NONCO-MICROTIS will combine new findings in long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) biology with cutting edge research to uncover innovative therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of lung cancer, one of the most prevalent and deadliest types of cancer worldwide. Current treatments which are often insufficient, include the use of chemotherapy and radiation that induces tumor cell arrest. This process termed as therapy-induced senescence (TIS) has been considered a positive outcome for cancer therapy. However, there is evidence that TIS can be reversible leading to an aggressive phenotype and disease relapse. The low percentage of senescent cells in the tumor together with the lack of specific markers senescence senescence has prevented the development of methods to identify and target this population of cells. I will exploit the highly specific expression patterns of lncRNAs by tailored single cell methods to identify therapy-induced senescent cells and their relationship with the tumor microenvironment. Further, NONCO-MICROTIS will investigate the senescence-related roles of small peptides produced by TIS-lncRNAs to be exploited for the targeting of these singular cells within lung tumors. Altogether my study will define a new senescence signature using specific lncRNAs that will help to identify senescent cells and will provide information on how these cells impact the neighbouring populations. Moreover, it will uncover mechanistic roles of micropeptides in the regulation and targeting of senescent cells and will provide the basis for the use of micropeptides as therapeutic targets.
NONCO-MICROTIS will combine cutting-edge techniques in transcriptomics and molecular and cellular biology techniques resulting in an original, multidisciplinary project with high potential for ground-breaking findings. Furthermore, it will allow me to reach the level of professional maturity needed to become an independent researcher.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.2 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Main Programme