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Dr Chiara Braconi

Senior Researcher

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Dr Chiara Braconi's research was aimed at understanding how non-coding RNAs — pieces of RNA that are not translated into proteins — may be exploited as targets for novel treatments and as clinical biomarkers in cancers of the liver, pancreas, gall bladder and bile duct. She was a Clinician Scientist in the Division of Cancer Therapeutics and Consultant Medical Oncologist at the The Royal Marsden and left the ICR in March 2019.

Biography and research overview

Dr Braconi joined the ICR in January 2014, where she runs a research group investigating the biology of hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) cancers. Her current research is funded by an ICR Clinician Scientist Fellowship, a European Marie Curie Career Integration Grant, a Research innovation Award from Pancreatic Cancer UK, a National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre project grant and an Early Diagnosis award from Pancreatic Cancer Action.

Dr Braconi received her MD degree from the University of Ancona in Italy, and completed her fellowship in Medical Oncology in 2006. She then enrolled in a joint PhD program between the University of Ancona and The Ohio State University. Her postdoctoral training has been carried out in the USA at the Ohio State University. She joined Glasgow University in 2012 as a Clinical Academic Fellow, where she was a recipient of a Scottish Senior Clinical Fellowship and a Chief Scientist Office grant. 

During her career she has been awarded several prizes including the Eli Lilly Foundation Merit Award for the best publication track in the field of biomarkers, ASCO foundation merit awards and AACR women in cancer research awards. She is a member of EASL, ASCO, AACR, AASLD, ILCA, EnsCCA; and is serving as reviewer for several international scientific journals.

Her research is focused on the role of non-coding RNA (ncRNA) in HPB cancers. She studies the role of microRNAs in cancer, their involvement in the promotion of malignant transformation and in the modulation of drug sensitivity. She also investigates other classes of long ncRNAs (including Transcribed-Ultraconserved Regions) in order to understand how ncRNAs can promote cancer progression by affecting intracellular cell signaling and regulating the host response. Final aim of her research is to identify how non coding RNAs may be exploited as targets for novel therapeutics and as clinical biomarkers for the delivery of a personalized treatment approach.

Dr Braconi left The Institute of Cancer Research in March 2019.