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Alessandra Riggio

Alessandra Riggio, PhD

About Me

I am originally from Italy (Sicily) and joined Alana Welm’s lab in October 2019 after completing my PhD in breast cancer at the Beatson Institute in Glasgow, United Kingdom. My research focuses on understanding why a certain proportion of hormone-receptor (HR) positive breast cancer patients relapse after many years from surgery. Using a combination of immune-humanized and patient-derived breast cancer models, we are trying to figure out how HR-positive breast cancer cells can undergo dormancy, linger in the body for a long time in the absence of vital stimuli (such as estrogen), and eventually resume their growth to give rise to deadly metastases. Outside the lab, I like everything that involves the outdoors, whether it is simply going for a walk in pretty neighborhoods or biking, hiking, running, and skiing. Indoors, I love spending my time cooking, watching movies, and reading. I am an extrovert and enjoy meeting new people. If I could and was given the money to do so, I would spend all my time traveling around the world.