Dr Thomas Vaccari aims to identify weaknesses in a specific cellular communication network, called Notch signalling, which is implicated in a variety of cancers.
Thomas Vaccari is a professor at the University of Milan and enthusiastic runner. His lab studies how cells communicate with each other and how this communication can go wrong.
His team are using fruit flies to understand more about how this communication network functions. The gene Notch was discovered in the fruit fly but it turned out that the role it plays in normal development, growth, and even in the generation of tumours, is similar to the role it plays in humans. Dr Vaccari hopes that their research will reveal more information about the biological processes that Notch controls, which will ultimately lead to a better understanding of its role in cancer.