Francisco Juan Martinez Navarro, Ph.D., CRI-Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation FellowAlbert Einstein College of Medicine

Support from the Cancer Research Institute and Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation makes possible this research to study the impact of the innate immune cells and inflammasomes in fibrolamellar cancer.
Area of Research: Liver Cancer

Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (FL-HCC) is a rare type of liver cancer that predominantly affects young people. At the moment, there are no effective therapeutic options available for FL-HCC patients, and therefore it is crucial to develop a better understanding of FL-HCC biology in order to address this urgent need. To do so, Dr. Martinez Navarro will be utilizing a unique zebrafish model of FL-HCC developed by his postdoctoral sponsor and former CRI fellow Dr. Sofia de Oliveira.

By enabling non-invasive visualization of the liver microenvironment in living fish, Dr. Martinez Navarro will be able to study the role of the innate immune cells and inflammasomes in FL-HCC progression. In particular, he will evaluate the role of neutrophils and macrophages on the modulation of the immune landscape of the liver microenvironment, with a focus on T cell infiltration and how it correlates with FL-HCC progression. Consequently, his findings could impact the field by aiding the development of new targeted immunotherapies for FL-HCC as well as revealing insights into how we might make better use of currently available ones.

Projects and Grants

Innate Immune Cells are Key Modulators of Liver Immune Microenvironment on Fibrolamellar Carcinoma

Albert Einstein College of Medicine | Liver Cancer | 2020 | Sofia de Oliveira, Ph.D.

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