Noa Ndimurwanko

People, PhD Student

Technical Staff

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a cancer with a very poor prognosis, mainly due to late diagnosis and the poor clinical performance of treatments. It is characterized by a heterogeneous population of cancer and stromal cells and an internal hypoxic region. Earlier diagnosis is strongly associated with a much-improved response to surgical intervention.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) produced by the tumor cells have been shown to exhibit differential molecular signals that can aid in PDAC diagnosis. Early diagnosis requires the detection of these signals from a smaller group of tumor-associated EVs, and so would greatly benefit from the efficient isolation of tumor-associated vesicles from plasma/serum.

Noa is focused on developing high-sensitivity EV surface proteomics methods to identify surface proteins from EVs of PDAC cells that could aid in their isolation, forming the basis of an early detection assay.

Noa graduated in Chemistry from the University of Bologna and obtained her Master’s degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Pisa with a thesis on the optimization of an isolation method for cell surface proteins. The project was carried out at FPS under the supervision of Dr. Liam McDonnell. She is currently a PhD student in Nanoscience at Scuola Normale Superiore.