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Giampiero Valenzano

MD


DPhil Student

RESEARCH SUMMARY

Characterisation of tissue-resident NK (trNK) cells in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)

My project aims to dissect the role of a recently-described subset of NK cells in the pathogenesis of the most common type of pancreatic cancer, i.e., pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Tissue-resident NK cells have been shown to play a role in tumour surveillance at barrier sites (such as the lungs or the gut), but their role in the pancreas is still to be elucidated. Preliminary data suggest that they may contribute to controlling the early stages of tumorigenesis, and specifically the transition from precursor lesions to overt cancer.

BIOGRAPHY

I qualified as a doctor in Italy, after attending an International Medical School in Rome. Whilst in medical school, I undertook a couple of research internships abroad (in Sweden and the Netherlands). Flirting with research was fun; however, by the end of my six-year journey, I had not yet figured out whether my commitment was strong enough to defer the start of my clinical training. After undertaking a further internship in Sweden, and working as a research assistant in Cambridge (UK) for a year, I happily to relocated Oxford to begin my DPhil and continue on my training as a clinician scientist.