Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Visiting Reader



+44 (0)20 7594 2822l.castellano Website




ICTEM buildingHammersmith Campus





Within tumours, individual cells often differ genetically while also transitioning between specific cell states linked to disease progression and treatment failure. 

Dr Castellano's group is investigating how non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) interacting with proteins and DNA control these phenotypes. 

ncRNAs can be short (< 200bp) including the class of microRNAs or longer (> 200bp) and called long non-coding RNAs: both are often dysregulated in cancers, either enhancing or slowing oncogenesis by various mechanisms.  By focusing on the roles of these non-coding RNAs in orchestrating transitions, such as the epithelial-mesenchymal transition that facilitates metastasis, and the differentiation of stem-like tumour cells into differentiated progeny, we hope to elucidate functions of this previously unrecognised layer of regulatory RNAs.

Non-coding RNAs implicated in maintaining these tumour cell states can then offer diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic potential once their contribution to tumour behaviour is established. Interested candidates with relevant skills and expertise may contact Dr Castellano.



Ottaviani S, Castellano L, 2018, microRNAs: novel regulators of the TGF- pathway in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, Molecular &amp; Cellular Oncology, Vol:5, ISSN:2372-3556, Pages:1-3

Blighe K, DeDionisio L, Christie KA, et al., 2018, Gene editing in the context of an increasingly complex genome, Bmc Genomics, Vol:19, ISSN:1471-2164

Begum S, Yiu A, Stebbing J, et al., 2018, Novel tumour suppressive protein encoded by circular RNA, circ-SHPRH, in glioblastomas, Oncogene, Vol:37, ISSN:0950-9232, Pages:4055-4057

Ottaviani S, Stebbing J, Frampton AE, et al., 2018, TGF-beta induces miR-100 and miR-125b but blocks let-7a through LIN28B controlling PDAC progression, Nature Communications, Vol:9, ISSN:2041-1723

Frampton AE, Mato Prado M, Lopez Jimenez ME, et al., 2018, Glypican-1 is enriched in circulating-exosomes in pancreatic cancer and correlates with tumor burden, Oncotarget, Vol:9, ISSN:1949-2553, Pages:19006-19013

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