María Belén Machin, Ph.D.


María Belén Machin, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow
Cancer Center
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
185 Cambridge St.
Simches Research Center
City, State, ZIP
Boston, MA 02114
[email protected]
Research field
Cancer Metabolism
Award year
Country of origin
Mentor name
Raul Mostoslavsky, M.D., Ph.D.


In the Mostoslavsky lab, I will explore the unique metabolic features of metastatic cells, particularly in the context of cancer heterogeneity. Studies of the molecular drivers of cancer traditionally search for mutations that initiate tumor formation. Yet it is generally only once cancers spread that they become fatal. In preliminary experiments, the Mostoslavsky lab discovered unique genes that were upregulated at the level of expression (non-genetic adaptations), whose inhibition did not affect the growth of primary tumors but completely eliminated metastatic growth. Notably, many of these genes corresponded to metabolic pathways, indicating unique metabolic adaptations in metastatic disease. Now, using cutting-edge methods in cell biology, molecular genetics, metabolic profiling, single-cell sequencing, and novel metabolic reporters, I will study the role of these unique genes, how they reprogram the metabolic profile of metastatic cells, and whether metabolic heterogeneity represents a feature of metastatic cancer. In parallel, I will also continue to screen biopsy and autopsy samples of primary and metastatic tumors from patients to validate the physiological relevance of my studies in mice. Ultimately, my findings could lead to novel cancer therapeutics and markers for predicting metastasis and resistance to therapy.

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