Centre for Health and Bioinformatics


Dr Martina Finetti

Associate Fellow



·         D2 Fellowship of the Higher Education 2018  

·         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



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



  • June 2017     Top 5 shortlisted for Prize Maria Paola Belloni  (1 award each year); Padua University
  • August 2016 Young Investigator Award €950 (1 award each year); EORTC-NCI-AACR Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics Symposium
  • Jan 2016       EACR Meeting Bursary Young Investigator Award € 950 (1 award each year);ESMO Symposium on Signalling Pathways in Cancer 2016
  • Nov 2014       BACR/Gordon Hamilton-Fairley Young Investigator Award finalist (20/2500);National Cancer Research Institute NCRI
  • Nov 2014       National Cancer Research Institute Prize Award for high quality abstract £250 (5 prizes in total; over than 3000 poster); National Cancer Research Institute NCRI
  • Jul 2014         Northern Institute For Cancer Research Young Investigator Travel Award £500
  • €27,500 Padua University PharmD Scholarship (October 2004)



  • July 2019       CCLG Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust  £80.000
  • July 2018       CCLG Pilot Study Grant £10.000
  • June 2017     CCLG Grace Kelly Ladybird Project Grant £50.000
  • June 2016     Newcastle University Single Cell Innovation Research Grant £10.000
  • Dec 2015      Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support grant £7.778
  • Dec 2009      Padua University Research Grant €5000 



  • May 2018      BACR Young Investigator travel fellowship £1.000
  • May 2018      Wellcome Trust Young Investigator travel fellowship £1.200
  • March 2018   NICR Young Investigator Travel fellowship £500
  • June 2017     Brain trust Travel fellowship £250
  • June 2016     Brain Tumour Action Travel fellowship £100
  • June 2016     Brain Trust Young Investigator Travel fellowship £300
  • May 2014       Love Oliver Travel fellowship £500
  • May 2014       Children with Cancer UK Young Investigator Travel fellowship £850 
  • May 2014       Brain Trust Travel fellowship £500



·         2010-2014     NECCR PhD training Bursary £60.000 (1 each year)

·         2004-2009     Padua University Training Bursary €57.500



  • Ph.D. secondary advisor for two graduate students. Doctoral degrees awarded 2016, 2018.
  • Nine year primary supervisor and career mentor for BSc and Ms Graduate level students.



·         BACR

·         EACR

·         AACR

·         SIOP


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.