Group lead
Dr Luca Magnani
+44 (0)20 7594 2808

Related themes

Disease areas

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The Magnani's Lab 

What we do

Gene expression is controlled via modifications of the chromatin landscape including DNA methylation, histone modifications and chromatin remodelling. Our objective is to characterize the role of the chromatin landcape in oncogenesis. A second goal is to understand how cancer cells reprogram the chromatin landscape to escape treatment.

Why it is important

We are interested in understanding the extent of interactions existing between genetic and epigenetic alterations. Cancer cells likely exploit both genetic and epigenetic mutations to promote proliferation, adaptation and invasion. Our goal is to identify the mechanisms behind drug resistance to improve cure rates for women with breast cancer.

How it can benefit patients

Our research wants to identify new biomarkers to predict which patients are more at risk of developing drug resistance and what alternative treatments might be used to reduce this risk. We are focused on later stage disease, with the idea that every patient is important, and women with metastatic disease might still be offered a longer and happier life.

Summary of current research

  • Identification of the seed breast cancer cells that drive metastatic progression and drug resistance
  • Targeting cholesterol biosynthesis as a new strategy to interfere with breast cancer progression
  • Functional characterization of non-coding mutations driving breast cancer progression


PhD students

We are constantly looking for outstanding individuals interested in joining the group to participate in our ongoing projects or initiate their own line of work. When we have funding for PhD studentships, we advertise them through central channels such as Find a PhD. Information is also available on the Surgery and Cancer study page. If no studentships are currently advertised, please get in touch with the group lead with proposed project titles to discuss further. 

Current PhD students: 

  • Darren Patten 
  • Giacomo Corleone 
  • Ylenia Perone
  • Seham Al-Shehri


  • Dr Jason Carroll, Cambridge, UK
  • Dr Fernando Calvo, ICR, UK
  • Dr Nicholas Orr, ICR, UK
  • Dr Saverio Minucci, IEO, IT
  • Dr Giancarlo Pruneri, IEO, IT
  • Dr Balazs Gyoffry, Semmelweiss, HUN
  • Dr Tiziana Bonaldi, IEO, IT
  • Dr Simon McDade, QUB, UK
  • Dr Philippa Darbre, Reading, UK
  • Dr Peter Barry, ICR, UK
  • Dr Andrea Sottoriva, ICR, UK
  • Professor Jacqui Shaw, University of Leicester, UK
  • Professor Sebastiano Ando, UNICAL, IT
  • Professor Marianne Rots, UMCG, ND
  • Professor Pernette Vershure, University of Amsterdam
  • Dr Laura Kenny, UMCG
  • Professor Antoine Van Kampen, University Amsterdam, ND

For patients

  • Details of the studies supported by the Cancer Treatment and Research Trust charity and how to donate to support our research can be found at the Cancer Treatment and Research Trust

Public engagement

  • Our group host a regular open meetings involving patients and their families through the Maggies Centre
  • We have also been involved in Patient and Public Involvement events through Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre

Our researchers

Our researchers