Pier Paolo Scaglioni, MD
Pier Paolo Scaglioni, MD, is the Herbert F. Koch Professor of Medicine, and the Division Director for the Division of Hematology/Oncology. Dr. Scaglioni received his medical degree from the University of Modena Medical School, in Italy, in 1989, and completed his Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, NY, in 2005. Dr. Scaglioni specializes in malignant hematology and is currently the Interim Director of the George L. Strike Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Scaglioni also leads a research laboratory which consists of 2 Research Scientists, and a Senior Research Associate. His team is currently studying the effect of KRAS in non-small cell lung cancer. Dr. Scaglioni’s team has identified several cellular networks that are responsible for the survival of KRAS mutant lung cancer. Among these, his research team found that KRAS regulates the metabolism of fatty acid to make the complex lipids necessary for cell proliferation. Furthermore, his team found that KRAS promotes the survival of lung cancer cells by regulating the cellular networks that replace fatty acids that are damaged by free radicals. Because fatty acids have been long studied by metabolic researchers, drugs have been developed for conditions such as obesity and fatty liver disease. A Phase 1 trial using one of those drugs was completed in 2018 to test safety doses. In that trial, the drug appeared to slow tumor growth in 11 of the 17 patients. This drug is now in Phase II trials to measure its effectiveness.
Margherita Melegari, MD, PhD
Margherita Melegari completed her Medical degree and Ph.D. degree at the University of Modena, Italy with a focus on the Hepatitis B Virus and liver cancer. She specialized in Gastro-Intestinal and Liver diseases at the same University. Starting in 1991 she has worked in many USA research Labs (Massachusetts General Hospital, NYU, A. Einstein College of Medicine, UT Southwestern) working on Hepatitis B virus X transacting protein, miRNAs and cancer. She currently manages Dr. Scaglioni’s Lab and keeps busy with vectors building.
Caterina Bartolacci, PhD
After completing her PhD degree at the University of Camerino (Italy) in 2016, Caterina Bartolacci started her post-doc fellowship in Dr. Pier Paolo Scaglioni’s Lab, at UT Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, TX). There she built skills at the intersection of lung cancer and lipid metabolism, collaborating with world-renowned scientists in lung cancer and lipidomics, such as Jeff McDonald and John Minna. In 2018, along with Dr Scaglioni’s lab, Bartolacci moved to the University of Cincinnati, in the Division of Hematology and Oncology. She is currently working with several external partners and with Dr. Ken Greis’s lab at UC, establishing the lipidomics platform at the university. Caterina’s current research objective is to significantly contribute to the understanding of the metabolic dependencies of mutant KRAS Lung Cancer in order to ultimately contribute to the development of innovative therapies.
Cristina Andreani, PhD
Cristina’s main research objective is to advance the understanding of drug resistance mechanisms in cancer thus improving current cancer treatments. She started to pursue this goal during her PhD studies in Molecular Biology at the University of Camerino, Italy, where she investigated how cancer cells evade immune system and therapies. During her PhD, she also collaborated with University of Geneva and Marche Polytechnic University studying metabolism and anti-oxidant mechanisms in muscles during aging. During these collaborations it became clear that aging and cancer share similar hallmarks, including altered oxidative stress response and metabolism. Cristina became interested in studying how these processes might affect tumorigenesis and response to cancer therapy. After receiving her PhD, Cristina joined Scaglioni’s lab to continue research on drug resistance in lung cancer, and has focused her efforts on elucidating the relationship between lipid metabolism and drug resistance in mutant KRAS lung cancer.