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Pierluigi Gasparini, PhD

Research Assistant Professor​​

Contact Information


The Ohio State University
Comprehensive Cancer Center
1088 Biomedical Research Tower
Dept. Cancer Biology and Genetics
460 W 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH, 43210
Office: (614) 292-8108
Lab: (614) 688-3418

Research Interests

In the last decades scientists elucidate the major role of non-coding RNAs in controlling many vital cellular processes. Non-coding RNAs deregulation has been unequivocally associated with development and progression of solid and hematological malignancies.
The primary goal of my research is to investigate the targets and the extremely complex interaction networks of non-coding RNAs and coding genes. My research has focused on the functions of microRNAs (miRNAs), long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), ultraconserved region (UC) and transfer RNAs (tRNAs), in three of the most common cancers: breast cancer (mainly Triple Negative Breast Cancer), colon cancer, and lung cancer.
This research is of vital importance for the discovery of new therapeutic targets that can be utilized for the development of new drugs. The discovery of new targeted therapies against cancer is of paramount importance; exploiting microRNAs (miRNAs) / non-coding RNAs and their targets as diagnostic and prognostic tools is a newly promising strategy that must be pursued.
Tissue and tumor-specific miRNA profiles have been reported and cell-free miRNAs have been detected in serum and plasma of cancer patients. miRNAs have shown promise to serve as markers for cancer classification and prognostication, as they are in a stable form, a characteristic of ideal biomarkers.
My second research goal is to discover miRNA signatures, pools of deregulated miRNAs specific to a malignancy. Alterations of miRNA expression can be indicative of pathological changes, and thus the detection of these miRNA signatures is of vital importance for the early detection and the right classification of cancer: research has demonstrated that different miRNA signatures can distinguish hidden subgroups within the same cancer.
Early detection is by far the most effective way to fight cancer; miRNAs can serve as effective diagnostic biomarkers, and can also function as prognostic indicators of the best performing chemotherapy regimens.