Dr Chiara Gorrini

Dr Chiara Gorrini


I graduated from the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Pavia (Italy) in 1999, including a visiting studentship to the Institut J. Monod in Paris (France). In 2000, I enrolled into the PhD program offered by  the University of Milan (Italy), with a specialization into Genetics and Molecular Biology. My PhD thesis was based on the exploration of protein synthesis during the process of tumorigenesis, in collaboration with McGill University in Montreal (Canada).

I spent my first post-doctoral training at the IEO-IFOM Campus in Milan (Italy) studying the functions of the oncogene MYC in the team led by Dr. B Amati. In 2007, I moved to Toronto (Canada) to join the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research, directed by Prof. Tak Mak at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. In Toronto, I continued working on cancer biology while expanding my  knowledge on tumour metabolism, immunology and mouse genetics. In 2014 and 2018, I was awarded with the prestigious Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer grant (USA) and Canadian Cancer Society Innovation grant (Canada) that paved my path to a career of independent investigator.

In 2019, I joined the Institute of Cancer Research in London (UK) to acquire new expertise in the cancer drug discovery area. In May 2023, I moved to the Faculty of Biological Sciences in Leeds, to consolidate my academic career and advance breast cancer research toward new clinical opportunities. 

Research interests

The reserch program in the my lab aims to understand the evolution of breast cancer in space and time, as a whole entity, to discover clinically-relevant biomarkers and therapeutic targets. My previous studies on oxidative stress have shown that genetic and transcriptional changes are tightly interwined with environmental stimuli, one affecting the other. The combinatorial effect of these changes untimately result into distinct transcriptional programs, metabolic rewiring and different composition of the entire microenvironment, with profound effects on the immune system. Through my work experiences in Toronto and London, I have mastered the use of different animal technologies, including allografts, xenografts and genetically engineered mouse models to study the plasticity of cancer tissue. Furthermore, I developed a platform of spatial imaging at single cell resolution coupled with a barcoding technology to track cancer evoluion in vivo.

Current projects in my team will address two main research questions: what are the key drivers modulating breast tumour microenvironment during cancer progression? How can we translate these changes into better clincal practice, for the management of breast cancer patients?

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>