Simona Valletta

Simona Valletta

Dr, PhD

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Overview

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is the most common adult leukaemia and is characterized by the accumulation of immature malignant myeloid cells in haematopoietic tissues. Although new therapies are providing hope for improved survival, chemotherapy remains the backbone of treatment and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation is still the best hope for many AML patients. The majority of patients achieve complete remission after initial induction therapy, but a significant proportion of them relapse. Relapse is in part due to the leukaemic cells that hijack the tumour microenvironment (TME) creating a more favourable environment and facilitating immune evasion, supporting survival of AML cells.

Hence, work in the Valletta laboratory takes into consideration the role played from the tumor microenvironemnt, including stromal and immune cells, in order to identify new targets and improve survival of AML patients.

Research interests

Haematology- Acute Myeloid Leukaemia- Ageing- Niche- Tumor microenvironment

Biography

2023-present: Lecturer in Cancer Biology
Division of Cancer Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, University of Manchester

2019- 2023: Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund Intermediate Research Fellow
MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford

2021-2023: PI in Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford

2019- 2023: Research Associate in the Medical Sciences St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford

2015- 2019: Postdoctoral Scientist- Hematopoietic Stem Cell Genetics Group, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford

2014- 2015: Postdoctoral Scientist- Blood Cancer UK Molecular Haematology Unit, Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford

Qualifications

2010-2014: PhD in Experimental Haematology
University of Milan Bicocca, Milan, Italy


2007-2009: Master of Science in Medical Biotechnology
University of Florence, Florence, Italy
1st class degree equivalent 110/110 cum laude (with honours)


2004-2007: Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology
Seconda Universita’ degli Studi di Napoli, Naples, Italy
1st class degree equivalent 110/110 cum laude (with honours)

Teaching

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

2023: European Hematology Association Lighting the Flame (EHA-LtF) mentoring Program -Faculty https://ehaweb.org/education/lighting-the-flame/

2019-2023: Mentor in the Radcliffe Department of Medicine (RDM) Mentoring Scheme, University of Oxford

2020-2023: Member of Radcliffe Department of Medicine Admission DPhil candidates shortlisting panel, University of Oxford 

2020-2023: Member of Radcliffe Department of Medicine Career Development Committee (CDC), University of Oxford 

2022-2023: Radcliffe Department of Medicine (RDM) Research Staff Representative, University of Oxford

2021-2023: Member of Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford 

2020-2023: Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine recruitment panels official member, University of Oxford

2023- present: member of the EHA Specialised Working Group on Stem Cells

2023-present: member of the EHA Specialised Working Group on Aging in hematology

European Hematology Association (EHA) membership

American Society of Hematology (ASH) membership

London Stem Cell Network membership

Further information

 2022: Interviewing Skills Training workshop- hfp consulting, University of Oxford www.hfp-consulting.com

2020: EHA-ASH Translational Research Training in Haematology 2020 (TRTH) https://ehaweb.org/research/training-and-mentoring/eha-ash-translational-research-training-in-hematology/trth-hall-of-fame/

2019-2020: WOMEN in LEADERSHIP programme led by Milly Sinclair, University of Oxford http://www.millysinclair.com/

2019: Media skills training course/ research communication in the media run by SCREENHOUSE company, University of Oxford https://www.screenhouse.co.uk

2019: Leadership and Management Skills Course for PIs -hfp consulting, University of Oxford www.hfp-consulting.com

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Areas of expertise

  • RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
  • Q Science (General)

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Cancer
  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre

Keywords

  • haematology
  • Ageing
  • tumour microenviroment
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Blood
  • niche
  • Immune cell biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • cancer genomics
  • cancer science

My gallery

 Photo credit: Leukaemia UK
 Photo credit: Leukaemia UK

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