RESEARCH GROUP

Francesca Ficara

  • Francesca Ficara CNR Principal Investigator View More

Contact Information

  • Address
    Via Manzoni 113, Building E, Rozzano (MI), Italy
  • Telephone
    +39 02 82245153
  • Fax
    +39 02 82245290
  • E-mail
    francesca.ficara@humanitasresearch.it

The main interest of the lab is to understand how the balance between self-renewal and differentiation is achieved and maintained in hematopoietic stem cells, since alterations of this equilibrium may lead to leukemia or to myeloproliferative disorders. In detail, we presently study the role of the bone marrow microenvironment, of the transcription factor Pbx1, of micro-RNAs downstream of it, and Pbx1 involvement in myeloproliferative neoplasm. We are also involved in projects aimed at differentiating human and mouse induced pluripotent stem cells into different hematopoietic cells. We employ flow cytometry, cell culture, in vivo models, lentiviral transduction, bioinformatics.

micro-RNAs and hematopoietic stem cells. To assess micro-RNA contribution to the balance of self-renewal and differentiation in hematopoietic stem cells we exploited the Pbx1-conditional ko mouse, whose stem cells display a profound self-renewal defect. We recently identified miR-127-3p as a hematopoietic stem cell-specific micro-RNA; its tight regulation is crucial to preserve the self-renewing stem cell pool by preventing premature differentiation (Crisafulli et al., Haematologica 2019).

New molecular players involved in myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN). MPNs are hematological diseases which have a stem cell origin and display unbalanced differentiation programs. Through in vivo genetic or gene editing approaches we are investigating the role of Pbx1 in the maintenance of MPN malignant clones.

    Selected Publications

  • Francesca Ficara Publications

    Crisafulli L, Muggeo S, Uva P, Wang Y, Iwasaki M, Locatelli S, Anselmo A, Colombo FS, Carlo-Stella C, Cleary ML, Villa A, Gentner B, Ficara F. MicroRNA-127-3p controls murine hematopoietic ...

Group Members