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Claudia Zagami

DPhil student

Research interests

I am interested in studying tissue homeostasis of precancerous conditions to understand mechanisms of carcinogenesis. To do so I am harnessing the stem cell regeneration potential of the diseased tissue to generate primary epithelial culture models like organoids and mucosoids. I want to investigate putative somatic mutations that are altering lineage differentiation and regeneration in the pre-cancerous stages and I want to understand if there is a “point of no return” in the cancer cascade. Furthermore, I am interested in investigating the contribution of bacterial infection in this process.  The potential of this research is to provide a valid platform for the identification of high vs low risk patients, in order to efficiently prevent cancer formation and provide tailored monitoring to the most vulnerable individuals.

Background

I did my BSc studies in Italy at Insubria University as a biomedical laboratory technician. Then, I obtained my MSc in Molecular Medicine at Uppsala University, Sweden. Here, I had the opportunity to take part in a project about the development of a biomimetic 3D model for hepatocellular carcinoma at the department of Medical Cell Biology. I performed my Master’s thesis project in the department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston. Here, I studied the microglia role for oncolytic virotherapy efficacy in pre-clinical models of glioblastoma. I am involved as a volunteer in the Italian Association of Bone Marrow donors (ADMO) and I am a passionate runner.