Dr Vincenzo Giambra — PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Laboratory Contact

Dr Samuel Gusscott

Postdoctoral Fellow
  604.675.8000 Ext. 7772

Admin Contact

Shannon Valdez

Research Projects Manager


• 2003-2007  – Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (USA) and University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (IT)

• 2001-2003 – M.Sc. in Biotechnologies, University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (IT)

• 1995-2000 – B.Sc. in Biology, University of Palermo (IT)

Research Experience

• 2017 – present – Group Leader, ISBReMIT, Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo,Italy

• 2007–present – Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Andrew Weng’s lab, BC Cancer Agency – Terry Fox Laboratory (Canada). Topic: Identification and characterization of leukemia stem cells in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL)

• 2005–2007 – Visiting Scientist in Dr. Barbara K. Birshtein’s lab, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (USA). Topic: Role of DNA methylation in the 3’ Regulatory Region of IgH locus during the B cell development

• 2003–2005 – Ph.D. student in Dr. Domenico Frezza’s lab, Department of Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (IT). Title of Thesis: Polymorphisms and DNA methylation: two ways to execute functional differences in the 3’ Regulatory Region of IgH locus

• 2001–2003 – Master student in Dr. Domenico Frezza’s lab, Department of Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (IT). Title of thesis: Techniques of structural analysis of HS1.2 enhancers of human immunoglobulins

• 2000–2001 – Research Assistant in Dr. Valentino Romano’s lab, Department of Biopathology and Biomedical Research, University of Palermo, (IT)

• 1998–2000 – Undergraduate student in Dr. Salvo Feo’s lab, Department of Biology, University of Palermo,(IT). Title of thesis: Identification and characterization of regulatory regions of human c-myc locus

Fellowships, Awards and Other Funding

• 2016 – Fondazione con il Sud “Brain2South” grant

• 2014 – Travel Award – The ISSCR Annual Scientific Meeting – Vancouver, CA

• 2013–2014 – “Messengers of Knowledge”– Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR)-”Analytical methods for the identification and characterization of cancer stem cells”

• 2013 – Keystone Symposia Scholarship – Meeting on Stem Cell Regulation in Homeostasis and Disease – Banff, CA

• 2012 – Travel Award – The ISEH Annual Scientific Meeting – Amsterdam, NL

• 2012 – Travel Award – The Terry Fox Research Institute’s Annual Scientific Meeting – Victoria, CA

• 2011–2012 – Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) – BC Cancer Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship– 2011 Research Trainee Award – “Identification and characterization of leukemia stem cells in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL)”

• 2010 -Travel Award – 52nd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition – Orlando, USA

• 2001 – “Best method in Biotechnology” Award – Bionova 2001 – Padova, IT

Selected presentations

• Leukemia-initiating activity in T-ALL requires active Hif1α and Wnt signaling – Giambra V – Seminar at University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (IT) – 27 March 2015

• *Giambra V, Jenkins CE, Lam SH, Hoofd C, Belmonte M, Weng AP – Leukemia-initiating activity in T-ALL requires active Hif1a and Wnt signaling – 56th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Hematology (ASH) – San Francisco, CA, USA -Dec 6 – 9, 2014. *oral presentation

• Regulatory mechanisms of leukemia initiating activity in T cell leukemia during aging – Giambra V – Seminar at University of Palermo (IT)– 30 May 2013

• *Giambra V, Lam S, Ng A, Benz C, Shevchuk OO, Eaves C, Weng AP – Notch1 overexpression activates different genetic programs in hematopoietic progenitors from fetal liver and adult bone marrow – The ISEH Annual Meeting -Amsterdam, NL-August 23-26, 2012. *oral presentation

Giambra V, Nemirovsky O, Lam S, Jenkins C, Wai C, Medyouf H, Humphries KR, Eaves C, Weng AP – Notch-mediated suppression of PKCΘ reduces reactive oxygen species and promotes leukemic stem cell activity in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) – 52nd Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Hematology (ASH) – Orlando, FL, USA -Dec 6 – 11, 2010. *oral presentation

