Foto del docente

Manuela Ferracin

Associate Professor

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine - DIMES

Academic discipline: MED/04 Experimental Medicine and Pathophysiology

Coordinator of PhD Programme in Oncology, Hematology and Pathology

Curriculum vitae

EDUCATION

2007 Ph. D. in Pharmacology and Molecular Oncology at the University of Ferrara. Dissertation title: “MicroRNA profile of human cancers”. Supervisor: Prof. Massimo Negrini, Ph.D.

2003 Master degree in Biotechnology in Medicine at the University of Bologna (Final Mark: 110/110 summa cum laude). Experimental thesis: “Analysis of the molecular pathogenesis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma by DNA microarray”. Supervisor: prof. Vincenzo Stanghellini, M.D.

 

 Personal Statement

I have a strong background in molecular oncology, with a specific expertise in the identification of diagnostic or prognostic gene signatures. As a PhD student in Prof. Negrini’s lab (Ferrara, Italy), I collaborated with Prof. George Calin (Houston, TX) and Prof. Carlo Croce (Columbus, OH), when they published the first papers showing an association between microRNAs and cancer. We developed the first microarray for microRNA expression analysis. I applied this novel technology to the discovery of microRNAs and non-coding RNAs involved in leukemia, breast cancer and other solid tumors (PNAS, 2004; NEJM, 2005; CancerCell, 2007). As a postdoc I performed studies on different tumor types to identify molecular signatures (microRNA-, ncRNA-, gene-based) for cancer diagnosis and prognosis, including the methylator phenothype in colorectal cancers (J Pathol 2008), fludarabine resistance in CLL (Mol Cancer 2010) and site-of-origin prediction of cancer of unknown primary, CUP (J Pathol 2011). In 2012, I obtained the prestigious My First AIRC Grant to study circulating microRNAs in biological fluids of cancer patients. I identified cancer-specific signatures of cell-free microRNAs for cancer diagnosis (last author, CEBP 2014; first author, Oncotarget 2015 & JoVE 2016 & Int J Mol Sci 2017). Following my recruitment as Professor at the University of Bologna in 2016, I established my independent research group and obtained a grant as PI from Bologna University (Almaidea), to study methylation alteration in stage II colorectal cancer (CancerLett, 2018). In 2017, I was granted an Investigator Grant from AIRC to develop a molecular assay for CUP molecular prediction and model development (FrontiersOncol, 2018; Cancers, 2021). I am currently working on the identification of melanoma prognostic biomarkers and the development of patient-derived cancer models.

I have co-authored more than 130 papers in international peer-reviewed journals (H-index = 52, >25000 citations in Scopus).

 

Positions

2019- Associate professor of Pathology at the University of Bologna (Italy)

2016-2019 Assistant professor of Pathology at the University of Bologna (Italy)

2011-2015 Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ferrara (Italy) in Massimo Negrini’s lab and Microarray Facility manager at the Laboratory for the Technologies of Advanced Therapies of the University of Ferrara (Italy).

2010-2014 Appointed professor at the University of Urbino, Italy.

2009-2010 Post-doc fellowship by the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research, “Assegno di ricerca”, at the Department of Diagnostic and Experimental Medicine, University of Ferrara, Italy.

2006-2008 Three-year fellowship by Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC). Mentor: Carlo M. Croce.

2004-2005 Two-year fellowship by the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research at the Department of Diagnostic and Experimental Medicine, University of Ferrara, Italy.

2004-2006 PhD internship in Pharmacology and Molecular Oncology at the University of Ferrara, Italy (Mentor: Massimo Negrini)

Other Experience and Professional Memberships

2006- Member, Italian Cancer Society (SIC)

2006- Member, European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)

2013- Member, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

2011 Italian Ministry of Health grants, Study Section, member

2011- Member of the editorial board of TheScientificWorldJOURNAL, http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/editors/genetics/

2014- Member of the editorial board of Non-Coding RNA journal, http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ncrna/editors

Honors

2005 Pezcoller Foundation award for the best abstract - Annual meeting of the Italian Cancer Society.

2006-2008 Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) – FELLOWSHIP

2014 AACR-SIC Scholar-in-Training Award - AACR Annual Meeting 2014

 

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