Researcher Spotlight: Clarissa Corinaldesi, PHD
Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is a rare but highly aggressive form of lymphoma that primarily affects children and young adults. While many patients are effectively cured with aggressive chemotherapy, a small subset of patients show resistance to standard treatments and experience incurable relapses. Dr. Corinaldesi’s LRF research aims to uncover the genetic and transcriptomic differences that differentiate curable and refractory BL to support the development of better treatment options for these patients. “Understanding the biological differences behind the diverse BL responses to current therapy will pave the road toward the identification of effective targeted therapies,” she explains.
Dr. Corinaldesi earned her PhD from Tor Vergata University of Rome in Italy. She is currently a postdoctoral research scientist in the Institute for Cancer Genetics at Columbia University in New York, where she uses genome-wide approaches to study B cell development and malignant transformation. “Understanding the pathogenesis of lymphomas is very challenging and intriguing from a scientific point of view,” she says. “Trying to solve this biologically complicated puzzle triggered and reinforced my commitment to research.”
Through her LRF research, Dr. Corinaldesi hopes to contribute to the progress being made in immunotherapies and the personalization of treatment in lymphoma. “Lymphomas are heterogeneous tumors and there are no risk factors that have been specifically identified to prevent them,” she says. “However, the exceptional progress on targeted therapy and immunotherapy gives me hope for the future.”