Research Divisions

Cancer Epigenetics and Nanomedicine

Group LeaderLocation and ContactMembersLines of ResearchNotable PublicationsProjectsPhD ThesesClinical TrialsPatents and TrademarksNews
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

FINBA, Avda. Hospital Universitario s/n, 33011 Oviedo, Spain

Group telephone: +34 985101768

Group Twitter: @EpilabFINBA

Group leader telephone: +34 +34985652411

Group leader e-mail:

Name Position
Mario Fernández Fraga Senior Researcher
Agustín Fernández Fernández Senior Researcher
Rocío González Urdinguio Senior Researcher
Virginia López Martínez Senior Researcher
Juan Ramón Tejedor Vaquero Senior Researcher
Juan Luís Fernández Morera Senior Researcher
Annalisa Roberti Senior Researcher
Cristina Mangas Alonso Laboratory Coordinator
Raúl Fernández Pérez Researcher-in-training
Pablo Santamarina Ojeda Researcher-in-training
Carmen Concellón Fernández Ramón y Cajal Researcher
Vicente del Amo Sánchez University Lecturer
Jesús María Fernández Gómez Specialist Health Professional (FEA) in Urology
Jorge García Rodríguez FEA in Urology
Juan José Alba Linares
Javier Díaz Arias Student
Alfonso Peñarroya Rodríguez PhD Student
Javier Gancedo Verdejo Student
David Bastante Rodríguez PhD Student
Paula Valdés Chiara Biotechnology Student
Javier Fuentes Pastor Specialist Medical Professional (FEA) Urology

Epigenetics of Cancer and Nanomedicine Research Group

Epigenetics is the study of chemical processes that regulate chromatin without affecting the DNA sequence. In recent years, these processes have become particularly important in human genome studies. Epigenetic processes play a vital role in regulating cell differentiation and alterations in these processes are connected to a wide range of pathologies, such as cancer.

Our lines of research currently focus on analysing DNA methylation processes and any post-translational histone modifications (at a “locus-specific” level or in the complete genome) which occur during cell differentiation and the possible alterations in them during the development of malignancies and ageing processes.

