European School of Molecular Medicine (SEMM), Milan, Italy
Universita’ degli Studi , Facolta’ di Farmacia, Milan, Italy
Liceo Scientifico “P.L. Nervi”, Morbegno (SO), Italy
11/2012-present Post-doctoral position in Dr. Nicassio’s laboratory , IIT, CGS@SEMM, Milan, Italy
08/2013-10/2013 Visiting Scientist in Dr. Ventura’s laboratory, MSKCC, NewYork, US
09/2010-10/2012 Post-doctoral position in the Lymphoma Genomics group, under the supervision of Dr. Bertoni, IOR, Bellinzona, CH
10/2008-08/2010 Post-doctoral position in the group of Prof. PG Pelicci , IEO, Milan,Italy
07/2004-09/2008 Ph.D. Student in the group of Prof. PG Pelicci , IEO, Milan,Italy
Role of non coding-RNAs in aggressive breast cancer
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancer (about 15% of cases) which indeed shows a very negative prognosis compared to all other subtypes. Due to the lack of targeted therapy, TNBC patients are treated with standard chemotherapy and half of the patients displayed resistance to therapy and developed metastasis. It is indeed crucial identify new targets that can be used in the treatment of TNBC.
Non-coding RNAs are a wide class of RNA molecules without protein-coding potential and are divided in 2 main branches: the short species (microRNAs, 20-22bp) and long non-coding RNAs (>200nt). In the last decade, this class of molecules have been associated to almost all cellular processes and resulted significantly altered in cancer.
Our projects aim at identifying and characterizing non-coding RNAs that are involved in the onset of chemoresistance in TNBC. Combining human transcripts high resolution analysis from primary tumor samples and breast cancer cell lines we identified a set of non-coding RNAs whose expression is altered in response to chemotherapy.
In order to assess the relevance of these non-coding RNAs in the response to treatment, we set up both in vitro and in vivo models that mimic TNBC chemoresistance. We plan to manipulate non-coding RNA levels using multiple approaches (i.e.genome editing, shRNA, overexpression) in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs and evaluate the outcome in terms of tumor growth and metastatic spread.