Dr Paolo Gallipoli

MB ChB, PhD, MRCP, FRCPath
Clinical Senior Lecturer in Haemato-Oncology
Group Leader
Research Focus

My research interests focus on mechanisms of disease initiation and maintenance and the identification and validation of novel therapeutic targets in myeloid leukaemias. Specifically I study the role of adaptive responses to current therapies, including novel targeted therapies, in several subtypes of myeloid leukaemias and at leukaemic stem cell level, with a specific focus on the role of metabolic adaptations, as a mechanism of resistance not driven by genetic mutations.

Key Publications
  • Glutaminolysis is a metabolic dependency in FLT3ITD acute myeloid leukemia unmasked by FLT3 tyrosine kinase inhibition. Blood (2018) 131(15):1639-1653. PMID: 29463564
  • A CRISPR dropout screen identifies genetic vulnerabilities and therapeutic targets in acute myeloid leukaemia. Cell Reports (2016) 17(4):1193-1205. PMID: 27760321
  • JAK2/STAT5 inhibition by nilotinib with ruxolitinib contributes to the elimination of CML CD34+ cells in vitro and in vivo. Blood (2014) 124(9):1492-501. PMID: 24957147
  • Autocrine TNF-a production supports CML stem and progenitor cell survival and enhances their proliferation. Blood (2013) 122(19):3335-9. PMID: 24041577
Major Funding
  • 2019-2024- CRUK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship, "Identification and characterisation of metabolic pathways as determinants of drug resistance in acute myeloid leukaemia," £1,427,558
  • 2018-2020- American Society of Hematology Global Research Award, "Preliminary investigation on the role of metabolic pathways as determinants of drug responses in acute myeloid leukemia," $140,000
  • 2016-2019- Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Training Fellowship for Clinicians, "The role of aberrant metabolism in the pathogenesis and therapy of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)," £393,467
Other Activities
  • Member of UK, National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) CML clinical study group (2015 -)
  • Member of the American Society for Hematology
  • Member  of the European Haematology association
Research

My research interests focus on mechanisms of disease initiation and maintenance and the identification and validation of novel therapeutic targets in myeloid leukaemia. Sequencing and mechanistic studies have improved our understanding of the biology of several subtypes of myeloid leukaemias. This has in turn resulted in the development of more targeted and scientifically validated therapies. However, the overall treatment outcomes, even with the introduction of novel agents, remain suboptimal for most patients, mainly as a result of disease relapse. Both chronic and acute myeloid leukaemia arises in a haematopoietic stem or progenitor cell, which has the ability to self-renew, following the acquisition of recurrent driver mutations. This cell of origin, usually named the Leukaemia Stem Cell (LSC), represents the reservoir for relapse due to its inherent or acquired resistance to current therapies. Therefore, an improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms causing disease relapse, particularly at the LSC level, is required to improve patient outcome.

My research studies the role of adaptive responses to current therapies, including novel targeted therapies, in several subtypes of myeloid leukaemias and at LSC level, with a specific focus on the role of metabolic adaptations, as a mechanism of resistance not driven by genetic mutations. Using a combination of forward genetic screening and cell barcoding, functional characterisation and mechanistic studies, I aim to characterise the clonal dynamics in leukaemic cell populations under therapeutic stress, characterise the mechanisms leading to therapy resistance and identify novel therapeutic vulnerabilities to be targeted in combination with standard therapies in these conditions.

I am also interested in the role that the bidirectional cross-talk between altered metabolism and aberrant signalling and transcriptional programmes play in the establishment of myeloid leukaemias. I am specifically studying how metabolic intermediates interact with transcriptional programmes in acute myeloid leukaemia and conversely how specific driver mutations impact on cellular metabolism to enable leukaemic transformation.

Methodologies: human cell culture, CRISPR/Cas9, RNA-Seq, Mass Spectrometry, metabolic analysis, in vivo experiment.

COLLABORATORS

Dr Christian Frezza, MRC Cancer Unit, Cambridge

Prof Brian Huntly, Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge

Dr George Vassiliou, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute/ Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge

Dr Vignir Helgason, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow

Other Activities
  • Member of UK, National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) CML clinical study group -2015 to present
  • Trainee member of the UK, NCRI Haemato-Oncology Clinical Study Group - 2015-2016
  • Chair of the Postdoctoral committee at Cambridge Institute for Medical Research – 2015
  • Medical Graduate School Student Representative at University of Glasgow - 2010-2013
  • Trainee representative in the research subgroup of the West of Scotland post-graduate committee in haematology – 2010-2013
  • Member European Hematology Association (EHA) - 2009 to date
  • Member of American Society of Hematology (ASH) - 2018 to date
Major Funding
  • 2019-2024- CRUK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship, "Identification and characterisation of metabolic pathways as determinants of drug resistance in acute myeloid leukaemia," £1,427,558
  • 2018-2020- American Society of Hematology Global Research Award, "Preliminary investigation on the role of metabolic pathways as determinants of drug responses in acute myeloid leukemia," $140,000
  • 2016-2019- Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Training Fellowship for Clinicians, "The role of aberrant metabolism in the pathogenesis and therapy of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)," £393,467
  • 2014-2015- Lady Tata Memorial Trust International Awards, "Preliminary investigations on the role of aberrant metabolism in the pathogenesis and therapy of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)," £30,000
  • 2014-2016- The Academy of Medical Sciences, Starter Grant for Clinical Lecturers, "Investigation of the role of the CBP and p300 lysine acetyltransferases in the maintenance of acute myeloid leukaemia," £30,000
  • 2010-2013- Medical Research Council, UK, Clinical Research Training Fellowship, "The relevance of autocrine growth factors activation to the survival and proliferation of primitive chronic myeloid leukaemia cells," £203,583
Team

Postdoctoral Researchers
Dr Keith Woodley, Dr Vilma Dembitz

PhD Students
Aoife Magee

Biography

I am a clinical academic haematologist with an interest in the biology and therapy of myeloid leukaemias. I studied Medicine in Naples, Italy, where I graduated in 2002. I then moved to the UK for my postgraduate medical training including my Haematology specialty training. I obtained my PhD, funded via an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship, in Prof Holyoake lab in Glasgow in 2013, studying resistance mechanism of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) stem cells to BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors. I was awarded the Royal College of Pathologist, UK Haematology Specialty Research Medal Award for this work. I then moved to Cambridge to complete my specialty training and worked as a Wellcome Trust funded Clinical Post-doctoral Fellow within Prof Brian Huntly lab where I have developed an independent research line focusing on the role of altered metabolism in the pathogenesis and therapy of myeloid leukaemias. I am clinically active at Consultant level with a leading role on design and set-up of clinical trials through my membership of the NCRI CML Working Group. I am already a principal investigator/sub-investigator on several clinical trials in myeloid malignancies. I have recently been awarded a CRUK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship to start my independent research programme.

Qualifications
  • Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in Haematology, December 2014
  • Fellowship Royal College of Pathologist in Haematology (FRCPath), UK, May 2014
  • PhD in Experimental Haematology, University of Glasgow, UK, April 2013
  • Membership Royal College of Physicians (MRCP), UK, July 2005
  • Laurea in Medicina&Chirurgia (Degree in Medicine&Surgery) Grade: 110/110 summa cum laude awarded with distinction (top 5% of the class), University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy, July 2002
Upcoming Events
  1. MSc Surgical Programmes Online Open Event

    June 2 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  2. The London Pancreas Workshop 2020

    September 11 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
© 2013 ~ 2020 Cancer Research UK Barts Centre