Melanoma scientist awarded prestigious cancer research award

07 September 2015

Dr Romina Girotti, a postdoctoral researcher in the Molecular Oncology group, has been awarded the Young Investigator’s Award by ECCO (the European CanCer Organisation) and EJC (the European Journal of Cancer). She will receive her award at the 18th ECCO - 40th ESMO European Cancer Congress in Vienna next month.

The Award is given to a young scientist or doctor in the field of basic, translational or clinical oncology research for recent original work in cancer research, treatment or care. Dr Girotti’s research aims to establish new tools for personalised medicine in melanoma patients.

Romina obtained her BSc in Biochemistry in Argentina in 2004. In 2010, she completed her PhD at the Leloir Institute, University of Buenos Aires, where her research was focused on exploring the molecular mechanisms of the extracellular matrix protein SPARC in melanoma progression. In 2011 she joined the Signal Transduction team at The Institute of Cancer Research in London as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, and in 2012 moved to the Molecular Oncology group at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute. During her postdoctoral projects, Romina specialised in translational medicine in melanoma.

Under the mentorship of Professor Richard Marais, Dr Girotti has contributed significantly to the field and produced a number of important publications. Her work has provided crucial insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying resistance to targeted therapies in melanoma and developing new therapeutics to treat resistant patients, in collaboration with The Institute of Cancer Research. As a result of this research, a Phase-I clinical trial started in April 2015 at The Christie and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.