Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Francisco (Paco) Lόpez-Cuevas

Post-doctoral Fellow

Research interests

The White lab and others have previously shown the existence of different cancer cell subpopulations or states, defined by their distinct transcriptional signatures. The origins and function of these states in melanoma is an area of active investigation, highlighting the need to study tumours as complex systems to succeed in treatment development. However, these studies have not established a uniform method for defining the diversity of cancer cell states and systemically investigating their dynamic changes in number, spatial distribution, functions and interactions with microenvironment throughout tumorigenesis. Therefore, during my postdoc, my main goal is to better identify and characterise the different cancer cell states throughout cancer progression in primary and metastatic tumours in a melanoma model organism, which is amenable to imaging and genetic manipulation. To achieve that, generation of a transgenic reporter to specifically track and deplete each cell state will be a key element for this work.


In 2022, I completed my PhD in Biomedical Sciences in Paul Martin’s lab at the University of Bristol where I used a melanoma model organism to investigate ways to enhance the anti-cancer activity of innate immune cells (macrophages and neutrophils) in the cancer microenvironment. I found that bacterial infection and microparticles loaded with immunostimulatory agents (anti-miR223) effectively induced a pro-inflammatory reprogramming in innate immune cells leading to a suppression in melanoma development. In 2023, I continued this work during a short postdoc position in the same lab expanding the application of immuno-stimulating microparticles (loaded with R848 drugs) in models of skin wound and bone fracture. My results showed that this R848-microparticle-based treatment improved healing of infected skin wounds. In summary, my research before joining Richard White lab has been mainly focused on the immune-oncology field with a particular interest in the immune-cancer interactions.