Marco Gallo

Assistant Professor

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Department of Physiology & Pharmacology

Member

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute

Molecular Biology and Disease

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)


Contact information

Location


Research and teaching

Research Activities

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are rare cells required for tumor initiation and propagation in brain tumors. These cells are resistant to current therapies and constitute a reservoir that enables tumor recurrence. Our previous work has shown that CSCs are characterized by specific epigenomic states, which differentiate them from the other cells in the tumor bulk. Our goal is to define these CSC-specific epigenetic states and target them with next-generation epi-drugs.

Project 1. We have previously shown that CSCs possess characteristic chromatin architecture determined by a few epigenetic regulators, including the histone variant H3.3. Disrupting this 3D chromatin structure causes cells to lose their "stemness" properties. We will use genome editing technologies to dissect the role of histone variants and chromatin architecture in determining CSC properties.

Project 2. Our published work suggests that CSCs might have a special ability of eluding the patient's immune system. We will investigate the role of specific chromatin remodellers in enabling a cell to evade the immune system, using cutting-edge epigenomic techniques to look at nucleosome occupancy, chromatin openness and DNA methylation.

Research Areas:

Molecular Biology and Disease

Genomics Proteomics and Bioinformatics

Research Personnel: 

  • Katrina Ellestad, laboratory technician
  • Dr Michael Johnston, PDF
  • Dr Francesca Maule, PDF
  • Dr Seungil Paik, PDF
  • Ana Nikolic, PhD student
  • Divya Singhal, PhD student
  • Nicoletta Ninkovic, PhD student
  • Anna Bobyn, undergraduate student
  • Benedicta Odame-Ankrah, Administrative Assistant