Researchers at UCD


David Gomez

Research Fellow

Conway Institute
Conway Institute
Dublin 4

Tel: Ext: 6330


I am from Madrid, Spain. I studied Biology in the University of Alcalá de Henares. In 1998, after the conclusion of my degree, I moved to Santander where I started my thesis under the supervision of Piero Crespo.  A year later Piero's lab moved to the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas in Madrid where I concluded my PhD in the University Autónoma. In 2005 I started working as a postdoctoral researcher in Walter Kolch's lab at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow (Scotland). In August 2009 I started working in Systems Biology Ireland. I am currently a research fellow and junior group leader in SBI.
Since the beginning of my career I have worked in the study of signal transduction pathways involved in cancer development. During my PhD I used classical molecular and cellular biology to study the difference among the members of the Ras family of proteins. During the course of these studies I realized the use of classical reductionist approaches could slow down the progression of the signal transduction field due to the high complexity of signaling network. For this reason, I  have applied new approaches that can help accelerate the study of signal transduction processes by (i) developing new proteomics based methods for the identification and delineation of new signaling networks; (ii) applying of systems biology for the development of signal transduction networks kinetics models. The result of these studies was the delineation of the tumor suppressor Hippo pathway in mammalian systems. Since the delineation of these pathways we have made key contributions to characterize the molecular mechanism that regulate this pathway and explain the role of this pathway in normal a pathological cell signaling.
Research Centre: Systems Biology Ireland 




Association: Systems Biology Ireland, Function/Role: Board Member

Conference Contributions

Gomez, D (2015) Mapping RAS specific signaling from different subcellular compartments using OMICs approaches. [Oral Presentation], II Frontiers in Oncology - The present and future of the RAS pathway:From function and genomics to inhibition, Pamlona, Spain , 05-OCT-15 - 07-OCT-15.


Committee : Conway CLASS Committee


Year 2003 Institution: Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
Qualification: PhD Subject: Biochemical and biological differences among H-, K- and N-Ras-N17 mutants
Year 1998 Institution: University of Alcalá de Henares
Qualification: BSc Subject: Biology

Journals Edited

Nature Chemical Biology: Reviewer.
Tumour Biology: Reviewer.
Plos One: Reviewer.
Journal Of Cell Science: Reviewer.
Nature Communications: Reviewer.
Genes: Reviewer.
Oncogene: Reviewer.

Other Activities

EU Horizon 2020 programme (NMP-29-2015) ¿Development of Smart Tools for Gauging Nanodangers¿ SmartNanoTox. Duration: 4 years (03/2016-02/2020); Role: Co-PI;



