Functional cytomics in the study of leukemia and immunotherapy

External Seminar
Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Jordi Petriz, Functional Cytomics, IJC, Barcelona


The ability to bridge large-scale and single-cell approaches at a functional level are key to identify biomarkers expressed on rare cells. We translate biomedical science into integrated clinical practice and public health by using certified transference processes in cooperation with trusted allies and partners supporting biomedical research. More specifically, we are interested in investigating and developing experimental approaches key to understand the principles underlying the emergence and prevention of cancer therapy resistance. Our lab utilises cutting-edge cellular-based research tools on a new view of the characterization of cells and subcellular compartments, involving the use of fluorescent tracers coupled with measurements for detecting antigens or markers, a particular nucleic acid sequence, enzymatic activities, the regulation of protein function through conformational modulation, or the role of multidrug resistance transporters as epigenetic interplayers. Functional cytomics enables discovery and characterization of novel cell subsets, mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapy and chemotherapy, and multiplexed measurements of cells for detecting the presence or absence of malignant clones at a single-cell level. We are mainly focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling the proliferation and differentiation of leukemic stem cells. We are particularly interested in how these mechanisms operate at different disease refractory processes within haematological malignancies. The group focuses on interdisciplinary projects that cover basic biology through to practical biomedical applications through the measurement of human cancer cells. Our ongoing research projects cover innovative approaches to study the expression of primitive stem cell markers during origin, progression, maintenance of cancer and its management; the quality and safety assessment of haematopoietic blood progenitor and stem cell grafts; the role of myeloid derived suppressor cells in immunotherapy and targeted therapy for clinical decision-making; new cytomic strategies for whole blood and marrow immunostaining; the use of natural compounds for cancer treatment; and the accurate detection and significance of minimal residual disease in acute leukaemia. We are currently evaluating evidence of mechanisms by which ABC transporters differentially activates low- or high-level transduction cell signalling and their potential role as epigenetic interplayers to protect and mitigate the stem cell compartment from therapeutic damage.

Jordi Petriz (IP)

Jordi Petriz received his BSc degree in Biochemistry and Animal Biology from the University of Barcelona. He then pursued his PhD at Barcelona after acceptance at the Cryobiology and Cell Therapy Department, Cancer Research Institute. In 1998 he obtained his PhD degree in Physiology and Immunology specializing in functional-based mechanisms on multidrug resistance against anticancer agents. The cytomic functional approach was used to account for multidrug transporters and drug resistance profiling in highly refractory cancer cells. As a postdoctoral fellow he applied new cytomic approaches to address questions on whole blood counting of CD34+ progenitor cells. Since 2000, he joined the Subcommittee on Quality Assessment of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Grafts (established by the European Group for Bone Marrow Transplantation). Since then he has become a Principal Investigator at the IJC. Jordi Petriz has authored or co-authored nearly 100 research contributions; some in high impact Journals including Nature Medicine and Leukemia. His current work focuses on linking stemness with ABC transporters. He is studying several genes involved in different aspects of stem cell activation, including some that encode for multidrug resistance transporters, and others that regulate self-renewal and differentiation. He has been the President of the Iberian Society for Cytometry (SIC), Councilor at the European Society for Clinical Cell Analysis (ESCCA) Executive Board, and current Corse Committee Member at the Clinical Cytometry Education Network (CCEN). He finally joined the IJC at the beginning of 2015.