L-R: Prof. Giannino Del Sal, Prof. Giovanni Sorrentino e la Dr.ssa Rebecca Bertolio - tre generazioni di studio del p53

Italian Cancer Research Association funds cutting-edge research at ICGEB

Four five-year Investigator Grants, one start-up grant, one program grant for a metastasis study, and two, three-year fellowships for ICGEB researchers have been funded by the AIRC Foundation.

In January, the AIRC Foundation announced new investments to support the work of more than 6,000 researchers spread throughout Italy. In the Autonomous Region Friuli-Venezia Giulia, more than 2.5 million euros have been earmarked to support 23 research projects and 3 scholarships. Of these, a good portion has gone to the ICGEB.

“AIRC is one of our major donors,” says ICGEB Director-General Lawrence Banks, who also heads a laboratory where AIRC funds are allocated for research into the genetic and molecular mechanisms of cancer development. “Four of the five-year Investigator Grants supporting projects led by established researchers, have been awarded to ICGEB.”

Prof. Giannino Del Sal, Head of the Tumor Cell Signaling Laboratory at ICGEB holds an AIRC grant under the AIRC 5×1000 research programs for a study on breast cancer metastasis, and another grant to study the role of mutated forms of the p53 onco-suppressor (alterations that affect about 50 percent of all human cancers) in metabolic changes in cancer cells. Del Sal is also Professor of Biology, Department of Life Sciences of the University of Trieste, and researcher at the IFOM institute in Milan.

“In a few months, the 19th International p53 Congress will be held right here in Trieste,” says Del Sal. “The event will bring together scientists and experts from around the world to discuss the latest discoveries and innovations related to the biology of p53. This will be an opportunity to delve into the intricate role of p53 in cancer and explore the most promising approaches in precision medicine to target cancers with alterations on p53.”

An AIRC start-up grant was awarded to Prof. Giovanni Sorrentino, Group Leader of the recently established Advanced Disease Models Laboratory at ICGEB. Professor of Histology in the Department of Medical, Surgical and Health Sciences at the University of Trieste, he says “I am deeply grateful to the Italian Cancer Research Association for the generous and valuable support provided in funding my research projects on chronic liver disease.” Further, he states, “The investment in the future of young researchers represents a beacon of hope in our shared effort to improve the lives of those struggling with cancer diseases.”