Principal Investigators

Transcriptional Control in Inflammation and Cancer

Gioacchino Natoli

Gioacchino Natoli

Group Leader

Location Building 13
Floor 3rd
Via Adamello 16, Milano

The human genome contains more than 20.000 genes whose expression must be accurately controlled in space and time, both during development and in response to external stimuli such as microbes or changes in micro-environmental conditions (e.g. hypoxia). Each cell in a tissue integrates and interprets information coming from a continuously changing micro-environment in order to properly adapt its properties and maximize its fitness. Moreover, responses to microbes or tissue damage, which are essential to restore homeostasis and eventually for organism survival, require rapid changes in gene expression whose control must be accurately tuned. Non-physiological alterations in gene expression determine abnormal cell behaviors in many diseases, including inflammatory disorders and cancer. In fact, some commonly used drugs, such as glucocorticoids, and many others currently under development, work by directly changing gene transcription or by altering chromatin properties.

Our lab uses a combination of genomic, computational and functional approaches to understand molecular mechanisms that control gene expression in inflammation and cancer, with a particular focus on pancreatic cancer, a nearly invariably deadly tumor predicted to become the main cause of cancer deaths by 2030.

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