Dr. Vaisitti has been working in the field of CLL since she started her PhD program studying the role of CD38 in the biology and pathogenesis of CLL. She continued the training in hematology/oncology obtaining a 3-year fellowship from the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC), with a project aimed at analysing and dissecting the molecular mechanisms regulating leukemic proliferation and homing. Dr. Vaisitti spent several periods in Italian and foreign laboratories as a visiting scientist including a period at Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, North Shore-Long Island Jewish (NY) and a period at the Dept. of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology, Cardiff University (UK). Recently, Dr. Vaisitti spent 2 years as a visiting fellow at the Weill Cornell Medical College, Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (NY) for the setting up of patient-derived xenograft models of CLL and Richter syndrome, investigating also the functional impact of novel drugs.
In the last 5 years, Dr. Vaisitti’s research has been focused on two main topics. The first one is the functional analysis of genes found recurrently mutated in chronic lymphoproliferative syndromes. Attention has been focused on NOTCH1, SF3B1, BIRC3 and NOTCH2. These works were done in a joint collaboration with the group of Prof. Gaidano (University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy). The second topic is the discovery and analysis of host microenvironmental conditions that favor leukemic development and progression.