Our professionals

Dr. Cristian Smerdou Picazo

Director of the Gene Therapy and Regulation of Gene Expression Program.
Preferential dedication to the development of gene immunotherapy strategies for cancer and gene therapy for cholestatic genetic diseases.

Be part of: Cima Universidad de Navarra

Professional career

Degree in Biological Sciences, specializing in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 1987.

Ph.D. in Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (CNB, CSIC) in 1993.

He is specialized in the development of viral vectors for applications in vaccination and cancer gene therapy.

He has carried out research stays at the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden) and at the University of Washington (St. Louis, USA).

Since 2002 he has been investigator at Cima Universidad de Navarra.

He directs the Gene Therapy and Regulation of Gene Expression Program and is the principal investigator of the Cancer Gene Therapy Research Group.


He is the co-inventor of 13 patents.

He has participated in more than 20 national and international research projects, being the principal investigator in 13 of them. Competitive projects that stand out are funded by: the Ministry of Science and Technology, Carlos III Health Institute, Government of Navarra, National Research and Innovation Agency (Uruguay), and NIH (USA).

He has participated as principal investigator in 8 contracts with industry financed by companies such as 3P Biopharmaceuticals (Noain, Spain) and Vivet Therapeutics (Paris, France).


  • Development of viral vectors for antitumor therapy through the expression of immunomodulatory molecules, such as cytokines and antibodies.
  • Development of non-viral strategies based on the use of self-replicating RNA for antitumor therapy.
  • Development of viral vectors for the production of recombinant proteins.
  • Development of gene therapy strategies for cholestatic genetic diseases.


As an educator

He is the Professor responsible for the subject "Gene Therapy and Clinical Applications" in the Master's Degree in Biomedical Research at the University of Navarra.

He has directed six doctoral theses and nine final master's projects at the University of Navarra.

He has collaborated in the writing of 16 books.

Invited speaker in more than ten courses and symposiums during the last five years. Relevant: invited lecture at the European Conference on Interventional Oncology, Vienna (2018) and opening talk at the Network in Physical Virology: Bridging Biomedical and Nanotechnology Applications symposium, Bilbao (2019).

Speaker as a scientific communicator, giving more than 16 talks in different places in Spain in the last six years on Gene Therapy and Covid-19.

As a researcher

He has participated in the publication of more than 65 scientific articles in international journals and in more than 150 communications at national & international conferences.

License and collaboration agreement with the company 3P Biopharmaceuticals for developing a system for the generation of stable mammalian cell lines for the production of therapeutic proteins.

Research agreements with different companies to develop SARS-CoV-2 inactivation systems.

Imagen de un icono azul con un documento certificado.


  • Postdoctoral fellowship of the National Research Personnel Training Program of the Ministry of Education and Science.
  • Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship in the Biotechnology program (Research Training Grant in the IVth Framework Program).

Scientific Institutions

  • Member of the Spanish Society of Virology.
  • Member of the Spanish Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.
  • Member of the Advisory Council to define a Gene Therapy Strategy Model for the National Health System. (sponsored by Pfizer).
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Molecular Therapy-Oncolytics.
  • “Associated editor” of Frontiers in Molecular Medicine.
  • “Review Editor” of Frontiers in Immunology and Oncology.
  • President of the Biosafety Committee of Cima Universidad de Navarra.
More information

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Latest scientific publications