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Maurizio Callari comes back in Italy after 7 years and gives an extra gear to research at the Foundation, thanks to bioinformatic analysis of patient data
For a broader look at tumors thanks to the collection and the analysis of an increasingly number of data, from July Maurizio Callari is working together with the Gianni Bonadonna Foundation and the Michelangelo Foundation. He’s a ‘returning brain’: after 7 years at the Cancer UK Cambridge Institute, he comes back to Italy to bring a new vision thanks to his training abroad.
«Years ago we studied one gene at a time, today we can study the entire genome and collect different types of molecular data from the same tumor, especially thanks to a technique known as next generation sequencing: information on the mutational and transcriptomic profile of the tumor, on DNA tumor in the bloodstream, and so on», Maurizio Callari explains. «An enormous amount of data, which requires new and more complex methods of analysis: it’s mandatory to study the different molecular data in an integrated way, like putting together the different pieces of a puzzle, to better understand the disease and develop new and personalized therapeutic strategies». Maurizio is the “missing link” that the Bonadonna Foundation needed to be able to do it: as a bioinformatician graduated from the University of Milan, he began with the study of gene expression in breast cancer during his PhD at the National Cancer Institute of Milan in the group of Dr. Daidone. Over the years in Cambridge, under the guidance of Prof. Carlos Caldas, he broadened his gaze to the analysis of the mutational and protein profile of the tumor, the study of circulating tumor DNA and of the single cells molecular profile. Briefly, he is used to managing different types of data to extract biological information useful for better understanding the tumor and how to tackle it.
«I’ll use the data collected from patients enrolled for Michelangelo Foundation’s clinical trials, working especially on breast cancer», Maurizio says. «The right computational approach is not enough if you don’t ask the right question, and vice versa. In the Foundation I’ll find the ideal setting, because its systematic collection of samples from large patient series offers the possibility of getting robust and clinically relevant observations for patients». Maurizio’s interest is to use data analysis to answer unresolved clinical-biological questions, the Foundation needed someone who would better analyze the many information it can collect from patients: from this ‘marriage’ new discoveries will therefore be possible, also because Maurizio’s background is such as to make him a perfect ‘bridge’ figure between bioinformaticians and doctors. Milan is ready to welcome him and Maurizio is happy to come back: «I have never really loved the idea of staying in the United Kingdom forever, and even though I know that returning to Italy could bring me challenges on working level, I’m happy to rbe back and Iknow that in the Foundation I ’ll find the ideal setting to continue my studies».