Northern Institute for Cancer Research

Staff Profile

Dr Martina Finetti

Research Associate

Background

Qualifications

PhD in Molecular Pediatric Oncology 2015, Newcastle University.

PharmD 2009, University of Padua

MSc in Biotechnology 2008, University of Padua

MSc in Drug Synthesis and Delivery 2009, University of Padua


Previous positions

2009- 2010    Researcher associate;  Onco-haematology peadiatric department, University hospital of  Padua           


Honours and Awards 

  • £49.500 CCLG and Grace Kelly Lady bird Trust Research Grant (June 2017)

  • €950 Meeting Bursary Award to attend EORTC-NCI-AACR Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics Symposium (Munich, 29 November – 2 December 2016)

  • £10,000 Newcastle University Single Cell-NUSCU research grant

  • £200 BRAIN TRUST travel fellowship awarded to attend the International Symposium On Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (Liverpool; 12 June - 15 July 2016)

  • £100 Brain Tumour Action travel fellowship awarded to attend the International Symposium On Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (Liverpool; 12 June - 15 July 2016)

  • €950 EACR Meeting Bursary Award to attend ESMO Symposium on Signalling Pathways in Cancer 2016 (Barcelona, 4 – 5 March 2016)

  • £7,770 WELLCOME TRUST Institutional Strategic Support Grant (December 2015) 

  • BACR/Gordon Hamilton-Fairley Young investigator Award finalist at National Cancer Research Institute NCRI (November 2014)        

  • £250 National Welcome Cancer Research Institute NCRI prize award for high quality abstract (November 2014)                          

  • £500 Northern Institute For Cancer Research Travel fellowship to attend Conference Of National Cancer Research Institute (Liverpool; 2-5 November 2014)

  • £500 LOVE OLIVER travel fellowship awarded to attend the International Symposium On Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (Singapore; 28 June - 2 July) and the 23rd Biennial Congress The European Association For Cancer Research (Munich; 5-8 July 2014) 

  • £850 CHILDREN WITH CANCER UK travel fellowship awarded to attend the International Symposium On Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (Singapore; J28 June - 2 July) and the 23rd Biennial Congress Of The European Association For Cancer Research (Munich; 5-8 July 2014) 

  • £500 BRAIN TRUST travel fellowship awarded to attend the International Symposium On Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (Singapore; 28 June - 2 July) and the 23rd Biennial Congress Of The European Association For Cancer Research (Munich; 5-8 July 2014)

  • £48,000 NEECR Research PhD Training Scholarship (October 2010)

  • €5000 Padua University Research Grant (December 2009)

  • €27,500 Padua University PharmD Scholarship (October 2004)

 

Memberships

BACR

EACR

AACR

SIOP

  

Research

Research Interests

Malignant Rhabdoid Tumours are an aggressive malignancy that occurs in infants and young children. They can occur in soft tissue (Extra Cranial Rhabdoid Tumours), in the brain and in the spinal cord (Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumours). This malignancy presents a biallelic inactivation at chromosome 22 of SMARCB1, this deletion characterises these tumours. However, malignancies located in the brain can be misdiagnosed as other brain tumours (such as Medulloblastoma or PNET), since they share locations and histological features. Moreover, these malignancies are treated with nonspecific combination of therapies including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Despite the simple biology of these tumour, only one study attempted to comprehend the difference between Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumours and Extra Cranial Rhabdoid Tumours at the expression level. Specifically, this investigation showed that in Extra Cranial Rhabdoid and ATRTs share a common dysregulation of cell cycle and epigenetic genes, suggesting the possibility of a therapy effective in both malignancies. While gene expression profiling in Rhabdoid cell lines and Primary malignancies was performed, an analytical and comprehensive analysis of the epigenetic effects of SMARCB1 loss has yet to be attempted. Investigating the implication of SMARCB1 in the epigenetic machinery may open the way not only to a complete understanding of the SMARCB1 mechanism of tumourigenesis, but also to characterising potential therapeutic targets.

My current research focuses on understanding of the tumourigenic mechanism of Rhabdoid Tumours. Though comprehensive gene expression and methylation profiling of Rhabdoid primary malignancies and of SMARCB1 re-expressing cell lines, this research aims to catalogue events dependent on SMARCB1. The data collected will be finally analysed in such a way as to characterise pathways and genes associated with tumourigenesis and potentially therapeutic targets.

Research Role

Research Associate on INSTINCT Programme grant "High-risk childhood brain tumour network - improving treatments"

Publications