Dr Roberta Mazzieri


Senior Research Fellow


About me

Dr Roberta Mazzieri obtained her PhD in Genetic Science from the University of Pavia (Italy) and subsequently undertook one post-doctoral position at the New York University (USA) and two at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan (Italy). Since her PhD studies, she focused on understanding the tumour microenvironment by examining a number of related molecular pathways including the uPA/uPAR system and TGFß1 activation. During her last postdoc with Prof. Naldini, she made her most significant and clinically-applicable contribution to cancer research by exploiting advanced gene transfer technologies to study the interplay between tumour associated macrophages and tumor angiogenisis.  She demonstrated that targeting the ANG2/TIE2 pathway inhibits tumor angiogenesis, growth, and metastasis by disabling the pro-angiogenic activity of tumour associated Tie2-expressing macrophages (TEMs), thus impeding the emergence of evasive resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy. In 2011 this work was featured as cover article in Cancer Cell. Moreover, by turning TEMs into efficient delivery vehicles, she worked to target a key immune modulatory protein, IFN-alpha, to tumors and achieved substantial antitumor activity in several tumor models including a human model of breast cancer. This work was recently published as cover article in Science Translational Medicine. In 2012 she was nominated by the Young Ambassadors from the Metastasis Research Society (MRS) to speak at MRS meeting in recognition of her potential to launch independent research and contribute to high-quality publications. The same year she was recruited by the University of Queensland (Brisbane) to establish her own research group. 

At the UQ-Diamantina Institute she is now continuing her work on targeting pro-tumoural macrophages to inhibit tumour progression with a specific focus on breast cancer metastasis. She is also continuing her work on demonstrating the therapeutic potential of turning tumour infiltrating macrophages into efficient delivery vehicles of anti-tumoural biomolecules.


Top Three Publications

• De Palma M, Mazzieri R, Politi LS, Pucci F, Zonari E, Sitia G, Mazzoleni S, Moi D, Venneri MA, Indraccolo S, Falini A, Guidotti LG, Galli R, Naldini L. Tumor-targeted interferon-alpha delivery by Tie2-expressing monocytes inhibits tumour growth and metastasis. Cancer Cell. 2008 Oct 7;14(4).

• Mazzieri R, Pucci F, Moi D, Zonari E, Ranghetti A, Berti A, Politi LS, Gentner B, Brown JL, Naldini L, De Palma M. Targeting the ANG2/TIE2 axis inhibits tumour growth and metastasis by impairing angiogenesis and disabling rebounds of proangiogenic myeloid cells. Cancer Cell. 2011 Apr 12;19(4):512-26. (Cover Article)

• Escobar G, Moi D, Ranghetti A, Ozkal-Baydin P, Squadrito ML, Kajaste-Rudnitski A, Bondanza A, Gentner B, De Palma M, Mazzieri R, Naldini L. Genetic engineering of hematopoiesis for targeted IFN-α delivery inhibits breast cancer progression. Sci Transl Med. 2014 Jan 1;6(217):217ra3. (Cover Article)