OBIETTIVI: The malignant brain tumor GlioBlastoma Multiforme (GBM) is one of the most common malignant and lethal primary brain tumour of adults. The project is based on the finding that human tumours, particularly GBMs, are composed of a mixture of cancer, immune, stromal and vascular cells. The non-cancerous cellular components of the tumour microenvironment appear to play a critical role in tumour development and progression.
In this Marie Curie Fellowship, Dr. Beatrice Gini, from Prof. Bonetti’s group at the University of Verona in Italy, is working with Dr. Mischel’s group at UCLA, in collaboration with Dr. Heath’s group at CalTech, to develop cutting edge nanotechnologies to understand how crosstalk between tumor cells, including inflammatory cells, promotes tumor growth and resistance to target terapy.
This fellowship will identify the crosstalk pathways to develop more effective, personalized treatments for GBM patients.
At UCLA (Los Angeles, U.S.A.), the Mischel Lab has developed the DNA Encoded Antibody Library (DEAL) microarray, to sort specific cellular subtypes from solid tumour samples. The selective capture of tumour cells, lymphocytes, microglia and vascular endothelial cells, directly from GBM biopsy samples, will be obtained by DEAL technology. Genomic and transcriptional analysis will be performed on DEAL sorted cellular subtypes in order to identify novel molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. Genomic and transcriptional findings will be validated with functional assays in model systems: oncogene over-expression, gene silencing and pharmacological inhibition will be applied in order to identify the factors that inhibit the growth and survival of GBMs. In the first phase of the fellowship, at UCLA, the applicant will be utilizing cutting edge nanotechnology and resources that will provide her with outstanding interdisciplinary skills and competences. The applicant will then have the professional maturity to transfer her novel knowledge to the University of Verona (Italy), enriching the scientific excellence of Europe and bridging a new set of collaborations between Italy and the U.S.A.