Paolo Ceppi is an Associate Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) since August 2019. He received his PhD from the University of Torino in 2011, followed by a postdoctoral appointment in the laboratory of Prof. Marcus Peter at the R.H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Northwestern University in Chicago. In 2015 he was appointed as a Junior Group Leader (equivalent to Assist. Prof.) 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 the association between cancer de-differentiation and sensitivity to chemotherapy, with a special focus on metabolic pathways. In 2017 he was awarded the Young Investigator Award from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. He received funding from the US Department of Defense, the German Cancer Aid and the German Research Foundation.
Description of the research
Metabolic pathways as regulators of cancer de-differentiation. The most lethal features of cancer are chemoresistance and metastatic dissemination. In many cases, both are attributed to the presence of cells driven by de-differentiation processes like the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the cancer stem cell (CSC) program, which can foster a clinical relapse. Recently, our lab and others showed that some metabolic pathways can exert a powerful regulatory role on cancer cell de-differentiation and promote cancer aggressiveness by driving EMT/CSC. Identifying the whole network of metabolic pathways controlling the de-differentiation processes could be highly impactful in the field of drug repositioning because, in contrast to currently known EMT effectors and mediators, several inhibitors for metabolism enzymes are already in clinical use for the treatment of not tumor-related diseases. Metabolism-based therapeutic strategies could contribute to reduce the devastating effects of aggressive cancers.
Head of Research: Associate professor, PhD Paolo Ceppi
Researchers and research group: Paolo Ceppi Lab
A complete list of publications by Paolo Ceppi can be found here.
- Siddiqui et al. A non-proliferative role of pyrimidine metabolism in cancer. Molecular Metabolism 2020.
- Siddiqui A et al. Thymidylate synthase maintains the de-differentiated state of aggressive breast cancers. Cell Death and Differentiation 2019 Nov;26(11):2223-2236
- Schwab A et al. Polyol pathway links glucose metabolism to the aggressiveness of cancer cells. Cancer Research 2018 Apr 1;78:1604-1618.
- Siddiqui A et al. Thymidylate synthase is functionally associated with ZEB1 and contributes to the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of cancer cells. The Journal of Pathology, 2017;242:221-233.
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