Elisa Oricchio

2012 Regional Award Winner — Post-Doc

Elisa Oricchio

Current Position:
Assistant Professor

Swiss Institute of Cancer Research (previously at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)

Molecular & Cellular Biology

Recognized for: Identifying the ephrin receptor A7 (EphA7) as a tumor suppressor in follicular lymphoma

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise: Cancer genetics, leukemia, lymphoma.


  • PhD, Cancer Biology Microbiology and Immunology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center & University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy
  • MSc, Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Elisa Oricchio studies the genetics of cancer and aims to translate basic science research into potential cancer treatments.  Dr. Oricchio identified the ephrin receptor A7 (EphA7) as a tumor suppressor in the blood cell cancer, follicular lymphoma. Tumor suppressors are genes whose inactivation can lead to cancer.   Large-scale genetic sequencing studies provide clues about the molecular changes that occur in cancer.  Dr. Oricchio seeks to define the molecular modifications associated with common genetic abnormalities seen in cancer find out which changes actually cause the cancer, whether or not these changes may be reversed and if so, does it have potential as a new cancer therapy?

Using RNA interference screening (RNAi) technology that allows scientists to silence several genes simultaneously, Dr. Oricchio determined which genes in lymphoma cells were functionally inactivate by losing part of a chromosome. She identified EphA7 as a new tumor suppressor gene in lymphoma and she experimented new ways to bring the EPHA7 protein back into the lymphoma cells.  The introduction of EPHA7 successfully kills cancer cells both in vitro and in a mouse model, showing the promise of these potential therapies.   Her research has been highlighted in Nature Review of CancerCancer Cell and Discover magazine.

"Once we learn as tumors inactivate a certain pathway, we can investigate how to restore that function and provide new targeted therapies."

Key Publications:

  1. Oricchio E., CirielloG, Jiang  M., et al.Frequent disruption of the RB pathway in indolent follicular lymphoma suggests a new combination therap. J Exp Med. 2014
  2. Oricchio E, Nanjangud G, Wolfe AL, et al. Eph-Receptor A7 is a soluble tumor suppressor in Follicular Lymphoma. Cell. 2011
  3. Schatz JH, Oricchio E, Wolfe AL, et al. Targeting cap-dependent translation blocks converging survival signals by AKT and PIM kinases in lymphoma. J Exp Med. 2011

Other Honors:

2012 Special Fellowship of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America
2011 Lymphoma Research Foundation Fellowship
2011 Memorial Sloan-Kettering Postdoctoral Research Award
2012 Lorini Award for Italian Scientist in Cancer Research, Lorini Foundation

In the Media:

From unknown cancer gene to potential cancer drug. Discover. October 27, 2011