Av. Prof. Egas Moniz
We aim to establish a dynamic research vector on different facets of cancer biology. Our main emphasis has been on hematological cancer, particularly lymphoid leukemias and especially T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Because we want to understand the mechanisms by which malignant T cells acquire a selective advantage over their healthy counterparts, we are also interested in studying particular features of normal T cell biology, for example, how developing thymocytes respond to certain extracellular cues, most notably interleukin-7.
Ongoing studies on T-cell biology and T-ALL include characterizing IL-7R-mediated signaling in healthy and malignant T cells or evaluating the mechanisms by which aberrant IL-7R activation impacts T cell transformation and leukemogenesis.
To do so, we make use of patient material, and integrate different biochemical, cellular and molecular biology techniques (e.g. multicolor flow cytometry, next generation sequencing, (phospho)proteomics, genetic manipulation) with different in vitro and in vivo models (e.g. patient-derived xenografts, transgenic zebrafish, or transgenic and conditional knock-in mice) - enabling an overall appreciation of the molecular, cellular and systemic nuances involved in the biology and pathophysiology of T cell leukemia.