The focus of my research is to understand the biological processes of cancer and to study the evolutionary adaption of cancer to therapeutic response. We perform large-scale genomic and molecular profiling studies of human patient tumors in order to characterize the molecular mechanisms which govern cancer growth and progression.
Specifically, my research is dedicated to understanding the pathogenesis and evolution of lung cancer under chemotherapy and immunotherapy, with a specific focus on the histological subgroup of small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and SCLC is a particularly malignant tumor with a very poor 5-year survival rates of less than 5%. Unfortunately, to date no actionable therapeutic targets have been identified and current treatment options include chemotherapy and most recently a combination with immunotherapy. Our research methods are centered on the use of state-of-the-art technologies for genome sequencing and single cell analyses, computational study of large-scale data sets, as well as on the functional and molecular biological characterization of patient-derived cell culture systems and mouse models. The aim is to shed light on the genomic complexity of cancer and its impact on the micro-environment. We aspire to take a multi-disciplinary approach in order to increase our knowledge on this deadly disease, and the main goal is to uncover new therapeutic approaches for cancer patients.