Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BA in Biotechnology at University of Bologna (IT); MSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at University of Bologna; PhD in Experimental Medicine and Oncology at University of Insubria (IT);
After the Master, Elena moved to Milan (IT) in Albini's group to study the role of tumor microenvironment and angiogenesis in retinoblastoma tumors. She performed her Ph.D. at University of Insubria in Bonapace’s lab where she studied the role of UHRF1, a master epigenetic regulator, in prostate and colon cancer. During her Ph.D. she developed a strong interest in understanding the role of UHRF1 in the first steps of tumorigenesis. She decided to join Kirsten Sadler’s group at Mont Sinai Medical School in New York, first, and then at NYU Abu Dhabi to continue her studies on UHRF1 and cancer.
Elena's interests are focused on deciphering the role of UHRF1 in early steps of oncogenesis. Sadler lab has already shown that the overexpression of UHRF1 in normal zebrafish hepatocytes is sufficient to induce hepatocellular carcinoma. As many other oncogenes, UHRF1, when overexpressed, leads to cellular senescence by mechanism that is still uncharacterized. By combining in vivo imaging, molecular approaches and next-gen sequencing techniques, Elena's main goal is to delineate the mechanism by which UHRF1 over expression in zebrafish hepatocytes causes hepatocytes senescence.