Giambra V, Volpi S, Jirmanova L, Chatterjee S, Ju Z, Frezza D, Birshtein BK -Active DNA methylation in the immunoglobulin heavy chain 3’ regulatory region during class switch recombination involves GADD45A – Gene expression & signaling in the immune system – Cold Spring meeting- 2008. *oral presentation

First/last authored publications

Hoofd C, Wang X, Lam S, Jenkins C, Wood B, Giambra V* & Weng AP*.  CD44 promotes chemoresistance in T-ALL by increased drug efflux.  Exp Hematol 44(3):166-171, 2016. (*co-senior authors) View abstract

Giambra V*, Jenkins C, Lam SH, Hoofd C, Belmonte M, Wang X, Gusscott S, Gracias D, Weng AP*. Leukemia stem cells in T-ALL require active Hif1α and Wnt signaling – Blood 2015;125:3917-27 PMID: 25934477 (*corresponding author). View abstract

Montesano C*, Giambra V*, Frezza D, Palma P, Castelli-Gattinara G, Mattei M, Mancino G, Colizzi V, Amicosante M - HS1,2 Ig enhancer alleles association to AIDS progression in a paediatric cohort infected with a monophyletic HIV-strain –BMRI Infectious Diseases 2014;2014:637523 (2014) - PMID 25009819; PMCID:PMC4055013. *contributed equally to this work.

Giambra V, Jenkins CR, Wang H, Lam SH, Shevchuk OO, Nemirovsky O, Wai C, Gusscott S, Chiang MY, Aster JC, Humphries KR, Eaves C, Weng AP - Notch1 promotes T cell leukemia-initiating activity by RUNX-mediated regulation of PKC-Θ and reactive oxygen species - Nat Med 18, 1693-1698 (2012) - PMID:23086478; PMCID:PMC3738873. View abstract

Giambra V*, Cianci R*, Lolli S, Mattioli C, Tampella G, Cattalini M, Kilic SS, Pandolfi F, Plebani A, Frezza D - Allele *1 of HS1.2 enhancer associates with selective IgA deficiency and IgM concentration - J Immunol. 183, 8280-5 (2009) - PMID: 20007591 *contributed equally to this work.

Giambra V, Volpi S, Emelyanov AV, Pflugh D, Bothwell AL, Norio P, Fan Y, JuZ, Skoultchi AI, Hardy RR, Frezza D, Birshtein BK - Pax5 and linker histone H1 coordinate DNA methylation and histone modifications in the 3' regulatory region of the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus - Mol Cell Biol. 28, 6123-33 (2008) - PMID: 18644860; PMCID:PMC2547000. View abstract

Cianci R*, Giambra V*, Mattioli C, Esposito M, Cammarota G, Scibilia G, Magazzù G, Orlando A, Sandri G, Bianchi L, Gasbarrini GB, Pandolfi F, Frezza D - Increased frequency of Ig Heavy Chain HS1,2-A Enhancer *2 Allele in Dermatitis Herpetiformis, Plaque Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis - J. Invest Dermatol. 128, 1920-4 (2008) - PMID: 18323783. *contributed equally to this work.

Giambra V, Martínez-Labarga C, Giufré M, Modiano D, Simporé J, Gisladottir BK, Francavilla R, Zhelezova G, Kilic SS, Crawford M, Biondi G, Rickards O, Frezza D- Immunoglobulin enhancer HS1,2 polymorphism: a new powerful anthropogenetic marker - Ann Hum Genet. 70, 946-50 (2006) - PMID: 17044868.

Other publications

Gusscott S, Jenkins CE, Lam SH, Giambra V, Pollak M & Weng AP. IGF1R derived PI3K/AKT signaling maintains growth in a subset of human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias. PLoS One. 11(8):e0161158, 2016.

