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Results: 1


Eleonora Dondossola
uploads/eleonora_dondossola.jpg

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: cellular biology, intravital microscopy

Keywords: bones, cancer, molecular therapy, prostate, tissue engineering, tumor metastases

Region: ABROAD


Position/Role

Junior Faculty at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Professional career

Dondossola got her BSc in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and her MSc in Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, where she further pursued her international PhD studies in Cell and Molecular Biology, in collaboration with the British Open University, followed by a post-doc in Molecular Oncology. She has been teaching Biochemistry and History of Cancer Research at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University since 2008. In 2011 Dondossola moved to UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, USA, where she is currently working. 

Dondossola joined the American Association for Cancer Research in 2009.

Scientific results

Dondossola’s research activity focuses on the study of the tumor microenvironment, the non-malignant component that supports tumor function and progression. Her initial studies explored the role of tumor blood vessels in metastasis development and therapeutic response. She demonstrated that Chromogranin A, a circulating protein, decreases vascular permeability and inhibits the penetration of therapeutic agents, including chemotherapy and molecular drugs. She further showed that this mechanism reduces the ability of cancer cells to generate metastasis to distant organs and to the tumor itself, a process identified as tumor-self seeding (the property of circulating cancer cells to re-infiltrate their tumor of origin). Dondossola tested the provocative hypothesis that circulating tumor cells can be genetically manipulated and used as anti-cancer treatment thanks to their capacity to spontaneously home to tumors (through the self-seeding process). As a result, the application of engineered tumor cells significantly reduces the growth of both primary and metastatic tumors. Furthermore, she identified a novel population of immune cells (myeloid) that express CD13 protein and support the formation of neo-angiogenic vessels and tumor progression. 

Dondossola recently developed an interest in tissue engineering and intravital multiphoton microscopy, an approach that allows monitoring the dynamic evolution of biological processes over time. These strategies have been combined and applied to understand the mechanisms that support the progression of prostate cancer bone metastasis. She further extended these applications to the study of another non-tumor desmoplastic process, defined foreign body response.

Editorial work and publications

Eleonora Dondossola is an author/coauthor in several important scientific papers, including:

 

[2018]Dondossola E,AlexanderS, HolzapfelBM, FilippiniS, StarbuckMW, HoffmanRM, NavoneN, De-Juan-PardoEM, LogothetisCJ, HutmacherDW, Friedl P. Intravital microscopy of osteolytic progression and therapy response of cancer lesions in bone. Sci Transl Med.2018 Aug 1;10(452)

[2016] Dondossola E, Holzapfel BM, Alexander S, Filippini S, Hutmacher DW, Friedl P. Dissecting the foreign body response to biomaterials by non-linear intravital microscopy. Nat Biomed Eng. 2016 Dec 19; 1, 0007

[2016] Dondossola E, Dobroff AJ, Marchiò S, Cardó-Vila M, Hosoya H, Libutti SK, Corti A, Sidman RL, Arap W, Pasqualini R. Self-targeting of TNF-releasing cancer cells in preclinical models of primary and metastatic tumors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Feb 23;113(8):2223-8.

 [2013] Dondossola E, Rangel R, Guzman-Rojas L, Barbu EM, Hosoya H, St John LS, Molldrem JJ, Corti A, Sidman RL, Arap W, Pasqualini R.CD13-positive bone marrow-derived myeloid cells promote angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis.Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2013 Dec 17;110(51):20717-22.

 [2012] Dondossola E, Crippa L, Colombo B, Elisabetta Ferrero and Corti A. Chromogranin A regulates tumor self-seeding and dissemination. Cancer Research, 2012 Jan 15;72(2):449-59

Awards and prizes

In 2014 she received the AMGEN Award in Basic Science Research from UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. In the same year she received the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Individual Investigator Award. In 2015 she was awarded the Gerald B. Grindey Memorial Scholar-in-Training Award at the AACR Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, USA. In 2016 she got the Mark Walter, Brent Nicklas, Adrianne and Jerry Cohen–PCF Young Investigator Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation. In 2017 she received the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Bone Research Award, The Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Bone Disease Program of Texas, USA.