has focused on innovative measures and approaches for improving transplanted islet survival. I have successfully led eight Spanish Health Research Fund projects as principal investigator, have participated as co-principal investigator on five further projects and have produced over 20 articles on islet transplantation.

Pancreatic Cancer

I lead the Hepatobiliopancreatic Oncology Unit in the Instituto Universitario de Oncología de Asturias (IUOPA) and the Pancreatic Surgery Unit in the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA). My research currently focuses on pancreatic cancer: analysing gene expression to identify markers and targets; cancer stroma; and animal models of human cancer. I have been awarded financing for six Spanish Health Research Fund projects related to this topic, have collaborated with three other researchers and have published several papers in international journals. The fruit of these studies was obtaining a patent for a new marker of pancreatic cancer (PCT/ES2012/070616/ US Patent: 2015/0362496 A1).

Contributions to Science

  1. My first publications dealt with the difficulties of isolating islets for transplantation. I tested and explored several approaches to identify which was most efficient. My research posting in the Surgery Department of the University of Minnesota, under the supervision of Dr Sutherland, helped further my work in this field. These publications explain that extracting viable islets for transplantation is not an easy task, nor is selecting the correct dosage of streptozotocin to obtain a viable model of hyperglycaemia. Once these problems had been resolved, my team began to publish articles on the effects of islet transplants on diabetic rats.
  2. As a surgeon specialised in pancreatic cancer, my primary interest was exploring the reasons behind its terrible prognosis. At the beginning of this century, I began to study global gene expression. My team found genes in the extracellular matrix whose expression had increased in comparison to that of normal tissues and tissues with chronic pancreatitis. One of the most significant and overexpressed genes was COL11A1 and we developed a highly specific monoclonal antibody for the human pro-COL11A1, which clearly marks the peritumoural stromal cells. In order to better understand cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), we studied their properties in vivo and in vitro. Our experiments showed that CAFs stimulate the proliferation of tumour cells more than control cells. And the association of tumour cells with CAFs results in a very aggressive form of cancer in an orthotopic xenotransplantation model of human pancreatic carcinoma.

A complete list of publications is available on MyBibliography: direction=ascending


ORCID: 0000-0001-9410-4262


ResearcherID: M-2712-2017

Facultad Medicina, Universidad de Oviedo.

Julián Clavería s/n 33006 Oviedo, Spain.

D21, 7ª planta

Name Organisation Activity Euraxess classification
Barneo Caragol, Clara SESPA Research/Clinical R2
de los Toyos González, Juan Ramón Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R3
Fernández Hevia, María SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Fernando Macías, Ester Fundación Hospital Jove Research/Clinical R2
Fernández Martínez, Daniel SESPA Research/Clinical R2
García Flórez, Luis Joaquín Universidad de Oviedo/SESPA Research/Clinical/Teaching R3
González del Rey Rodríguez, María del Carmen SESPA Research/Clinical/Teaching R2
Lauret Braña, María Eugenia SESPA Research/Clinical/Teaching R2
Rodríguez García, José Ignacio SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Rodríguez Rodero, Sandra FINBA Research R2
Varela Calvo, María SESPA Research/Clinical/Teaching R2
Vázquez Villa, José Fernando SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Vico Díaz, Tamara SESPA Research/Clinical R2


The group has formed part of IUOPA for over 10 years:

  • Group 4: Surgical Oncology Research
  • Unit: Hepatobiliopancreatic Surgical Oncology
Professors Luis Barneo and Juan Ramón de los Toyos; Drs Luis Joaquín García Flórez, María del Carmen González, Ester Fernando, Alberto Miyar, José Fernando Vázquez Villa


  • Searching for therapeutic targets against pancreatic cancer stroma.
  • Animal models of pancreatic cancer.
  • The role of peritumoural fibroblasts in the metastasis of pancreatic and colon cancer.

Hepatobiliopancreatic Surgical Oncology Lines of Research

  • NANOONCOLOGY. FC-15-GRUPIN14-121. 2014-2017

The objective of this project is to study the properties of nanoparticles as chemotherapy delivery vehicles in a xenotransplantation model of human pancreatic cancer. The team is made up of theoretical and practical physicists, chemists, biologists, oncologists and surgeons. Role: Co-PI


The objective of this project was to find a pancreatic cancer marker and target. The marker was ProCOL11A1. The team developed a monoclonal antibody and obtained a patent (WO / 2013/021088; International Application No.: PCT / ES2012 / 070616). Role: PI.

PhD Student Title Supervisor Year
Rocío Díaz Méndez External validation of the EuroSCORE II in octogenarian patients who have undergone aortic valve replacement surgery Luis Barneo Serra 2017
Belén Porrero Guerrero The role of peritumoural fibroblasts in the progression of human pancreatic cancer: a study of the hedgehog gene Luis Barneo Serra 2017

Methods and products for in vitro diagnosis, in vitro prognosis and the development of drugs against invasive carcinomas.

  • Inventors: Luis Barneo Serra, María del Carmen García Pravia, Juan Ramón de los Toyos González, Marcos García Ocaña, José Fernándo Vázquez Villa, Nelson Fuentes Martínez, Jokin del Amo Iribarren, Laureano Simón Buela
  • Registration Number:
    • ES 2 398 328 B1
    • EP 2 743 697 A2
    • MX 2014001579 A
    • US 2015/0362496 A1
  • In commercial use