Sette M, D'Addabbo P, Kelly G, Cicconi A, Micheli E, Cacchione S, Poma A, Gargioli C, Giambra V, Frezza D.Evidence for a quadruplex structure in the polymorphic hs1.2 enhancer of the immunoglobulin heavy chain 3' regulatory regions and its conservation in mammals. Biopolymers. 11:768-78, 2016.

Serone E, Daleno C, Principi N, Poretti L, Iacoacci V, Gargioli C, Magrini A, Massoud R, D’Addabbo P, Cattalini M, Giambra V, Plebani A, Esposito S, Frezza D - The change in Ig regulation from child to adults disconnects the correlation with the 3'RR hs1.2 polymorphism - BMC Immunol. 2014 Nov 13;15:45 (2014) – PMID:25391515.

Napolioni V, Serone E, Iacoacci V, Carpi MC, Giambra V, Frezza D – The functional VNTR of IGH enhancer HS1.2 associates with human longevity and interacts with TNFA promoter diplotype in a population of Central Italy- Gene Aug 28 (2014) - PMID: 25175451.

Jenkins CR, Shevchuk OO, Giambra V, Lam SH, Carboni JM, Gottardis MM, Holzenberger M, Pollak M, Humphries RK, Weng AP - IGF signaling contributes to malignant transformation of hematopoietic progenitors by the MLL-AF9 oncoprotein - Exp Hematol. 40, 715-723 (2012) - PMID: 22613471.

Frezza D, Serone E, Lolli S, Cianci R, D’Addabbo P, Mattioli C, Giambra V, Pavlovic N, Djordjevic V, Pandolfi F, Kostic E - Balkan Endemic Nephropathy risk is associated to the HS1.2 Ig enhancer polymorphism – Eur. J. Inflamat. 10, 393-403 (2012).

Frezza D, Tolusso B, Giambra V, Gremese E, Nowik M, Mattioli M, Serone E, Canestri S, Petricca L, D’Antona G, Birshtein B K, Ferraccioli G - Polymorphisms of IgH enhancer HS1.2 and risk of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus - Ann Rheum Dis. 71, 1309-15 (2012) - PMID: 22294636.

D’Addabbo P, Scascitelli M, Giambra V, Rocchi M, Frezza D - Position and sequence conservation in Amniota of polymorphic enhancer HS1.2 within the palindrome of IgH 3'Regulatory Region - BMC Evol Biol. 11, 71 (2011) - PMID: 21406099; PMCID:PMC3068965.

Petriv OI, Kuchenbauer F, Delaney AD, Lecault V, White A, Kent D, Marmolejo L, Heuser M, Berg T, Copley M, Ruschmann J, Sekulovic S, Benz C, Kuroda E, Ho V, Antignano F, Halim T, Giambra V, Krystal G, Takei CJ, Weng AP, Piret J, Eaves C, Marra MA, Humphries RK, Hansen CL - Comprehensive microRNA expression profiling of the hematopoietic hierarchy - Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107, 15443-8 (2010) - PMID: 20702766; PMCID:PMC2932570.

Frezza D, Giambra V, Mattioli C, Piccoli K, Massoud R, Siracusano A, Di Giannantonio M, Birshtein BK, Rubino IA - Allelic frequencies of 3' Ig heavy chain locus enhancer HS1,2-Aassociated with Ig levels in patients with schizophrenia - Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 22, 115-23 (2009) - PMID: 19309558; PMCID:PMC2721332.

Tolusso B, Frezza D, Mattioli C, Fedele AL, Bosello S, Faustini F, Peluso G, Giambra V, Pietrapertosa D, Morelli A, Gremese E, De Santis M, Ferraccioli GF - Allele *2 of the HS1,2A enhancer of the Ig regulatory region associates with Rheumatoid Arthritis - Ann Rheum Dis. 68, 416-9 (2009) - PMID: 18952640; PMCID:PMC2633630.

