New Faculty 2021

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Andrea Piunti

Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics

Andrea Piunti studies chromatin biology and how its deregulation contributes to cancer onset and progression. His lab focuses on the Polycomb group (PcG) of proteins, which are major chromatin regulators. PcG proteins are master regulators of mammalian development and cellular proliferation. They mainly exert their function through transcriptional repression achieved through their activity on chromatin. Several PcG proteins and their activities are deregulated in cancer, and they play particularly important roles in the oncogenic processes underlying such rare pediatric brain tumors as diffuse midline gliomas and posterior fossa group A ependymomas. Piunti works to understand how deregulation of PcG proteins in these tumors contributes to the insurgence and spread of these and other rare malignancies.

His research has been published in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, Science, Nature Medicine, Nature Genetics, Nature Methods, Cell Stem Cell, Molecular Cell, Nature Communications, and Science Advances.

Piunti received his PhD in molecular oncology from the University of Milan in Italy. Previously he was a National Institutes of Health Pathway to Independence postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern University. He also previously held the European Molecular Biology Organization long-term postdoctoral fellowship and an iCARE fellowship co-sponsored by the Italian Association for Cancer Research and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (European Union).

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