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Ana Belén Díaz



Liquid biopsy: circulating/blood microRNAs as novel non-invasive diagnostic biomarkers in brain cancer


Dr Maria Giulia Rizzo, Italian National Cancer Institute Regina Elena, Italy

Ana Belén Díaz is from Almería, Spain. She obtained her degree in Biotechnology (2016) at the University Pablo de Olavide, in Seville, Spain. There, during two years she worked in the CABD (Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo) in cellular bioenergetics, and later she moved to the IEOS-CNR (Università degli Studi di Napoli 'Federico II', Naples, Italy) and she was focus on the study of microRNAs in breast cancer. In 2018, she obtained her master's degree in Biomedical Research by the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, and completed her master's thesis at the Vall D'Hebron Research Institute, focused on the study of the metastasis in rhabdomyosarcoma.

The primary objective of this ESR project is to identify molecular blood biomarkers (microRNA) for gliomas and use them for diagnostic purposes. The secondary aim is to use these non-invasive biomarkers for glioma classification and staging. Global miRNA expression profiling by small RNASeq on blood samples of glioma patients (WHO grades II-IV) will be performed. The differential expression between samples at diagnosis and in normal control will be evaluated using the Illumina pipeline available in the BaseSpace cloud environment (Small RNA v1.0.1). Validation of selected circulating/blood miRNAs expression will be performed by quantitative Real Time PCR (qPCR) on blood samples of glioma patients. We expect to recruit at least 30 patients altogether.

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