Molecular Oncology


Head of the Group

Dr. Gaetano Gargiulo


Cancer arises in normal cells by means of genetic and epigenetic alterations. Our research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating tumor homeostasis and response to anti-cancer therapy.

In other words, we want to understand how tumor tissues balance self-growth and interactions with the host. Both processes can ensure cancer survival and govern critical cell decisions such as to whether self-renew, differentiate or die (i.e. homeostasis). Ultimately, tumor homeostasis can be viewed as the dark side of the normal tissue self-regulation. 

We also want to know how do cancer cells deal with the therapy-induced stress.

Learning about these mechanisms will enable us to identify cancer-specific vulnerabilities, which in turn may pave the way to identifying more effective treatments.