I joined UniSR for my Bachelor’s Degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, followed by a Master’s Degree in Cellular and Molecular Medical Biotechnology. During my undergraduate courses, as a student eager to experience science in a research lab, I started visiting the Tumor Biology and Vascular Targeting unit of Dr. Angelo Corti at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute.
This first insight into research at San Raffaele was very exciting and exceeded my expectations. Besides being involved in original experimental projects, I came into contact with a multicultural and multidisciplinary scientific environment, where I was exposed to cutting edge research on a daily basis. This strongly motivated me to apply to the UniSR PhD, which had very competitive, meritocratic and top level Programs.
During my graduate studies I focused on the role of vessels in cancer progression, demonstrating that chromogranin A (CgA) impairs both the metastatic spread of cancer cells and tumor self-seeding by increasing their barrier function. Using the same mechanism, CgA also compromises the delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs, alone or in combination with NGR-TNF, a novel pro-permeabilizing and vascular damaging agent.
After completing my PhD, I moved for a Postdoc to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the most renowned hospitals for the cure and study of cancer, where I easily integrated thanks to my PhD training. Here, I took my research interests on the tumor microenvironment and malignant progression forward and I further expanded toward the study of prostate cancer bone metastasis.
Overall, my graduate studies supported my maturation from a technical and intellectual perspective and contributed to build an independent and creative mind that paved the way for my career development.