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Virginia Brancato
Assistant Researcher
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I got Bachelor and Master degree in Biotechnology and as ERASMUS student I spent some months in the lab of biochemistry of the University of Liege under the supervision of doctor Tony Collins, working on Psychrophilic xylanases.

Then I got my PhD at the Second University of Naples, starting working on Tumor in 2D and 3D as Sferoids. Then I moved to London working on Influenza Viruses during the 2009 pandemic swine viruses breakthrough.

During the last 4 years I spent my post doc working on 3D cancer model of breast and pancreatic cancer at the university of Naples. Here I developed a 3D tumor model based on coculturing cancer cells and fibroblast on biodegradable gelatin porous microbeads.

Research Area: 

Keywords: Cancer, 3D tumor model, drug testing, tumor microenvironment, immune system

My area of interest focuses on the study of the mechanisms of cancer progression as well as the tumor-stroma interaction, by mean of 3D cancer model, in particular breast cancer and pancreatic cancer.

Research areas:

1) Development of realistic 3D human tumor model in order to better mimic the tumor microenvironment. In particular the bioengineering approach is applies to copycat breast cancer and investigate the interaction between tumor and stroma. 

2) Fabrication of an integrated 3D tumor model where immune system cells are connected to cancer cells and stroma to better analyze the mechanism leading cancer progression. 

3) Development of 3D in vitro cancer model for preclinical drug screening.


As team member of the Forecast project, my work is focused in the development of a 3D cancer model with drug screening purpose. Breast cancer has been choose as first model, for its peculiar microenvironment, where cancer cells, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, immune system cells interplay, in order to trigger cancer progression.

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