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Leila Akkari

Netherlands Cancer Institute, NL

I trained in cellular and molecular biology during my BA at the University of Montpellier in France, and graduated in 2004 before performing my Master in oncology and immunology between Montpellier and Manchester (England).

I then came back to Montpellier to perform my PhD in health sciences in the laboratory of Dr Ula Hibner, at the IGMM CNRS, during which I studied the effects of HCV viral proteins on cancer initiation through alteration of hepatocyte polarity and cell shape. This was my first encounter on how tumor-extrinsic factors can favor pre-neoplastic transformation.

Once my PhD finished, I wanted to develop my focus in the tumor microenvironment field, in rare tumors, and I joined Prof. Johanna Joyce's laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. During this time, I began to work with mouse models of brain and pancreatic cancer, primarily focusing on tumor associated macrophages and their pro-tumorigenic roles in multiple tumor microenvironment. In 2017, I became a Junior Group Leader at the NKI.

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