I received my PhD at the University of Cambridge (UK) where I worked on the role of DEAD-box RNA helicases in cancer cells. I joined the Zenz lab to work on elucidating the role of mutations in the DDX3X gene in lymphoma. DDX3X mutations are found in 3-10% of Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) cases as well as in other lymphomas subtypes (30-40% Burkitt Lymphoma cases, 22% Natural Killer T-Cell Lymphoma cases, 2% DLBCL cases) (Kaymaz et al., 2017; Jiang et al., 2015).
DDX3X is a widely expressed multifunctional protein with roles in both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression and it is proposed to affect cell cycle progression, apoptosis, stress granule assembly, and innate immune response (Soto-Rifo, R. and T. Ohlmann, 2013; Zhao, L., et al.,2016). However, the mechanistic contributions of DDX3X mutations to lymphoma are unclear.
We aim to investigate the role of DDX3X in in vitro lymphoma models and to uncover the molecular mechanism through which this protein regulates pathways relevant to cancer progression.
In addition, I work on the characterization of the proliferative capacity in CLL cells. To achieve this goal, we combine omics and molecular biology techniques to profile the molecular and phenotypic features of primary CLL samples.