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Alba Rodriguez-Meira

DPhil Student

CRUK DPhil Student

I am a molecular biologist interested in using single cell technologies and new bioinformatic approaches to understand how cancer arises, evolves, and becomes resistant to treatment.

We are made of many billions of cells. Sometimes, one of these cells acquires an error in its genetic code that makes it different, growing much faster than healthy cells. Ultimately, this abnormal growth will cause cancer. 

My research focuses on chasing back this single cell, trying to understanding why this genetic error gave rise to cancer, and more specifically, leukaemia. To achieve this I developed a technology (TARGET-seq) which allowed me to read these errors (mutations) in the genetic code of each individual leukaemic cell, distinguishing the healthy and cancerous ones with great precision, and at the same time, identifying which genes were transcriptionally active when those errors occurred. This technology allowed me to study tumours at extremely high resolution, finding new, previously unidentified types of cancer cells. I am now studying a group of very aggressive leukemias for which there are no effective therapies, hoping to translate my findings into new therapeutic targets that would allow us to eliminate the cells that originated the disease, and ultimately, find the right treatment for each patient.

Find me also in:

Recent Publications

Perone*, Y., Farrugia*, AJ., Rodríguez-Meira*, A. et al. SREBP1 drives Keratin-80-dependent cytoskeletal changes and invasive behavior in endocrine-resistant ERα breast cancer. Nature Communications, 2019. 10(1). doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09676-y. * Equal contribution

Rodriguez-Meira, A. Buck, G. Clark, SA. Povinelli, B.J. Alcolea, V. Louka, E. McGowan, S. Hamblin, A. Sousos, N. Barkas, N. Giustacchini, A. Psaila, B. Jacobsen, S. E. W.  Thongjuea, S. Mead, A. J. Unraveling intratumoral heterogeneity through high-sensitivity single-cell mutational analysis and parallel RNA-sequencing. Mol Cell, 2019. 73(6): p. 1292-1305 e8.

Louka*, E., Povinelli*, B.J. Rodriguez-Meira, A. et al., Heterogeneous disease-propagating stem cells in juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. bioRxiv, 2019: p. 628479. * Equal contribution

Psaila, B., Wang*, G. Rodriguez-Meira*, A. et al., Single-cell analyses reveal aberrant pathways for megakaryocyte-biased hematopoiesis in myelofibrosis and identify mutant clone-specific targets. bioRxiv, 2019: p. 642819. * Equal contribution

Di Genua, C. Norfo, R. Rodriguez-Meira,A. et al., Cell-intrinsic depletion of Aml1-ETO-expressing pre-leukemic hematopoietic stem cells by K-Ras activating mutation. Haematologica, 2019.

Povinelli, B.J.*, A. Rodriguez-Meira*, and A.J. Mead, Single cell analysis of normal and leukemic hematopoiesis. Mol Aspects Med, 2018. 59(1872-9452 (Electronic)): p. 85-94. *These authors contributed equally.

Giustacchini, A.* Thongjuea, S.* Barkas, N. Woll, P. S. Povinelli, B. J. Booth, C. A. G. Sopp, P. Norfo, R. Rodriguez-Meira, A. Ashley, N. Jamieson, L. Vyas, P. Anderson, K. Segerstolpe, A. Qian, H. Olsson-Stromberg, U. Mustjoki, S. Sandberg, R. Jacobsen, S. E. W.* Mead, A. J.*, Single-cell transcriptomics uncovers distinct molecular signatures of stem cells in chronic myeloid leukemia. Nat Med, 2017. 23(6): p. 692-702. *These authors contributed equally.

Nguyen, V. T. Barozzi, I. Faronato, M. Lombardo, Y. Steel, J. H. Patel, N. Darbre, P. Castellano, L. Gyorffy, B. Woodley, L. Meira, A. Patten, D. K. Vircillo, V. Periyasamy, M. Ali, S. Frige, G. Minucci, S. Coombes, R. C. Magnani, L., Differential epigenetic reprogramming in response to specific endocrine therapies promotes cholesterol biosynthesis and cellular invasion. Nat Commun, 2015. 6(2041-1723 (Electronic)): p. 10044.

Vicente-Dueñas, C. Hauer, J. Ruiz-Roca, L. Ingenhag, D. Rodríguez-Meira, A. Auer, F. Borkhardt, A. Sánchez-García, I, Tumoral stem cell reprogramming as a driver of cancer: Theory, biological models, implications in cancer therapy. Seminars in Cancer Biology, 2015. 32(Supplement C): p. 3-9.