Laura Poliseno 

Laura Poliseno graduated in Biological Sciences at the University of Pisa in 2000 and received her PhD in Molecular Biotechnologies from the same University in 2004. After a 6 years training in the States, which brought her to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, BIDMC-Harvard Medical School and New York University, in 2012 she came back to Pisa and became the Principal Investigator of the Oncogenomics Unit, within the Core Research Laboratory (CRL) of ITT/ISPRO. In 2016, she also became staff scientist at the Institute of Clinical Physiology of CNR. In the Poliseno lab, research activities are focused on the study of melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer. In particular, the group aims at achieving a deeper understanding of the biology of BRAF - an oncogene that is frequently mutated in melanoma and represents a very powerful cancer driver, as well as a drug target - by studying: the coding and non-coding regulators of mutant BRAFV600E expression (with particular emphasis on microRNAs and ceRNAs); the interactors of BRAFV600E protein; and the coding and non-coding effectors of BRAFV600E kinase activity. The model systems exploited are both in vitro (melanoma cell lines, yeast S. cerevisiae) and in vivo (genetically engineered zebrafish; immunocompromised and genetically engineered mice). The ultimate goal of the group is to identify new drugs that can be combined with and improve the efficacy of current BRAFV600E inhibitors. They also aim at developing an innovative strategy that is based on attenuated Listeria monocytogenes as an anticancer vaccine and allows selective drug delivery inside melanoma cells.