ZiMT Journal Club January 2019: Dr. Paolo Ceppi / Understanding the plasticity of cancer cells

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Dr. Paolo Ceppi, Junior Research Group Leader, IZKF, FAU

Understanding the plasticity of cancer cells

Despite the progresses made in the last years with the development of novel targeted agents, cancer is still a very deadly disease. This could be attributable in part to the fact that only a minority of selected patients benefit from the novel compounds, while poor therapeutical options are available for the vast majority of the patients in which a targetable driving oncogenic mutation is undetermined. Moreover, the pathway redundancy and the very frequent occurrence of mutations limit the efficacy of these novel drugs even in initially responding patients.

The group focuses on the identification of novel fundamental mechanisms of cancer biology using several cell and molecular biology techniques, mouse models, high-throughput approaches and the analysis of human samples. We aim at discovering novel genes and molecular pathways that regulate the plasticity and the aggressiveness of cancer cells and at studying the association between cancer differentiation and sensitivity to chemotherapy, with a special attention on metabolism genes. The final goal is the development of more effective drugs and therapeutic strategies.


Dr. Paolo Ceppi received his PhD from the University of Torino and was then a postdoc in the Peter lab at the Northwestern University in Chicago. Since 2015 he is a Junior Group Leader at the Interdisciplinary Center of Clinical Research (IZKF) of the FAU University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany. His team focuses on the mechanisms that regulate cancer plasticity and at studying the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, the cancer stem cells and the association between cancer de-differentiation and sensitivity to chemotherapy. He received funding and awards from the US Department of Defense, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, the German Cancer Aid and the German Research Foundation.



Schwab et al. Cancer Research 2018

Siddiqui et al. Journal of Pathology 2017

Ceppi et al. Nature Communications 2014

Ceppi et al. Oncogene 2014