- Maude T. Lane Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
- Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
- Co-leader, Signaling and Tumor Microenvironments program, Rogel Cancer Center
- Co-leader, Pancreatic Disease Initiative
Dr. Pasca di Magliano received her undergraduate training at the “Federico II” University of Naples, Italy. As an undergraduate researcher, she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Roberto Di Lauro studying transcriptional regulation of thyroid cells.
Following her graduation, she joined the international PhD program at the Institute for Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria, where she pursued her graduate work in immunology. In 2002, Dr. Pasca di Magliano moved to the US to pursue postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Matthias Hebrok at the University of California, San Francisco. The Hebrok laboratory had a robust research program studying signaling regulating pancreas embryonic development. Dr. Hebrok and Pasca di Magliano agreed to embark in a new direction, studying the same signaling pathways, namely Hedgehog and Wnt, in pancreatic cancer. Following publication of her work, Dr. Pasca di Magliano was recruited on faculty to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Her independent laboratory branched out in a new direction, by generating a genetically engineered mouse model where oncogenic Kras, the hallmark mutation of pancreatic cancer, could be expressed in a tissue-specific, inducible and reversible manner, the iKras model. The iKras model provided proof-of-principle of Kras dependence in advanced pancreatic cancer, and revealed a non-autonomous role of oncogenic Kras in shaping the accumulation and maintenance of the fibroinflammatory stroma in pancreatic cancer. Dr. Pasca di Magliano’s current work addresses the cellular cross-talk between tumor cells and the surrounding microenvironment, with a particular interest in the immune regulation of pancreatic cancer.
Her laboratory uses primary human samples and organoid cultures to complement the mechanistic work in genetically engineered mouse models, in the belief that complementary and diverse systems are required to recapitulate the complexity of the human disease. The overarching mission of the Pasca di Magliano laboratory is to define and target the cellular cross-talk in pancreatic cancer for therapeutic purposes.