Frezza D, Giambra V, Chegdani F, Fontana C, Maccabiani G, Losio N, Faggionato E, Chiappini B, Vaccari G, von Holst C, Lanni L, Saccares S, Ajmone-Marsan P - Standard and Light-Cycler PCR methods for animal DNA species detection in animal feedstuffs - Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies (IFSET) 9,18–23(2008).

Gargioli C, Giambra V, Santoni S, Bernardini S, Frezza D, Filoni S, Cannata SM -The lens regenerating competence in the outer cornea and epidermis of larval Xenopus laevis is related to pax6 expression - J Anat. 212, 612-20 (2008)- PMID: 18430088; PMCID:PMC2409091.

Frezza D, Giambra V, Tolusso B, De Santis M, Bosello S, Vettori S, Triolo G, Valentini G, Ferraccioli G- Polymorphism of immunoglobulin (Ig) enhancer element HS1,2A: allele *2 associates with Systemic Sclerosis. Comparison with HLA-DR and DQ alleles frequency - Ann Rheum Dis. 66, 1210-5 (2007) - PMID: 17392350; PMCID:PMC1955163.

Martinez-Labarga C, Lelli R, Tarsi T, Babalini C, De Angelis F, Ottoni C, Giambra V, Pepe G, Azebi E, Frezza D, Biondi G, Rickards O - Polymorphisms of the COL1A2, CYP1A1 and HS1,2 Ig enhancer genes in the Tuaregs from Libya - Ann Hum Biol. 34, 425-36 (2007) - PMID: 17620151.

D'Aquilio F, Procaccini M, Izzi V, Chiurchiú V, Giambra V, Carotenuto F, Di Nardo P, Baldini PM - Activatory Properties of Lysophosphatidic Acid on Human THP- 1 Cells - Inflammation. 30, 167-77 (2007) - PMID: 17594136.

Chiappini B, Brambilla G, Agrimi U, Vaccari G, Aarts HJ, Berben G, Frezza D, Giambra V - A real-time PCR approach for ruminant-specific DNA quantification indicates a correlation between DNA amount and MBM heat treatments - J AOAC Int–88, 1399-403 (2005) - PMID: 16385989.

D'Aquilio F, Procaccini M, Izzi V, Chiurchiú V, Giambra V, Carotenuto F, Di Nardo P, Baldini PM - Activatory Properties of Lysophosphatidic Acid on Human THP- 1 Cells- Inflammation. 29, 129-40 (2005) - PMID: 17089191.

Arresta E, Giambra V, Gargaro A, Bernardin S, Filoni S, Cannata S - Dachsund expression during embryonic and larval development of Xenopus Laevis - Ital. J. Zool., 71, 275-278 (2004).

Frezza D, Giambra V, Cianci R, Fruscalzo A, Giufrè M, Cammarota G, Martìnez-Labarga C, Rickards O, Scibilia G, Sferlazzas C, Bartolozzi F, Starnino S, Magazzù G, Gasbarrini GB, Pandolfi F - Increased frequency of the immunoglobulin enhancer HS1,2 allele 2 in celiac disease - Scand J Gastroenterol. 39, 1083-7 (2004) - PMID: 15545166.

Frezza D, Favaro M, Vaccari G, et al., Frezza D, Favaro M, Vaccari G, von-Holst C, Giambra V, Anklam E, Bove D, Battaglia PA, Agrimi U, Brambilla G, Ajmone-Marsan P, Tartaglia M - A Competitive Polymerase Chain Reaction-Based Approach for the Identification and Semiquantification of MitochondrialDNA in Differently Heat-Treated Bovine Meat and Bone Meal - J Food Prot 66, 103-109 (2003) - PMID: 18644860.

Book chapter

Giambra V, Jenkins C, - Stem cells and leukemia. – Chapter n. 13 of the book "Stem Cells and Human Diseases" (ISBN 978-94-007-2800-4), Springer Ed.