Dr Elisabetta Caspani BSc PhD
Dr Elisabetta Caspani graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Milan, Italy. Following that, she was a researcher in the group of Human Physiology at the Italian National Research Council (CNR), studying both the physiology of heart-transplanted patients and high altitude physiology in both athletes and native populations of Himalaya. Dr Caspani then moved to neuromuscular research at the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute in Milan, with specific focus on Myasthenia Gravis. She continued her research experience at the CNR Institute of Pharmacology, where she studied the expression of cellular motor proteins (kinesins) in nervous system development and adult malignant brain tumours (GBM). Dr Caspani received her PhD in Vienna (Austria), after having worked in both Salzburg and Vienna where she studied actin cytoskeleton re-arrangements during GBM cell invasion using confocal live imaging of both cells in vitro and seeded onto live mouse brain slices. She extended this research project at the Institute of Neuroscience in Alicante (Spain) where she also used live two-photon imaging to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying GBM cell infiltration into healthy brain tissue. This work allowed her to identify a new cellular mechanism employed by malignant tumour cells to co-opt pre-existing brain blood vessels through their interaction with perivascular cells (pericytes). Dr Caspani currently works as a Research Fellow, funded by Brain Tumour Research; her project aims to develop recent findings, with a special focus on their possible application in GBM patient therapy.