Chromatin alterations in tumorigenesis
c/o IFOM-IEO Campus
Via Adamello, 16 - 20139 Milan, Italy
I started my group in 2003, but I have worked here initially as a Scholar of the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research with Pier Giuseppe Pelicci. I have focused our activities on the study of deregulation of chromatin structure/function in cancer for two main reasons:
It is becoming increasingly clear that the deregulation of chromatin modifiers plays a critical role in tumorigenesis;
The use of "potential drugs" which interfere with chromatin modifying enzymes (histone deacetylases, DNA methyltransferases) may be beneficial for clinical treatment of cancer patients (several molecules are progressing through clinical trials).
Thus, I see here an extremely appealing opportunity to perform a mechanistically oriented analysis ("to understand how things happen") that can immediately be applied to better treat the patients ("to try to change things, when they have gone bad"). In fact, a primary focus of my work is to start and implement a contact with the clinical Departments in the European Institute of Oncology, and with biotech companies/pharma companies developing mechanism-based drugs, to have a constant "bi-directional flow" of interactions. The ultimate goal: to go towards a group that considers Man as the primary model system.