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, M, Herraiz, C, Crosas-Molist, E, Fanshawe, B, Maiques, O, Perdrix, A, Pandya, P, Rodriguez-Hernandez, I, Ilieva, KM, Cantelli, G, Karagiannis, P, Mele, S, Lam, H, Josephs, DH, Matias-Guiu, X, Marti, RM, Nestle, FO, Orgaz, JL, Malanchi, I, Fruhwirth, GO, Karagiannis, SN, and Sanz-Moreno, V. "Regional Activation of Myosin II in Cancer Cells Drives Tumor Progression via a Secretory Cross-Talk with the Immune Microenvironment." Cell 176.4 (February 2019): 757-774.e23. Full Text

Yao, H, Price, TT, Cantelli, G, Ngo, B, Warner, MJ, Olivere, L, Ridge, SM, Jablonski, EM, Therrien, J, Tannheimer, S, McCall, CM, Chenn, A, and Sipkins, DA. "Leukaemia hijacks a neural mechanism to invade the central nervous system." Nature 560.7716 (August 2018): 55-60. Full Text

Crosas-Molist, E, Bertran, E, Rodriguez-Hernandez, I, Herraiz, C, Cantelli, G, Fabra, À, Sanz-Moreno, V, and Fabregat, I. "The NADPH oxidase NOX4 represses epithelial to amoeboid transition and efficient tumour dissemination." Oncogene 36.21 (May 2017): 3002-3014. Full Text

Cantelli, G, Crosas-Molist, E, Georgouli, M, and Sanz-Moreno, V. "TGFΒ-induced transcription in cancer." Seminars in Cancer Biology 42 (February 2017): 60-69. (Review) Full Text

Rodriguez-Hernandez, I, Cantelli, G, Bruce, F, and Sanz-Moreno, V. "Rho, ROCK and actomyosin contractility in metastasis as drug targets." F1000research 5 (January 2016). (Review) Full Text

Herraiz, C, Calvo, F, Pandya, P, Cantelli, G, Rodriguez-Hernandez, I, Orgaz, JL, Kang, N, Chu, T, Sahai, E, and Sanz-Moreno, V. "Reactivation of p53 by a Cytoskeletal Sensor to Control the Balance Between DNA Damage and Tumor Dissemination." Journal of the National Cancer Institute 108.1 (January 2016). Full Text

Cantelli, G, Orgaz, JL, Rodriguez-Hernandez, I, Karagiannis, P, Maiques, O, Matias-Guiu, X, Nestle, FO, Marti, RM, Karagiannis, SN, and Sanz-Moreno, V. "TGF-β-Induced Transcription Sustains Amoeboid Melanoma Migration and Dissemination." Current Biology : Cb 25.22 (November 2015): 2899-2914. Full Text

Razinia, Z, Baldassarre, M, Cantelli, G, and Calderwood, DA. "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 288.44 (November 2013): 32093-32105. Full Text

Yao, H, Warner, M, Price, T, Olivere, L, Cantelli, G, Ridge, S, Ngo, B, Ravichandran, S, Tannheimer, S, Chenn, A, and Sipkins, DA. "Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Cells Bypass the Blood Brain Barrier to Enter the CNS Via a Neuronal Developmental Pathway." 59th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Hematology (ASH). December 9, 2017 - December 12, 2017. Atlanta, GA. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY, December 7, 2017.