The applicant is an experienced researcher with the objective of completing comprehensive training in translational research on Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), one of the most common malignant and lethal primary brain tumor of adults, with the final aim of disposing of personalized therapeutic protocols for GBM and cancer patients. The project is based on the finding that human tumors, particularly GBMs, are composed of a mixture of cancer, immune, stromal and vascular cells. The non-cancerous cellular components of the tumor microenvironment appear to play a critical role in tumor development and progression. 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 tumor samples. The selective capture of tumor 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 overexpression, 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.
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