Dr. Gaiti is a Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, and Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. He earned his PhD in evolutionary biology and genomics from the University of Queensland (Australia), where he focused on understanding the evolutionary origin of two major players in human gene regulation: long non-coding RNAs and chromatin marks. As a postdoctoral fellow, he joined Dr. Dan Landau’s laboratory at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Genome Center. He studied the epigenetic determinants of cancer evolution using novel single-cell multi-omics experimental and computational approaches in blood disorders (leukemia) and brain tumors (glioma). His works has been recognized by prestigious postdoctoral fellowships and awards, including the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), the American Society of Hematology Scholar Award, the Lymphoma Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Award. Dr. Gaiti is now developing and applying these single-cell multi-omics approaches to answer the fundamental question of how malignant cellular states in cancer are jointly determined by genetic and epigenetic alterations. Dr. Gaiti is committed to a career in basic cancer research with translational impact, making discoveries that would offer improved therapeutic options to directly address cancer evolution.
We are committed to developing novel fundamental biological insights into a central aspect of cancer biology – tumour evolution – as it constitutes a central challenge to effective therapy. We therefore need to understand this process better to develop strategies to decrease the rate of cancer evolution. To this end, our scientific research program aims to comprehensively decipher the three principal dimensions along which information is propagated from parent to progeny cell during cancer evolution (i. genetic, ii. non-genetic/epigenetic, and iii. spatial/environmental). We aim to study this question with primary human samples at single-cell resolution by integrating genomic and analytic innovation with functional approaches and faithful cellular models from patient tumours. Beyond the basic science aspects, we seek to use this knowledge to identify common oncogenic cellular programs that would offer improved therapeutic options, anchored in data science principles, to directly address cancer evolutionary plasticity.
For more information, please visit the Gaiti Lab website.
Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto