Main Menu

Dr Olivia Rossanese

Team Leader

The alt text
Dr Olivia Rossanese is Head of Biology within the Division of Cancer Therapeutics. She is investigating new therapeutic targets for the treatment of cancer and examining the molecular consequences of their inhibition in cancer cells and tumours. Team: Target Evaluation and Molecular Therapeutics

Biography

Dr Olivia Rossanese is a cancer biologist and drug discovery professional with experience leading and contributing to discovery and target validation programmes within both academia and the pharmaceutical industry. She has been involved with the identification of tool molecules, lead compounds, clinical candidates, and two licensed medicines currently in use for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. In 2015, she joined The Institute of Cancer Research as Head of Biology and Reader in Molecular Therapeutics in the Division of Cancer Therapeutics and Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit. 

Dr Rossanese is trained as a classical cell biologist, obtaining her PhD in molecular genetics and cell biology from the University of Chicago, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the Section of Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale University. In both instances, she was examining basic cellular and molecular processes employed by mammalian cells to overcome challenges in organelle partitioning or intracellular trafficking. 

Dr Rossanese gained her industrial preclinical drug discovery experience in the Oncology Biology group at GlaxoSmithKline in Philadelphia, US. She was a member of the discovery team for dabrafenib and contributed to the due diligence decision regarding in-licensing of the MEK inhibitor trametinib. She also led discovery and validation teams against targets involved in cell growth, survival, motility, epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis, and modulators of epigenetic signalling in cancer. 

In 2010, Dr Rossanese joined Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee to establish a cancer biology group in support of the academic oncology drug discovery programme. Here she continued to pursue the discovery of molecularly targeted therapeutics for important targets in cancer, including Ras, MCL1, and replication protein A. An exciting output of this work is the discovery of novel molecules that activate the nucleotide exchange process on Ras and may represent a novel mechanism for the disruption of Ras-mediated signalling in cancer cells. 

Dr Rossanese currently leads the Target Evaluation and Molecular Therapeutics Team. The team has a dual role in developing assays and strategies to support the drug discovery process and investigating the underlying biology of cancer targets and the response to targeted therapeutics.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.