Irene Martín Morales I Málaga, (EFE) Union (ESA) calls you up to participate in your first mission in space.
This 34-year-old young woman from Leon was chosen last year among almost 23,000 applicants to be a member of the ESA, along with 16 other people, after passing technical, psychological, intelligence and health tests during an eighteen-month process.
García is now an ESA reserve astronaut and is confident that in the near future he will be able to participate in a mission that will have an impact “for the benefit of Spain, Europe or the world”, focusing on “biomedicine issues in microgravity”, as he explained in a interview with EFE.
To debut as an astronaut, García must have previously been assigned a mission and prepare for it with “between 3 and 6 years” of survival training, technical tasks, orbital mechanics, physics, learning Russian and additional training in different international space agencies. .
Reduce the size of tumors
“Perhaps the most difficult thing is that there is an opportunity to fly, but once it happens, with the desire and determination that I have, nothing is going to come before me,” he says.
Since she was little, Sara García has been clear that she wanted to dedicate herself to science because of her “innate curiosity” and her interest in “providing a benefit to society”, and she admits that she considered being an astronaut in her childhood, although she did not consider it a ” realistic option”, since he did not even “know what steps he had to take” to achieve it.
“What boy or girl hasn’t dreamed of being an astronaut at some time?” points out García, who advises those who want to follow in his footsteps to “pursue what motivates them and makes them happy, without being afraid to explore, make mistakes and change direction, because sometimes dreams can come true”.
Currently, the also researcher at the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) is part of the team of the prestigious doctor Mariano Barbacid who is looking for drugs to reduce the size of lung and pancreatic cancer tumors.
“My work focuses on isolating the RAF1 protein to resolve its structure and promote its degradation” so that it can function as a “therapeutic target”, since it transmits signals to the KRAS oncogenes, responsible for a quarter of human tumors.
“If it reproduces what we have observed in genetically modified animal models, in principle, it would reduce the size of these tumors”, he reveals.
A drug that really works
For now, the team has covered the discovery and preclinical phases, but they still have a lot of testing to do, both in cells and in mice, before proving that the drug works and can be applied to clinical trials.
“I advocate more for personalized medicine” that allows “choosing an optimal treatment beyond targeted therapies”, although this, and even immunotherapy, which “today is having very good results, especially in lung cancer, They are good alternatives”, says Sara García.
The scientist has shared the progress of the research in which she works with the Malaga public in the framework of a talk organized by the University of Malaga entitled “RAF1 uncovered: a key step to create new drugs against lung cancer”.
In the future, García hopes to find a drug that “can really work” in the fight against cancer and continue his space career with a mission related to his field of study.
“Everything I have done in my life I did not do to be an astronaut, but each and every one of the steps I have taken have helped me to become one, because I have let myself be carried away by curiosity, by the desire to explore and for the adventure”, he concludes. EFE