Peer Reviewed Journals

Kilinc D, Schwab J;Rampini S;Ikpekha OW;Thampi A;Blasiak A;Li P;Schwamborn R;Kolch W;Matallanas D;Lee GU (2016) 'A microfluidic dual gradient generator for conducting cell-based drug combination assays'. Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro, 8 (1):39-49. [DOI] [Details]
S¿¿nchez-Sanz G, Matallanas D;Nguyen LK;Kholodenko BN;Rosta E;Kolch W;Buchete NV (2015) 'MST2-RASSF protein-protein interactions through SARAH domains'. Briefings in Bioinformatics, . [DOI] [Details]
Nguyen LK, Matallanas DG;Romano D;Kholodenko BN;Kolch W (2015) 'Competing to coordinate cell fate decisions: the MST2-Raf-1 signaling device'. Cell Cycle, 14 (2):189-199. [DOI] [Details]
Romano D, Matallanas D;Frederick DT;Flaherty KT;Kolch W (2014) 'One Hippo and many masters: differential regulation of the Hippo pathway in cancer'. Biochemical Society Transactions, 42 (4):816-821. [DOI] [Details]
Romano D, Nguyen LK, Matallanas D, Halasz M, Doherty C, Kholodenko BN, Kolch W (2014) 'Protein interaction switches coordinate Raf-1 and MST2/Hippo signalling'. Nature Cell Biology, 16 (7):673-684. [DOI] [Details]
Farrell J, Kelly C, Rauch J, Kida K, García-Muñoz A, Monsefi N, Turriziani B, Doherty C, Mehta JP, Matallanas D, Simpson JC, Kolch W, von Kriegsheim A (2014) 'HGF induces epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by modulating the mammalian hippo/MST2 and ISG15 pathways'. Journal of Proteome Research, 13 (6):2874-2886. [DOI] [Details]
Romano D, Maccario H, Doherty C, Quinn NP, Kolch W, Matallanas D (2013) 'The differential effects of wild-type and mutated K-Ras on MST2 signaling are determined by K-Ras activation kinetics'. Molecular Cell, 33 (9):1859-1868. [DOI] [Details]
Zebisch A, Wölfler A, Fried I, Wolf O, Lind K, Bodner C, Haller M, Drasche A, Pirkebner D, Matallanas D, Rath O, Blyth K, Delwel R, Taskesen E, Quehenberger F, Kolch W, Troppmair J, Sill H (2012) 'Frequent loss of RAF kinase inhibitor protein expression in acute myeloid leukemia'. Leukemia, 26 (8):1842-1849. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Nguyen LK, Matallanas D, Croucher DR, von Kriegsheim A, Kholodenko BN (2012) 'Signalling by protein phosphatases and drug development: a systems-centred view'. FEBS Journal, . [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Matallanas, D., Birtwistle, M., Romano, D., Zebisch, A., Rauch, J., von Kriegsheim, A., Kolch, W. (2011) 'Raf family kinases: old dogs have learned new tricks'. Genes Cancer, 2 (3):232-60. Available Online [Details]
Matallanas D, Romano D, Al-Mulla F, O'Neill E, Al-Ali W, Crespo P, Doyle B, Nixon C, Sansom O, Drosten M, Barbacid M, Kolch W (2011) 'Mutant K-Ras activation of the proapoptotic MST2 pathway is antagonized by wild-type K-Ras'. Cell, 44 (6):893-906. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Romano, D.Romano, D.,Matallanas, D.Matallanas, D.,Weitsman, G.Weitsman, G.,Preisinger, C.Preisinger, C.,Ng, T.Ng, T.,Kolch, W.Kolch, W.; (2010) 'Proapoptotic kinase MST2 coordinates signaling crosstalk between RASSF1A, Raf-1, and Akt'. Cancer Res, 70 (33):1195-2031195. [Details]
Lock, FE,Underhill-Day, N,Dunwell, T,Matallanas, D,Cooper, W,Hesson, L,Recino, A,Ward, A,Pavlova, T,Zabarovsky, E,Grant, MM,Maher, ER,Chalmers, AD,Kolch, W,Latif, F; (2010) 'The RASSF8 candidate tumor suppressor inhibits cell growth and regulates the Wnt and NF-kappa B signaling pathways'. Oncogene, 29 :4307-4316. [DOI] [Details]
Cooper, W. N.Cooper, W. N.,Hesson, L. B.Hesson, L. B.,Matallanas, D.Matallanas, D.,Dallol, A.Dallol, A.,von, Kriegsheim A.von, Kriegsheim A.,Ward, R.Ward, R.,Kolch, W.Kolch, W.,Latif, F.Latif, F.; (2009) 'RASSF2 associates with and stabilizes the proapoptotic kinase MST2'. Oncogene, 28 (3333):2988-29982988. [Details]
Dallol, A.Dallol, A.,Hesson, L. B.Hesson, L. B.,Matallanas, D.Matallanas, D.,Cooper, W. N.Cooper, W. N.,O'Neill, E.O'Neill, E.,Maher, E. R.Maher, E. R.,Kolch, W.Kolch, W.,Latif, F.Latif, F.; (2009) 'RAN GTPase is a RASSF1A effector involved in controlling microtubule organization'. Curr.Biol, 19 (1414):1227-12321227. [Details]
Matallanas, D.Matallanas, D.,Romano, D.Romano, D.,Hamilton, G.Hamilton, G.,Kolch, W.Kolch, W.,O'Neill, E.O'Neill, E.; (2008) 'A Hippo in the ointment: MST signalling beyond the fly'. Cell Cycle, 7 (77):879-884879. [Details]
Preisinger C, von Kriegsheim A, Matallanas D, Kolch W; (2008) 'Proteomics and phosphoproteomics for the mapping of cellular signalling networks'. Proteomics, 8 (21):4402-4415. [DOI] [Details]
Matallanas, D.Matallanas, D.,Romano, D.Romano, D.,Yee, K.Yee, K.,Meissl, K.Meissl, K.,Kucerova, L.Kucerova, L.,Piazzolla, D.Piazzolla, D.,Baccarini, M.Baccarini, M.,Vass, J. K.Vass, J. K.,Kolch, W.Kolch, W.,O'Neill, E.O'Neill, E.; (2007) 'RASSF1A elicits apoptosis through an MST2 pathway directing proapoptotic transcription by the p73 tumor suppressor protein'. Mol.Cell, 27 (66):962-975962. [Details]
O'Neill, E. E.O'Neill, E. E.,Matallanas, D.Matallanas, D.,Kolch, W.Kolch, W.; (2005) 'Mammalian sterile 20-like kinases in tumor suppression: an emerging pathway'. Cancer Res, 65 (1313):5485-54875485. [Details]


