1. Tell me in 5 words who is Cristina Mayor Ruiz?
Optimism, empathy, passion, impatience, running-lover.
2. What made you join CeMM?
For my postdoc, I was interested in targeted protein degradation. I asked around and several colleagues recommended CeMM, so I applied to Georg’s group. The funny but true story is that 3 days before my interview, I was offered a postdoc position somewhere else and I was sure I would accept that one. Nevertheless, I decided to still check out CeMM. I can honestly say that I was blown away. Blown away by the spirit I could feel there, by the vision, by my chat with Georg, with the rest of the Winter lab, with Stefan, with Giulio, by the kindness of the admin people, etc. It was clear for me: I wanted to be part of that bunch of talented, smart and kind people, and learn as much as possible there. Best decision ever.
3. What is it about science that interests you the most?
Science can turn "I don't understand" into "I don't understand... yet". Can you think of anything more empowering than that? I am a scientist because there is so much I don’t understand… yet. It is a profession where you grow daily. I feel privileged because my work allows me to do what I am passionate about, with the amazing possibility of having an impact on someone’s health.
4. What is the best career advise you ever received, or you can give to the CeMM community?
“Point to the moon” or “sky is the limit”, from my PhD mentor, Óscar. They may seem cliché sayings for you, but, indeed, being a fearless (big) dreamer is a common characteristic of the scientists I admire. And this way of thinking can be applied to everything: life/career decisions, experiments, projects, relationships…
5. Tell us what happened to you after you left CeMM?
I got a Junior PI position at IRB Barcelona, so after wrapping up things at CeMM and an intense moving experience in the middle of the COVID pandemic (!), I started my own lab in January 2021. Currently we are 6 people, and I am enjoying every minute of this initial phase with my team :)
6. What book do you have on your night table at the moment?
“The path” (“El camino”) by Miguel Delibes. I love it. I read it 3 or 4 times every year because it brings back beautiful memories with my beloved grandpa (who passed away few years ago). I cry every time, but it is every time worth it.
7. What is the last song you heard?
It seems that my musical vibe today is dominated by good “old” Spanish rock & roll, so I am listening to “Stand by” (Extremoduro) literally right now. Great song, so good. Next on my playlist is “Je veux” by Zaz.
8. Any message you would like to give to the CeMMies or a former colleague?
Enjoy the ride and use your time at CeMM wisely! Every CeMMie has a friend here in sunny Barcelona, pass by to say hi!
Cristina Mayor Ruiz obtained her PhD in 2017 at the CNIO (Madrid) under the supervision of Óscar Fernández-Capetillo. She explored mechanisms of resistance to genotoxic and targeted anticancer therapies. In 2018, she joined the group CeMM Principal Investigator Georg Winter supported by EMBO and Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowships, where her interests focused on different aspects of chemical biology and targeted protein degradation. Since January 2021, she leads her own research group at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). Her research focuses on developing induced proximity-based drugs with therapeutic interest in cancer, and on tackling biological questions that involve (dys) regulation dynamics of E3 ubiquitin ligases.