Jessica Zucco

PhD student in Functional and Structural Genomics, I year


My interest towards the scientific research began with my Bachelor’s Degree Thesis in the laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Udine. My thesis project was aimed to study the characterization of tumor-associated cells isolated from low- and high-grade human gliomas. In particular, my research was focalized on the study of the mRNA content of both exosomes and cells, whose expression is involved in important processes for tumour progression, such as angiogenesis, inflammation, extracellular matrix remodelling and maintenance of the self-renewal. Then I got my Master’s Degree in Healthcare Biotechnologies in 2015 at the University of Udine, where I did my internship thesis in the Laboratory of Immunology.

During these trainings, I discovered an increasing interest in the field of cancer research that turns every day into a real passion.

Since I became very interested in the study of neurobiology and pathology, I decided to begin my PhD in Functional and Structural Genomics joining the Laboratory of Professor Antonello Mallamaci, where I am currently involved in the study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying a particular brain tumor, called grade IV astrocytoma or glioblastoma multiforme. In particular, we recently discovered that Emx2, a transcription factor that regulates astrocytic fate during the brain development, could represent an innovative therapeutic tool for such type of brain tumor.

I’m really enthusiastic to work in this group and I enjoy every day being fascinated by new discoveries.