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Giovanna Tosato, M.D.

Portait Photo of Giovanna Tosato
Laboratory of Cellular Oncology
Senior Investigator
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 37, Room 4124B
Bethesda, MD 20892-1906


Dr. Tosato attended the La Sapienza Medical School in Rome, Italy, where she received her M.D. in 1973 and completed her residency in medicine at the Catholic University in Rome. In 1976, she came to the NCI where she became a Clinical Associate in the Pediatric and Medicine Branches and subsequently a visiting fellow in the Metabolism Branch. In 1983, Dr. Tosato began working at the Food and Drug Administration. From 1992-99 she served as Director, Division of Hematologic Products, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA. In 1999 Dr. Tosato returned to the NCI as a senior investigator.


Angiogenesis and Tumorigenesis

Our work is directed toward furthering our understanding of the mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis with the aim of developing novel therapeutic approaches to cancer. A particular interest of our group has been on vascular biology and more specifically on tumor angiogenesis, which critically contributes to tumor growth. We have focused on Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV, also named HHV-8) malignancies. EBV can growth-immortalize B cells in vitro and in vivo, and can cause lymphoproliferative disease in the context of T-cell immunodeficiency states. KSHV is associated with primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), Kaposi's sarcoma and Castleman's disease occurring in AIDS. The complex interplay between tumor cells/tumor tissue and the vasculature in the human host provides an opportunity for investigating the following:

- the mechanisms of endothelial cell growth and morphogenesis in the context of physiologic neovascularization and tumor angiogenesis;

- in the context of tumor angiogenesis, study of the roles of molecules known to be important in vascular biology, including Dll4/Notch, ephrin/Eph; CXCR4/Sdf-1; semaphorins/plexins, angiopoietins and neuropilins.

- identification of novel molecules with a role in vascular biology/angiogenesis;

- intrinsic factors regulating the tumorigenicity of EBV or KSHV-infected/immortalized cells, and their role in tumor angiogenesis.

- host responses to EBV or KSHV-infected cells with a particular emphasis on cytokines, chemokines, and regulators of tumor angiogenesis;

- preclinical cancer models as tools for the development of novel cancer therapies, with a focus on anti-angiogeneic therapies.

We collaborated with Robert Yarchoan, Joshua Farber, Elaine Jaffe, Stefania Pittaluga, Jinfang Zhu, William Paul, Hynda Kleinman, David Davis at NIH; Frederick Wang and Elliott Kieff at Harvard Medical School; Yuang Chang and Patrick Moore at Pittsburg University; Adrian Harris at Oxford University, UK.

This page was last updated on 6/7/2013.