Valerio Costa

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Valerio Costa

Senior Researcher

+39 081 6132 617     valerio.costa@igb.cnr.it

Genetics, Genomics and Epigenetics of Diseases

Molecular Oncology

Keywords: Molecular Oncology; metabolism; obesity; computational biology

The Unit of Molecular and Computational Biology combines molecular and cellular biology techniques to computational tools and next-generation sequencing technologies in the context of cancer and metabolic diseases. The research efforts are devoted to:

 

Targeting long non-coding RNAs and metabolism in cancer.

The main research interest is to identify new therapeutic strategies for BRAF-driven thyroid carcinomas based on the targeting of tumor-specific long non-coding RNAs and of tumor metabolic vulnerabilities.

This research line, currently focused on papillary and anaplastic thyroid carcinomas, aims 1) to functionally characterize tumor-associated lncRNAs, evaluate, in vitro and in vivo, their oncogenic potential and to evaluate their targeting as co-adjuvant of drug-based therapies; 2) to explore metabolic reprogramming of tumor cells as Achille’s heel to improve the effectiveness of available targeted therapies.

 

Dissecting the contribution of PPARG isoforms to adipose tissue pathophysiology.

The research interest is to define if, and how, alterations in the splicing pattern of the transcription factor PPARG in adipose tissue contribute to human metabolic disorders. This research line combines functional approaches in cell models (adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells and mature adipocytes) to advanced (NGS) and standard molecular techniques on human samples, and aims 1) to explore the role of PPARG dominant negative isoforms in adipocyte biology, from their commitment to terminal differentiation; 2) to evaluate the functional relevance of these isoforms in pathological conditions such as hypertrophic obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Targeting long non-coding RNAs and metabolism in cancer.

Dissecting the contribution of PPARG isoforms to adipose tissue pathophysiology

Education

  • December 2008. PhD in Metabolism and Ageing – Faculty of Medicine, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli.
  • March 2005. MSc in Biotechnology – Federico II University of Naples.

 

Research and teaching

  • April 2015 – present. CNR Researcher, IGB-CNR Naples.
  • June 2014 – March 2015. CNR Researcher (temporary position), IGB-CNR Naples.
  • June 2013 – May 2014. Senior PostDoc fellow, IGB-CNR.
  • June 2012 – May 2013. Junior PostDoc fellow, DiSMET, “Federico II” University of Naples.
  • 2011-present. Teaching Assistant in Molecular Biology, “Parthenope” University.
  • January 2009 – May 2012. Junior PostDoc fellow, IGB-CNR.
  • 2009-2019. Teaching Assistant in Genetics, “Parthenope” University of Naples.

 

Awards and Honors

  • Qualified as Associate Professor in Molecular Biology (valid until 2029)
  • Qualified as Associate Professor in General and Clinical Pathology (valid until 2029)
  • Member of the IGB-CNR International Workshop Organizing Committee
  • Winner of International Scientific Award “Nunzio Pascale” (XXI Edition), October 2016
  • Editorial Board Member, Hereditas
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Genetics, section Cancer Genetics and Oncogenomics
  • Review Editor, Frontiers in Genetics, section Applied Genetic Epidemiology
  • Topic Editor, Cancers
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Human Transcriptome (past position)

 

Current research grants (funded as PI or as member of research unit)

  • 2020-2025. MFAG (My First AIRC Grant) “Assessing COMET Silencing as new Therapeutic Option in Braf-Mutated Thyroid Carcinomas“. PI of the Project.
  • 2019-2021. PON “Innovative Devices For SHAping the RIsk of Diabetes (IDF SHARID)”. Member of IGB-CNR Unit.
  • 2018-2020. POR Campania FESR 2014/2020 “Sviluppo di Approcci Terapeutici INnovativi per patologie neoplastiche resistenti ai trattamenti (SATIN)”. Member of IGB-CNR Unit.
Marianna Aprile
CNR Researcher (AIRC funded)

marianna.aprile@igb.cnr.it

Project Title: Assessing COMET Silencing as new Therapeutic Option in Braf-Mutated Thyroid Carcinomas

Simona Cataldi
Junior Postdoc (AIRC funded)

simona.cataldi@igb.cnr.it

Project Title: Assessing COMET Silencing as new Therapeutic Option in Braf-Mutated Thyroid Carcinomas

Caterina Perfetto
Phd Student

caterina.perfetto@igb.cnr.it

Project Title: Studio dell’adattamento metabolico in cellule di carcinoma tiroideo indotte da mutazioni del gene BRAF