IFOM Stefano Casola

Stefano Casola

Molecular oncologist and expert in the study of B-lymphocytes and lymphomas, Stefano Casola directs the unit of Genetics of B cells and lymphomas at IFOM.

At age 24, Casola graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University Federico II of Naples. He had one goal in mind: understanding cancer. This drive led him in 1997 to the Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany where he worked at the forefront under the mentorship of prominent immunologist Klaus Rajewsky. Here he began studying the molecular mechanisms controlling B-cell function during a protective immune response and the genetic alterations promoting the occurrence of B-cell tumors called lymphomas. The research together proved fruitful as Casola and his colleagues explored and explained how the Epstein Barr Virus, the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis can contribute to the occurrence of aggressive B-cell lymphomas including Hodgkin's lymphoma. Continuing at his alma mater he obtained his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Pathology in 1999.

In 2001, Casola followed dr. Rajewksy to Boston working at the Harvard Medical School. During this time, Casola became Junior investigator at the CBR Institute of Biomedical Research and Instructor at the Department of Pathology, Havard Medical School.

In 2006, Casola decided to return to Europe and accepted the offer to become a group leader at Milan's IFOM. Today, with the same ambition and dedication of his university days, Stefano Casola and his team studies how B-lymphocytes protect our organism from foreign pathogens, what promotes B-cell transformation into malignant lymphomas and new therapeutic strategies for the cure of these blood cancers.