Nguyen, LK,Matallanas, D,Croucher, DR,von Kriegsheim, A,Kholodenko, BN (2013) Signalling by protein phosphatases and drug development: a systems-centred view. Reviews [DOI] [Details]


Research Interests

Mapping the RASSF1A/MST2 pathway signalling network.
My group main interest is the study of signal transduction pathways in cancer cells. For the last few years we have used proteomics to delineate the MST2 pathway in mammalians cells. This new signal cascade is form by a series of tumour suppressor proteins that are frequently deregulated in cancer. The alteration of the MST2 signal means that the cells do not 'commit suicide' (apoptosis). Due to the existence of other signals that tell the cell to divide there is an increase of the numbers of cells, which ultimately results in the development of tumours. Understanding how this pathway is altered in cancer can help us to develop new cancer treatments.

In particular we are currently studying the role of the RASSF1A/MST2 patway in the regulation of normal cell physiology and cancer. We have shown that the RASSF1A/MST2 pathway is part of a complex signalling network and crosstalks with the Ras/MAPK and AKT pathways, two of the most commonly mutated pathways in human tumours. Our current research aims to unravel the role of the RASSF1A/MST2 pathway in this network and its relevance for cancer development. To perform this research we use a multidisciplinary approach integrating experimental data and mathematical models. 

Research Projects

Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Progression from hepatitis B and C viruses chronic infection to liver cancer in the aging population
Start Date / End Date : 30-JAN-14 / 30-SEP-14
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Identification of risk factors and biomarkers of progression from chronic hepatitis C virus infection to liver cancer (BioHELP)
Start Date / End Date : 05-AUG-14 / 04-MAY-15
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Study of properties of scaffold and superscaffolds proteins
Start Date / End Date : 03-DEC-14 / 03-SEP-15

Recent Postgraduates

Emma Fallahi-Sichani PhD
Carlos Herrera PhD 

Current Postgraduate Students

Niamh Aine O Driscoll, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Co-Supervisor



External Collaborators

Dr Eric O'Neill (University of Oxford, UK)
Dr Piero Crespo (CSIC, Spain)
Dr Marc Birtwistle (Mount Sinai, USA)
Dr Henning Wackerhage (University of Aberdeen, UK)
Dr Alex von Kriegsheim (ECRC, Edinburgh, UK)
Dr Salvador Aznar-Benitah (IRB, Spain)
Dr Claudia Wellbrock (University of Manchester, UK)