Dr. Francia began his career as a PhD student at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) in London, UK, which has since evolved into Cancer UK. He chose to study the process of tumor spread, or metastasis, which had fascinated him as an undergraduate, and he began by seeking for new genes whose expression changes as tumors become more metastatic. After his PhD, he trained as a post-doc in Toronto, Canada, on aspects of metastasis, and on therapies for metastatic disease.
He now plans to set up a research program that is internationally recognized for pioneering new therapeutic ideas, and for generating models to help translate laboratory findings into the clinic. The research program will also involve significant undergraduate student lab work. Dr. Francia has 20 years’ of experience in working in cancer biology and 15 years’ of experience in cancer therapeutics using chemotherapy. That includes studies which he used chemosensitizers to enhance the anti-cancer effect of chemotherapy, and the development of models of metastatic and drug resistant human cancer. His previous work included the use of metronomic (continuous low-dose administration) chemotherapy which were subsequently evaluated in clinical trials of patients with prostate cancer.
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