Federico Abascal | Postdoctoral Fellow

Abascal, Federico

Federico’s current research interest is in the study of somatic mutation to better understand cancer evolution and organism development.

The characterisation of somatic mutations allows the possibility of answering a range of questions. I am particularly interested in understanding how different genomic contexts influence mutation and evolution, and how these effects compare at the somatic (either normal or cancer cells) and germline levels. Also of interest is how mutation signatures can help understand cellular processes like DNA repair and how they relate to environmental exposure. The interplay between genomic context and mutational processes is key to unraveling adaptive evolution (causality) during cancer progression. Somatic mutation is also very promising to help understand embryonic development and the organisation of cells within tissues and organs. This is not only important to understanding cancer progression, but also to query the developmental plan for evolutionary adaptive strategies.


  • Alternative Splicing May Not Be the Key to Proteome Complexity.

    Tress ML, Abascal F and Valencia A

    Trends in biochemical sciences 2017;42;2;98-110

  • Extreme genomic erosion after recurrent demographic bottlenecks in the highly endangered Iberian lynx.

    Abascal F, Corvelo A, Cruz F, Villanueva-Cañas JL, Vlasova A et al.

    Genome biology 2016;17;1;251

  • Alternatively Spliced Homologous Exons Have Ancient Origins and Are Highly Expressed at the Protein Level.

    Abascal F, Ezkurdia I, Rodriguez-Rivas J, Rodriguez JM, del Pozo A et al.

    PLoS computational biology 2015;11;6;e1004325

  • The evolutionary fate of alternatively spliced homologous exons after gene duplication.

    Abascal F, Tress ML and Valencia A

    Genome biology and evolution 2015;7;6;1392-403

  • Alternative splicing and co-option of transposable elements: the case of TMPO/LAP2α and ZNF451 in mammals.

    Abascal F, Tress ML and Valencia A

    Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) 2015;31;14;2257-61

  • Subfunctionalization via adaptive evolution influenced by genomic context: the case of histone chaperones ASF1a and ASF1b.

    Abascal F, Corpet A, Gurard-Levin ZA, Juan D, Ochsenbein F et al.

    Molecular biology and evolution 2013;30;8;1853-66

  • LRRC8 proteins share a common ancestor with pannexins, and may form hexameric channels involved in cell-cell communication.

    Abascal F and Zardoya R

    BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology 2012;34;7;551-60

  • Evolutionary analyses of gap junction protein families.

    Abascal F and Zardoya R

    Biochimica et biophysica acta 2013;1828;1;4-14

  • TranslatorX: multiple alignment of nucleotide sequences guided by amino acid translations.

    Abascal F, Zardoya R and Telford MJ

    Nucleic acids research 2010;38;Web Server issue;W7-13

  • Parallel evolution of the genetic code in arthropod mitochondrial genomes.

    Abascal F, Posada D, Knight RD and Zardoya R

    PLoS biology 2006;4;5;e127

  • Automatic annotation of protein function based on family identification.

    Abascal F and Valencia A

    Proteins 2003;53;3;683-92

  • Reductive genome evolution in Buchnera aphidicola.

    van Ham RC, Kamerbeek J, Palacios C, Rausell C, Abascal F et al.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2003;100;2;581-6

  • Genomic landscape and chronological reconstruction of driver events in multiple myeloma.

    Maura F, Bolli N, Angelopoulos N, Dawson KJ, Leongamornlert D et al.

    Nature communications 2019;10;1;3835

  • De novo assembly of English yew (Taxus baccata) transcriptome and its applications for intra- and inter-specific analyses.

    Olsson S, Pinosio S, González-Martínez SC, Abascal F, Mayol M et al.

    Plant molecular biology 2018;97;4-5;337-345

  • Alternative Splicing May Not Be the Key to Proteome Complexity.

    Tress ML, Abascal F and Valencia A

    Trends in biochemical sciences 2017;42;2;98-110

Career/Research Highlights

Abascal, Federico
Federico's Timeline

Joined the Sanger Institute


Staff Scientist at Spanish National Cancer Research Centre


Post-doc Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales


I3P post-doctoral fellowship (CNB)


Fundacion BBVA post-doctoral fellowship, Universidad de Vigo & Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales


PhD Spanish National Biotecnology Centre (CNB)


MSc Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (UAM)