Molecular Oncology

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Head of the Group

Dr. Gaetano Gargiulo

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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.