Gaia Cantelli

Gaia Cantelli

Lecturing Fellow of the Thompson Writing Program

Office Hours: 


I am a cancer cell biologist with a special interest in metastasis, the process through which cancer cells spread across the body to form new tumors. My focus lies in understanding how metastasizing cancer cells interact with their environment, also known as the “metastatic niche”. My work at Duke takes place with the Sipkins Lab in the Division of Hematological Malignancies and Cellular Therapy at the Duke University Medical Center. My current project aims to dissect the molecular interactions between breast cancer cells and the metastatic niche in the bone marrow.

I am Lecturing Fellow with the Thompson Writing program and I teach a science writing-based Writing 101 class. My teaching philosophy is centered around the idea that students learn best when they take ownership of their own education. As an instructor, my aim is to equip my students with the tools they need to succeed academically and to grow as thinkers as they pursue their own passions. 

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., King's College London (United Kingdom) 2016

Georgouli, Mirella, et al. “Regional Activation of Myosin II in Cancer Cells Drives Tumor Progression via a Secretory Cross-Talk with the Immune Microenvironment..” Cell, vol. 176, no. 4, Feb. 2019, pp. 757-774.e23. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2018.12.038. Full Text

Yao, Hisayuki, et al. “Leukaemia hijacks a neural mechanism to invade the central nervous system..” Nature, vol. 560, no. 7716, Aug. 2018, pp. 55–60. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0342-5. Full Text

Crosas-Molist, E., et al. “The NADPH oxidase NOX4 represses epithelial to amoeboid transition and efficient tumour dissemination..” Oncogene, vol. 36, no. 21, May 2017, pp. 3002–14. Epmc, doi:10.1038/onc.2016.454. Full Text

Cantelli, Gaia, et al. “TGFΒ-induced transcription in cancer..” Seminars in Cancer Biology, vol. 42, Feb. 2017, pp. 60–69. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.semcancer.2016.08.009. Full Text

Rodriguez-Hernandez, Irene, et al. “Rho, ROCK and actomyosin contractility in metastasis as drug targets..” F1000research, vol. 5, Jan. 2016. Epmc, doi:10.12688/f1000research.7909.1. Full Text

Herraiz, Cecilia, et al. “Reactivation of p53 by a Cytoskeletal Sensor to Control the Balance Between DNA Damage and Tumor Dissemination..” Journal of the National Cancer Institute, vol. 108, no. 1, Jan. 2016. Epmc, doi:10.1093/jnci/djv289. Full Text

Cantelli, Gaia, et al. “TGF-β-Induced Transcription Sustains Amoeboid Melanoma Migration and Dissemination..” Current Biology : Cb, vol. 25, no. 22, Nov. 2015, pp. 2899–914. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.054. Full Text

Razinia, Ziba, et al. “ASB2α, an E3 ubiquitin ligase specificity subunit, regulates cell spreading and triggers proteasomal degradation of filamins by targeting the filamin calponin homology 1 domain..” The Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 288, no. 44, Nov. 2013, pp. 32093–105. Epmc, doi:10.1074/jbc.M113.496604. Full Text