Marco Ranzani, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow


This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.

I am a biotechnologist interested in studying the mechanisms of resistance to therapy in melanoma. I perform drug sensitivity screenings and integrate them with –omics data and forward genetic screenings to identify new potential therapies for the treatment of melanoma.

The aim of my work is to develop new therapeutic regimens for the treatment of melanoma. Recently, I have been focussing my activity on BRAF / NRAS wild type melanomas, a subclass of the disease for which effective targeted therapies are not yet available. In collaboration with the groups of Mathew Garnett and Ultan McDermott, I am performing high-throughput drug screenings to identify new combinations of targeted therapies that efficiently kill melanoma cell lines. I am integrating drug sensitivity data with mutations, copy number variation, gene and microRNA expression and I am performing genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screenings and insertional mutagenesis screenings to identify the genetic culprits of drug resistance. The results of this project promise to help me to unravel some of the mechanisms of drug resistance and to identify markers of drug sensitivity. This approach may pave the way to develop new patient-tailored drug combinations for the effective eradication of melanoma.

I am currently planning to apply these technologies beyond the arena of targeted therapies.

During my Ph.D. at HSR-TIGET in Milan I developed a new insertional mutagenesis tool based on lentiviral vectors and used it for the identification of cancer genes in hepatocellular carcinoma and hematopoietic malignancies. I also used this tool to study drug resistance in breast cancer cell lines. At the Sanger Institute I am using lentiviral vector-based insertional mutagenesis in collaboration with Ultan McDermott to identify genes involved in drug resistance in different cancer types.

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