Strategies for modulating the conversation between tumor cells and their stroma.

During my career I have worked with many different cell types in different contexts. I worked with vascular smooth muscle cells in the context of hypertension and atherosclerosis. I have worked on Macrophages in the context of tumor biology. And finally, I have worked on endothelial cells in the context of endothelial dysfunction and tumor biology. I have contributed to describe how tumor cells alter the membrane composition of the macrophages, inducing a dysregulation in the signaling pathways transducing inflammatory signaling, and eventually leading to immune suppression; I have also contributed to show how tumor cells induce endothelial cell senescence, rendering the endothelium more permeable and potentiating metastasis. These two works are the foundation of my line of research, which is focused on how tumor cells and their stroma communicate with each other, and how this interaction can influence tumor development. Although the group will initially focus on pancreatic and ovarian cancer, we believe that some of our discoveries would be important for many other tumors where stroma is a major driver of progression. We will employ different tools to modulate the communication between tumor cells and their stroma in order to identify potential therapeutic targets, and design strategies to regulate them.


Get to know us better

Research Staff

The people who make it all possible

Juan Rodriguez Vita

Francesca Pontis

Francesca De Angelis Rigotti

Cristina Fandos Ramo


Our scientific contributions

Endothelial Notch1 signaling in white adipose tissue promotes cancer cachexia.
Taylor J, Uhl L, Moll I, Hasan SS, Wiedmann L, Morgenstern J, Giaimo BD, Friedrich T, Alsina-Sanchis E, De Angelis Rigotti F, Mülfarth R, Kaltenbach S, Schenk D, Nickel F, Fleming T, Sprinzak D, Mogler C, Korff T, Billeter AT, Müller-Stich BP, Berriel Diaz M, Borggrefe T, Herzig S, Rohm M, Rodriguez-Vita J and Fischer A
Nature Cancer, 2023 Nov,  DOI:  10.1038/s43018-023-00622-y,  Vol. 4,  pag. 1544-1560

HAPLN1 potentiates peritoneal metastasis in pancreatic cancer.
Wiedmann L, De Angelis Rigotti F, Vaquero-Siguero N, Donato E, Espinet E, Moll I, Alsina-Sanchis E, Bohnenberger H, Fernandez-Florido E, Mülfarth R, Vacca M, Gerwing J, Conradi LC, Ströbel P, Trumpp A, Mogler C, Fischer A and Rodriguez-Vita J
Nature Communications, 2023 Apr,  DOI:  10.1038/s41467-023-38064-w,  Vol. 14,  pag. 2353-2353

Semaphorin 3C exacerbates liver fibrosis.
De Angelis Rigotti F, Wiedmann L, Hubert MO, Vacca M, Hasan SS, Moll I, Carvajal S, Jiménez W, Starostecka M, Billeter AT, Müller-Stich B, Wolff G, Ekim-Üstünel B, Herzig S, Fandos-Ramo C, Krätzner R, Reich M, Keitel-Anselmino V, Heikenwälder M, Mogler C, Fischer A and Rodriguez-Vita J
HEPATOLOGY, 2023 Oct,  DOI:  10.1097/HEP.0000000000000407,  Vol. 78,  pag. 1092-1105

Endothelial RBPJ is essential for the education of tumor-associated macrophages.
Alsina-Sanchis E, Mülfarth R, Moll I, Böhn S, Wiedmann L, Jordana-Urriza L, Ziegelbauer T, Zimmer E, Taylor J, De Angelis Rigotti F, Stögbauer A, Giaimo BD, Cerwenka A, Borggrefe T, Fischer A and Rodriguez-Vita J
CANCER RESEARCH, 2022 Dec,  DOI:  10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-22-0076,  Vol. 82,  pag. 4414-4428

Membrane Cholesterol Efflux Drives Tumor-Associated Macrophage Reprogramming and Tumor Progression.
Goossens P, Rodriguez-Vita J, Etzerodt A, Masse M, Rastoin O, Gouirand V, Ulas T, Papantonopoulou O, Van Eck M, Auphan-Anezin N, Bebien M, Verthuy C, Vu Manh TP, Turner M, Dalod M, Schultze JL and Lawrence T
Cell Metabolism, 2019 Jun,  DOI:  10.1016/j.cmet.2019.02.016,  Vol. 29,  pag. 1376


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