Group Leader

Group Leader

Biosketch

Diana Passaro started her research career as undergraduate student in Naples (Italy) at the University Federico II, where she worked on SELEX-based selection of RNA aptamers against lung cancer cells (PLoS one, 2011). She next did a PhD in hemato-oncology at the Curie Institute in Paris (France), studying the importance of signalling pathways regulating cancer stem cell activity in T-cell leukemia. She explored the intrinsic function of calcineurin/NFAT pathway in T-cell leukemia (Leukemia, 2013), as well as its role in regulating the interaction with the stroma (Cancer Cell, 2015; Oncoscience, 2015; Immunol Rev, 2016). She followed up on investigating the cross-talk between leukemic cells and the surrounding niche at the Francis Crick Institute in London (UK). She identified several abnormalities associated with the vascular microenvironment in acute myeloid leukemia (Cancer Cell, 2017) and studied the molecular adaptation of different niche components to AML in xenograft models. She contributed to develop a novel platform to bioengineer and image subcutaneous 3D bone marrow organoids (JCI, 2017; J Vis Exp. 2017). She started a translation path towards clinics by establishing a project aimed to set up clinical imaging of bone marrow vascular abnormalities in patients, a research line she currently co-leads with D. Bonnet at the Francis Crick Institute and Barts Hospital (UK).

She currently leads her laboratory at the Cochin Institute (France) as an INSERM researcher exploring the bone marrow niche dynamics in acute leukemias.

Lab members

I am currently  a Post-Doctoral fellow in Bio-Engineering, and my interest lies in manipulating biological elements (cells, proteins, factors) to recreate organ-like structures that could be used as bio-mimetic models in laboratories. To support this motivation, I started as a Chemist from the Chimie ParisTech engineering school. I then had the opportunity to discover various biological models through different lab experiences, from malaria parasite (University of Houston), to the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (Cytoo – Grenoble) and brain injuries (INCIA – Bordeaux). During my PhD (Cytomorpholab – Paris), I took great interest in the bone marrow that has a complex soft and hard structure, as well as a very precise vascular organization, being able to support hematopoietic stem cells. As a post-doc, I join the team for the great challenge of learning how to recreate complex biological organizations.

Litchy did a “Life sciences” license at the university of Paris XII and a 6 months internship in the star-up “Corwave”, working on the development of a cardiac assistant pump. She next did a master degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the PSL University. During this formation she did two internships for six months. The first one was in the “Structure and Genome instability” lab of the National Museum of Natural History, where she had the opportunity to familiarize with the CRISPR-Cas9 system. The second one in “Genome Instability and Oncogenesis” lab at the Gustave Roussy Institute, on a project aiming at understanding the role of AKT1 in genome instability. She joined the team as master student of the Paris Saclay University, exploring high throughput data analysis to study the bone marrow microenvironment. 

Always fascinated by viruses biology, I decided to study fundamental virology at Pasteur Institute (Paris) within Charneau’s Lab (specialized to HIV and lentivirus) supervised by Dr Wei’s (HBV) and aiming at expand our understanding of virus biology in order to create a new therapeutic options. I have thus explored different human pathologies such as hemophilia (Kremlin Bicêtre) and cancer (Curie Institute). With Dr Chavrier, I had the opportunity to develop a passion and expertise in microscopy applied to breast cancer. Then I started an interdisciplinary project with Dr Coppey (Biophysics) and Dr Castellana (Physics) on uveal melanoma. I learned to use optogenetics to modify and follow in time and space different intracellular signalings. This rich experience motivated me to join the team and pursue my work onto miscoscopy and multidisciplinary projects.

Jorgina is biomedical bioenginner who joined the laboratory as Inserm research assistant. As undergraduate student, she worked on challenging tissue biomechanics properties under the supervision of Pr. ZIDI at the University of Creteil in France. She next studied the antiobiotic effect of CO realeasing molecules during an intership at the institute of Chemical and Biological Technology in Portugal, in  Pr. ROMAO and SARAIVA teams. Before integrating the team at Cochin Institute, she also worked on the in vitro efficiency of iron nanoparticules combinated with cryotherapy on cancer cells with Dr. LI in the start-up "Nanobacterie".

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