Jose Antonio Lopez-Valverde

Ph.D. Candidate

Member of the lab: April to July 2023

About me: I completed my BSc in Biomedical Sciences in 2018 at the University of Seville, and subsequently obtained my MSc in Biomedical Research in 2019. Additionally, in 2017, I embarked on a second BSc in Biochemistry, which I will be completing as soon as I present my final dissertation in 2023. This five-and-a-half-year program allowed me to further specialize in two areas: Molecular Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies, I actively engaged in the field of radiotherapy, gaining valuable practical experience. Moreover, in 2019, I was honored to receive an FPU grant from the Spanish Ministry of Science to support my doctoral research, and I am expected to obtain my PhD degree in early 2024.

Research Interests: My doctoral research has primarily focused on investigating the potential of gold nanoparticles as theragnostic agents in the field of radiotherapy. This interdisciplinary field has provided me with a diverse range of experiences, including in silico radiotherapy modeling, nanoparticle synthesis and characterization, and biological dosimetry. The intriguing aspect of this field lies in its interdisciplinary nature, which aligns perfectly with my profile. However, this same interdisciplinarity poses challenges to the clinical translation of this technology.  My research thus far has been centered on modeling the capabilities of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) under realistic clinical conditions. Specifically, I have explored their potential applications as CT contrast agents for diagnostic purposes, as well as their efficacy as dose enhancers and radiosensitizers in therapeutic settings. Initially, I used patient-specific radiotherapy datasets and conducted Monte Carlo simulations using the EGSnrc code to model the effects of incorporating these nanoparticles in treatments under realistic conditions. Subsequently, I shifted my focus to evaluating the radiosensitization potential of AuNPs under realistic conditions that can be translated to clinical settings. This involved conducting in vitro experiments to assess their impact on different parameters such as DNA damage. Currently, I am engaged in the modeling of the radiosensitization effect, and I am comparing the performance of AuNPs with other commercially available nanoparticles that are already undergoing clinical trials. As I approach the final stages of my Ph.D. studies, other areas that I will be evaluating will be gene expression shifts resulting from the combination of AuNPs and radiotherapy. Additionally, I will be transitioning towards an in vivo experimental setup to further explore the therapeutic potential of this combined approach.

Awards and Honors

  • FPU Grant by the Spanish Ministry of Science, awarded to the best ~100 students with projects pursuing a PhD in biomedicine-related research in Spain.
  • Promoter of a spin-off company from the university of Seville, named ‘CARMEN Medical Physics Solutions LLC’, awarded the 2nd price in the spin-off contest hosted by the University of Seville
  • 1st prize in the ‘What I Do in 3 Minutes’ scientific dissemination contest hosted by the Institute of Biomedicine of Seville
  • University of Seville Social Council prize to the business venture proposal “RNA-seq in combination with CAR-T therapy for antigen specificity improvement”


  • José Antonio López-Valverde; Elisa Jiménez-Ortega; Antonio Leal. Clinical Feasibility Study of Gold Nanoparticles as Theragnostic Agents for Precision Radiotherapy. Biomedicines. 10 – 5, pp. 1214. MDPI, 2022/05/23
  • Dominika Skwierawska*; José Antonio López-Valverde*; Marcin Balcerzyk; Antonio Leal. Clinical Viability of Boron Neutron Capture Therapy for Personalized Radiation Treatment. Cancers. 14 – 12, pp. 2865. MDPI, 2022/06/10. *Co-first authorship

Conference talks

  • Feasibility study of the use of nanoparticles as theragnostic agent in Radiotherapy – José Antonio López-Valverde; Elisa Jiménez-Ortega; Ana Ureba; Antonio Leal 3rd European Congress on Medical Physics (ECMP), EFOMP, Torino (Italy), 2021.
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