The primary emphasis of the Pallavicini lab is to understand the genetic and molecular changes that
determine stem cell behavior in health and disease, particularly cancer. Involvement of stem cells in
leukemia, and the role of acquired genetic changes in these cells after exposure to DNA damaging
agents during the aging process, is explored by applying genomic and proteomic technologies to
understand molecular changes that occur during stem cell differentiation and proliferation. Some of
these same approaches are used to define the molecular differences between cancers (breast and
hematologic malignancies) that respond to therapy and those that are less responsive. While some
of these studies are carried out on cell populations, it is increasingly important to be able to determine
the molecular determinants on a single cell basis.
Collaborations with colleagues at Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory in instrumentation technology
development and at UC Merced in computational biology provide exciting opportunities to link
molecular analyses, state-of-the art instrumentation, and mathematical analysis to understand cell fate
decisions in health and disease.