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You are here: Home / Events / Webinar - Prof.ssa Annalisa Di Ruscio: "RNA unexpected writers of the epigenetic code"

Webinar - Prof.ssa Annalisa Di Ruscio: "RNA unexpected writers of the epigenetic code"

Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston
When Oct 11, 2021
from 03:00 PM to 04:15 PM
Where aula seminari virtuale
Contact Name
Contact Phone 081 6132 426
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Dr. Annalisa Di Ruscio is an Assistant Professor in Medicine in the division of Hematology-Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, at Harvard Medical School. She received her MD from the Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore (UCSC), Rome. While completing the Hematology fellowship she moved to Boston to join Prof. Tenen’s group at Harvard Medical School, and she started working on long non-coding RNAs. Upon completion of the clinical fellowship she continued the PhD program in molecular biology from the UCSC and the post-doctorate training in Prof. Tenen’s laboratory. During this time, she discovered a class of novel RNAs, termed DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1)-interacting RNAs (DiRs), that play a key role in controlling cell type-specific DNA methylation patterns. This discovery defined a paradigm shift on the existing view on DNA methylation establishment offering a trailblazing perspective on the relationship between transcription and DNA methylation.

 

Currently the main focus of Dr. Di Ruscio laboratory is to understand the impact of transcriptional activity in the establishment of DNA methylation as well as other epigenetic marks. Another major direction is to define the translational potential of RNAs as a tool to correct aberrant DNA methylation - one of the most common molecular lesions in cancer cells. Particularly, Di Ruscio’s group investigates the functional role of DiRs in myeloid disorders that are characterized by abnormal DNA methylation profile, such as Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) and MDS evolution to Acute Myeloid Leukemia. To this end, Di Ruscio’s group is developing DiR-mimicking platforms to correct DNA methylation profile both globally and selectively. This pioneering approach shows promise in overcoming the toxicity and lack of specificity of the existing FDA-approved hypomethylating therapies for MDS, with great benefit for cancer patients’ care.

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