Member Database

Andrea Comba

Research Investigator
Neurosurgery
Medicine

Research fellowship, Department of Biological Chemistry, Chemical Science School, National University of Cordoba, Argentina.
PhD (magna cum laude), Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences School, National University of Cordoba, Argentina.
BS (magna cum laude), Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences School, National University of Cordoba, Argentina

The long-term aim of my research project is to identify potential targets that regulate brain tumors’ growth and invasion, ultimately translating these experimental findings into novel therapies. Treating gliomas remains a challenge in the field of neuro-oncology due to the tumors’ genetic aberrations, invasiveness and heterogeneous components. We have recently discovered self-organized multicellular structures, which we named “oncostreams.” They represent areas of mesenchymal transformation and they act as anatomical drivers of glioma growth, expansion, and invasion. In this project, I aim to elucidate the functions and molecular mechanism underlying mesenchymal and self-organized growth patterns of malignant gliomas, and their interactions with the tumor microenvironment. My graduate study in cancer helped me to gain the expertise required for understanding the regulation of gene expression by oncogenic transcription factors. During my postdoctoral training in neuro-oncology in the Castro-Lowenstein lab, I became interested in the integrative study of gliomas. This multilevel approach to understand malignant gliomas (i.e., at the pathological, functional, and molecular levels) will help me to determine novel molecules of potential translational relevance. I am utilizing in vivo mouse and patient derived primary xenograft glioma models as well as human glioma biopsies to examine the molecular mechanisms that regulate the function of oncostreams. I analyzed the transcriptome of oncostreams by next-generation RNA sequencing coupled with laser microdissection methodology and bioinformatics analysis. The identified targets were then tested in novel genetically engineered glioma mouse models using the sleeping beauty transposon system. I am a highly motivated individual and will continue working hard for the future of my career. The strong mentorship provided by my mentor Dr. Lowenstein will support me in making this career transition. This period of training in a collaborative environment at the University of Michigan will provide me the opportunity to work with a diverse group of experts. Following my postdoctoral fellowship, I aim to acquire a faculty independent position at an academic institution with my laboratory focused in translational cancer research.


Projects:

Molecular drivers of malignant glioma growth and invasion

Research Area(s)

Basic and Translational cancer research | Genetics / Genomics / other OMICS | Other