Lecturer in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
Cinzia Allegrucci graduated in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies at the University of Perugia (Italy) in 1995. She obtained her PharmD (EU-qualified) in 1996. Cinzia then attained a PhD (Cum Laude) in Biochemistry from the University of Perugia (Italy) in 2001. She spent two years (2001-2003) as Post-doctoral Fellow at the School of Biosciences (University of Nottingham) and was then appointed as Senior Research Fellow at the School of Human Development (University of Nottingham) for the following four years. In 2007 she joined the Institute of Genetics and spin-out company EvoCell Ltd (University of Nottingham) as Senior Research Fellow. Cinzia received tenure at the University of Nottingham in 2009.
Dr Cinzia Allegrucci is a Lecturer in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology.
Dr Allegrucci is a member of the Centre for Genetics and Genomics at the University of Nottingham.
Dr Allegrucci is a member of the Cancer Research at Nottingham Centre (CRN).
Expertise key words: epigenetics, stem cells, cancer stem cells, germ cells, reprogramming, cancer biology
I convene the Genetics and Oncology modules
My research interests are in Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology. I am interested in understanding how stem cells are epigenetically regulated during normal tissue homeostasis and in disease. The… read more
Applications for a PhD position are invited all year round from exceptional graduates to study epigenetic mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis and tumour reversion. Our lab is interested in understanding the epigenetic mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis. Gene function is regulated by epigenetic remodelling of chromatin via DNA methylation, histone modification and RNA interference. These epigenetic modifications play a fundamental role during development and are altered in cancer. A fundamental question in cancer research is the identification of molecular mechanisms that initiate and sustain tumour growth. We are studying how altered epigenetic regulation of gene function can transform tissue stem cells and/or somatic cells to cancer stem cells. We are also investigating how cancer-associated epigenetic alterations can be reverted by cellular reprogramming. To this end, we use oocyte extracts and the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology to study how epigenetic alterations can be erased from cancer cells.
Candidates interested in joining our lab to work in these research areas can contact Dr Allegrucci by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Funding The position is only available to self-funded students. There are a number of international studentships available to international applicants: see http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/InternationalOffice/prospective-students/scholarships/index.aspx.
My research interests are in Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology. I am interested in understanding how stem cells are epigenetically regulated during normal tissue homeostasis and in disease. The answer to this biological question is fundamental to understand the basis of diseases characterised by a stem cell dysfunction and for the development of stem cell therapies.
Epigenetic alterations in carcinogenesis
The epigenetic regulation of DNA function is achieved by chromatin remodelling via DNA methylation and histone modifications and RNA interference. These epigenetic modifications play a fundamental role in development and disease. A fundamental question in cancer research is the identification of molecular mechanisms that initiate and sustain tumour growth. The recent identification of stem cells that initiate and sustain tumour growth (cancer stem cells) is opening a new promise for the understanding of tumorigenesis and for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies targeted specifically to tumour-initiating cells. My research group is investigating the epigenetic events that initiate cancer formation and how they cooperate with genetic alterations in cancer progression. We are studying epigenetic alterations in humans and using relevant veterinary species as disease models.
Epigenetic reprogramming of cancer cells
Altered epigenetic regulation of the genome is associated with tumour initiation and progression. Genome-wide DNA hypomethylation and hypermethylation of tumour suppressor genes are hallmark of cancer. Our Lab is focussing on dissecting the epigenetic mechanisms of tumorigenesis by using oocyte extracts and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technologies to epigenetically reprogram cancer cells.
Pluripotent stem cells and germ cell tumours
The origin of germ cell tumours has puzzled scientists for many years. Our laboratory is investigating the molecular mechanisms regulating pluripotency, primordial germ cell specification, and germ cell differentiation/tumourigenesis using embryonic stem cells, teratocarcinoma cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.
A significant challenge in advancing cancer research is the availability of experimental models that accurately recapitulate the complexity of the disease in humans. Many cancer types are currently studied by using a combination of models including cell lines, xenografts and genetically engineered mice. However, existing models show some limitations. We are using companion animals as models because of the similarities of their naturally occurring cancers with humans. Tumour growth in companion animals occur over long periods in the context of a functional immune system. Their cancers share many features with cancers in humans, including histology, genetics, intra- and inter-individual heterogeneity, metastasis to related sites and response to conventional therapies.
Royal Society, PetPLan, Evocell Ltd, University of Nottingham
Mansi Shah, PhD student. Project: Epigenetic alteration in breast cancer stem cells
Somsin Petyim, PhD student. Project: Germ cell differentiation from pluripotent stem cells
Norazalina Saad, PhD student. Project: Epigenetic reprogramming of cancer cells
Prathyush Roy, PhD student. Project: Epigenetic reprogramming of cancer cells
Editorial Board member: Frontiers in Epigenomics http://www.frontiersin.org/epigenomics