  1. AUTHORS: Fernandez AF, Bayón GF, Sierra MI, Urdinguio RG, Toraño EG, García M, Carella A, Lopez V, Santamarina P, Pérez RF, Belmonte T, Ramon Tejedor J, Cobo I, Menendez P, Mangas C, Ferrero C, Rodrigo L, Astudillo A, Ortea I, Cueto Díaz S, Rodríguez-Gonzalez P, Ignacio García Alonso J, Mollejo M, Meléndez B, Dominguez G, Bonilla F, Fraga MF.
    TITLE: Loss of 5hmC identifies a new type of aberrant DNA hypermethylation in glioma.
    Hum Mol Genet. 2018 Jun 5. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy214. (Epub ahead of print). Impact Factor 5.3. Q1 in Oncology.
  2. AUTHORS: Pérez RF, Tejedor JR, Bayón GF, Fernández AF, Fraga MF.
    TITLE: Distinct chromatin signatures of DNA hypomethylation in aging and cancer.
    Aging Cell. 2018 Jun;17(3):e12744. Impact Factor 7.627. Q1 in Oncology.
  3. AUTHORS: Tejedor JR, Bueno C, Cobo I, Bayón GF, Prieto C, Mangas C, Pérez RF, Santamarina P, Urdinguio RG, Menéndez P, Fraga MF, Fernández AF.
    TITLE: Epigenome-wide analysis reveals specific DNA hypermethylation of T cells during human hematopoietic differentiation.
    Epigenomics. 2018 Apr 5. doi: 10.2217/epi-2017-0163. Impact Factor 4.979. Q1 in Genetics & Heredity.
  4. AUTHORS: Sierra MI, Rubio L, Bayon GF, Cobo I, Menendez P, Morales P, Mangas C, Urdinguio R, López V, Valdes A, Vales G, Marcos R, Torrecillas R, Fernandez AF, Fraga MF.
    TITLE: DNA methylation changes in human lung epithelia cells exposed to multi-walled carbon nanotubes.
    Nanotoxicology, 2017; 11(7): 857-870. Impact Factor: 6.428. Q1 in Toxicology.
  5. AUTHORS: BLUEPRINT consortium.
    TITLE: Quantitative comparison of DNA methylation assays for biomarker development and clinical applications.
    Nat Biotechnol. 2016 Jul;34(7):726-37. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3605. Impact Factor 41.667. Q1 in Biotechnology.
  6. AUTHORS: Fernández AF, Bayón GF, Urdinguio RG, Toraño EG, García MG, Carella A,Petrus-Reurer S, Ferrero C, Martinez-Camblor P, Cubillo I, García-Castro J,Delgado-Calle J, Pérez-Campo FM, Riancho JA, Bueno C, Menéndez P, Mentink A,Mareschi K, Claire F, Fagnani C, Medda E, Toccaceli V, Brescianini S, Moran S, Esteller M, Stolzing A, de Boer J, Nisticò L, Stazi MA, Fraga MF.
    TITLE: H3K4me1 marksDNA regions hypomethylated during aging in human stem and differentiated cells.
    Genome Res. 2015 Jan;25(1):27-40. doi: 10.1101/gr.169011.113. Epub 2014 Sep 30. PubMed PMID: 25271306; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4317171.
  7. AUTHORS: Gokhman D, Lavi E, Prüfer K, Fraga MF, Riancho JA, Kelso J, Pääbo S, Meshorer E, Carmel L.
    TITLE: Reconstructing the DNA methylation maps of the Neandertal and the Denisovan.
    Science. 2014 May 2;344(6183):523-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1250368. Epub 2014 Apr 17. PubMed PMID: 24786081.
  8. AUTHORS: Urdinguio RG, Fernandez AF, Moncada-Pazos A, Huidobro C, Rodriguez RM, Ferrero C, Martinez-Camblor P, Obaya AJ, Bernal T, Parra-Blanco A, Rodrigo L, Santacana M, Matias-Guiu X, Soldevilla B, Dominguez G, Bonilla F, Cal S, Lopez-Otin C, Fraga MF.
    TITLE: Immune dependent and independent anti-tumor activity of GM-CSF aberrantly expressed by mouse and human colorectal tumors.
    Cancer Res. 2013 Jan 1;73(1):395-405.
Principal Investigator Title Funding Body Duration
Mario F. Fraga DigestT – Impact of dietary intervention on tumour immunity ERANET-TRANSCAN 2 2017 – 2019
Alexander Robling Foundational in vivo experiments on osteocyte biology in space NASA-NSPIRES 2016 – 2018
Mario F. Fraga The hydroxymethylomes of colorectal cancer Instituto de Salud Carlos III 2016 – 2018
Agustín F. Fernández Gene therapy 2.0: a new generation of highly biosafe episomal viral vectors and their pre-marketing development Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad 2016 – 2018
Mario F. Fraga Cancer epigenetics Fundación para el Fomento en Asturias de la
Investigación Científica Aplicada y la Tecnología (FICYT)
2014 – 2018
Mario F. Fraga The interrelation between DNA methylomes and H4k16 acetylomes in acute myeloid leukaemia Instituto de Salud Carlos III 2013 – 2015
Mario F. Fraga Neural differentiation acetylomes Universidad de Oviedo 2012 – 2015
PhD Student Supervisors Title Year Centres
María García García Mario F Fraga
Agustín F Fernández
5-Hydroxymethylcytosine alterations in human brain tumours 2017 Instituto Universitario de Oncología (IUOPA), Universidad de Oviedo
Estela García Toraño Mario F Fraga
Agustín F Fernández
Changes in DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation during human mesenchymal stem cell ageing 2016 IUOPA, Universidad de Oviedo
Ramón María Rodríguez López Mario F Fraga
Álvaro J Obaya
The human BRD4 bromodomain in cancer and cell differentiation 2015 IUOPA, Universidad de Oviedo