Maria Teresa Esposito, PhD, FHEA, FIBMS, MRSB

University of Roehampton

‘Exploring and exploiting the deregulation of protein phosphorylation as suitable signalling pathway for the identification of new therapies for leukemia’

DECEMBER 3rd, 2021, 5pm

 Maria Teresa Esposito is a senior lecturer in Biomedical Science at the University of Roehampton (UK). She heads her research group since 2017, when she was awarded the John Goldman fellowship for Translational hematology funded by Leuka. She studies the contribution of phospho-signalling in the development of drug resistance of leukemia and how molecular and pharmacological manipulation of this signalling can be exploited for development of successful therapeutic strategies. She has expertise in target validation and preclinical evaluation of drugs in leukemia models in vivo, ex vivo (Patient Derived Xenotransplants in 3D culture) and in vitro (cell lines, co-cultures).

She graduated in Biotechnologies applied to Medicine at the University “Federico II” of Napoli (Italy) in 2004 and then conducted her PhD research at the European School of Molecular Medicine-CEINGE in Napoli, focusing on cancer and human genetics. There she characterized a rare population of stem cells within the mouse bone marrow, the mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs), investigating theirselfrenewal, differentiation and tumourigenic potential. She then joined the team of Prof. Eric So at the Institute of Cancer Research, and eventually moved to King’s College London in 2010. At King’s she studied the molecular pathways required for establishment and maintenance of Mixed Lineage Leukaemia (MLL) stem cells, contributing to validate Beta Catenin as a new therapeutic target for MLL through genetic (Knock out mice) and functional (shRNA) approaches. She established her own research domain within the team, working on how to exploit DNA damage repair defects to target leukemic stem cells while sparing the normal ones, an exciting and emerging field in leukaemia therapeutics. This work led to a patent filed in the UK in 2014 and a manuscript published in Nature Medicine in 2015.

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