Project modeling the immune regulation of clonal hematopoiesis

Supervisor: Dr. Carsten Marr

Enrolled since 2023

I attained my Bachelor's degree in Biology at the University of Catania in Italy, and subsequently, I moved to ETH Zurich to study computational biology and bioinformatics (MSc). It was during this time that my fascination with employing mathematical and statistical methodologies to elucidate the intricacies of biological systems grew. My Master's degree culminated in the writing of my thesis under the mentorship of Professors Barbara Treutlein (ETH Zurich) and Fabian Theis (ICB, Helmholtz Munich). There, I focused on deep generative modelling of RNA velocity in single cells. Presently, I am embarking on a Ph.D. at the AI Institute for Health (AIH) at Helmholtz Munich, in the lab of Dr. Carsten Marr. Throughout the course of my Ph.D., I will try to elucidate the mechanisms governing the expansion and epigenetic regulation of Clonal Hematopoietic cells of Indeterminate Potential (CHIP cells). CHIP, or Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential, denotes a condition characterized by the presence of specific genetic mutations within hematopoietic cells, conferring upon them a competitive proliferative advantage. While CHIP itself does not directly precipitate the development of leukemia, it serves as a harbinger of heightened susceptibility. Individuals harboring CHIP mutations are at an augmented risk of leukemia onset. Hence, deciphering the intricate nexus between CHIP and leukemia is pivotal for the early diagnosis and potential therapeutic interventions.