Maria A. Blasco obtained her PhD in 1993 at the Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa” under the supervision of M. Salas. That same year, Blasco joined the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York (USA) as a Postdoctoral Fellow under the leadership of C. W. Greider. In 1997 she returned to Spain to start her own research Group at the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología in Madrid. She joined the CNIO in 2003 as Director of the Molecular Oncology Programme and Leader of the Telomeres and Telomerase Group. In 2005 she was also appointed Vice-Director of Basic Research. Since June 2011, she is the CNIO Director.
Blasco has received the following awards, among others: Josef Steiner Cancer Research, Rey Jaime I, “Carmen and Severo Ochoa” Award in Molecular Biology, Swiss Bridge Award for Research in Cancer, Körber European Science Award, Fundación Lilly Preclinical Research Award, Prize “Alberto Sols” for Excellence in Research, as well as the Santiago Ramón y Cajal Research Award in Biology in 2010. Blasco has also been awarded the EMBO Gold Medal and has served on its Council since 2008. In 2014 received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, Spain.
Her research has focussed on demonstrating the importance of telomeres and telomerase in cancer as well as age-related diseases.