Current chemotherapy of leukemia aims to eliminate the bulk of the cancer but spares leukemia-initiating cells (LICs) that cause relapse of the disease. In addition, these treatments induce a number of side effects and are also limited by toxicity towards normal hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). This points the need to identify new drugs targeting LICs.
My research focuses on the phenotypic, molecular and functional characterization of LICs to develop therapies that specifically target their markers and/or biological mechanisms in order to eradicate cancer and prevent relapse. Precisely, my research aims to understand the mechanisms involved in the early stages of leukemia development. I am interested in how human oncogenes convert hematopoietic progenitors into LICs and how to develop powerful chemical screening strategies to find new promising leukemia treatment targeting specifically LICs without affecting normal HSC functions.
My research interests lie in the field of hematology and stem cells and my areas of expertise are acute lymphoblastic leukemia, leukemia-initiating cells, oncogene-induced reprogramming, genetic mouse models and drug screening.