Scientific Biography

Gianluca Civenni obtained Laurea cum laude in Biology from the University of Pavia (Italy), and his specialization in Pharmacology from the University of Milan (Italy) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

In 1996 Gianluca moved to Switzerland and he obtained his PhD in Biochemistry and Natural Science from the University of Berne (Switzerland), where he worked in the laboratory of Prof. Peter BŁtikofer, to study the mechanisms used by GPI-anchored molecules to integrate into the plasma membrane.

In 1999 he moved to Basel as a postdoctoral research fellow and joined the laboratory of Prof. Nancy Hynes at the Novartis Friedrich Miescher Institute. He has been working in the field of growth control and cancer. Importantly, he started to address the role of Wnt factors in breast cancer progression. In particular, he identified a novel mechanism of EGFR activation mediated by Wnt ligands.

In 2004, he moved to Lausanne and joined Prof. Cathrin Brisken group where he has been working on the identification of novel mechanisms involved in the initial transformation of human mammary epithelial cells.

He moved in 2006 to Prof. Lukas Sommer group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. He took the challenge to be a part of a Collaborative Cancer Research Program and to be involved in a multi-disciplinary research collaboration of ETH and University of Zurich, to identify and characterise human melanoma stem cells. He moved in 2007 with Lukas Sommer to the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Zurich.

In 2011, Gianluca moved to the Institute of Oncology Research in Bellinzona (Canton Ticino), where he is leading a program aimed to design RNAi-based therapy to target specifically cancer stem cells in prostate malignancies.

In addition, he is responsible for writing the guidelines for in vivo imaging and flow cytometry.

© 2012 Gianluca Civenni