Francisco Javier's research activity begins with the completion of his Doctoral Thesis at the University of Granada and focused on the regulation of the mitochondrial transporter of pyruvate in gluconeogenesis. After the completion of his Doctoral Thesis, in the year 1989 he obtained a Fulbright Scholarship for a postdoctoral period in the laboratory of Dr. George L. King, Harvard Medical School, studying the signaling through PKC induced by high concentrations of glucose in endothelial cells, responsible for the appearance of vascular alterations in the vessels of diabetic patients. With a reincorporation contract, he began a new postdoctoral period with Dr. Abelardo López Rivas focusing his research on early signaling of apoptosis after withdrawal of survival factors.
In 1996 he obtained a contract as an Associate Researcher at the CNRS in Strasbourg, France, where they characterized the function of PARP1 in apoptosis generating a mutant insensitive to caspase-3 and 7, they characterized the phenotype of the PARP1 knockout mice in their response to damage in DNA and in relation to the inflammatory response. Of particular interest is the finding of an association of PARP1 with the transcription factor NF-kB from which a reduction of inflammatory processes was derived after the inhibition of PARP. This latest work has represented a paradigm shift in the study of PARP and has opened the study of new therapeutic targets in inflammatory-based pathologies.
In 2002 he obtained the position of CSIC (Spanish Research Council) Senior Scientist at the López Neyra Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine (IPBLN) in Granada. Since he lead his own group, his research has been focused on the study of the role of PARP1 in tumor development through the elucidation of its participation as a cofactor of transcription of the hypoxia-inducible factor HIF1 and of the factor responsible for the mesenchymal epithelium transition SNAIL1, with direct implications in the development of metastasis and angiogenesis. In addition, they have contributed in a very important way to locate PARP in the autophagy pathway in tumor cells. Since 2007, he is a Full Scientific Researcher at the CSIC, Group Leader at the Spanish Cancer Network (CIBERONC), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Program of Molecular Mechanism of Tumor Development) and currently he serves as Director of the Department of Cell Biology and Immunology of the IPBLN, CSIC. He also teaches at three Master at the University of Granada: Genetic and Evolution, Immunology and Bioenterprise.