The Pezcoller Foundation - Marina Larcher Fogazzaro PhD Fellowship

Thanks to the generous donation of Ms. Marina Larcher Fogazzaro, starting from 2020,
the Pezcoller Foundation will support a three-year scholarship for a 
PhD Candidate of the PhD Program in Biomolecular Sciences at the Department of Cellular, Computational and Integrative Biology (CIBIO - University of Trento)
 for a cancer research project.

Elisa Facen is the winner of the Pezcoller Foundation - Marina Larcher Fogazzaro PhD fellowship, and will work in Laboratory of Genomic Screening, led by Prof. Alessandro Provenzani.

Elisa's cancer research project: Targeting RBPs in Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumours
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours (MPNSTs) are highly aggressive soft tissue sarcomas with strong metastatic proclivity for which there is no effective therapy.  Targeting dysregulated transcriptomic programs in cancers has emerged as an innovative and promising therapeutical strategy. In particular, RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are increasingly recognised as attractive targets because they can regulate type and abundance of hundreds of transcripts. We identified the RBP HuR as an essential regulator of aberrant oncogenic programs in MPNST, and present evidence that HuR inhibition has profound cytostatic and cytotoxic effects on tumour growth, and strongly supresses their metastatic capacity in vivo, making HuR an ideal therapeutic target in MPNST 1. Furthermore, in preliminary studies, we have found that, in addition to HuR, there are several RBPs that are differentially expressed in MPNSTs, which might potentially play key roles in MPNST growth and metastasis. Our goal is to dissect the functional importance of RBPs for MPNST growth and metastasis.

Start of the PhD Scholaship: November 1, 2020
Elisa Facen at the Award Ceremony. Trento, December 1 2020
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