Marcela Briones Martin del Campo
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Dr. Briones doing a RT-PCR reaction to evaluate the expression of EWSAT1 on Ewing cell lines.
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Dr. Briones in the Sweet-Cordero lab where researchers are working to identify novel therapeutic approaches for cancer.

Marcela Briones Martin del Campo was awarded a 2017-2018 UC MEXUS-CONACYT Postdoctoral Fellowship for her research on Ewing’s sarcoma, an aggressive and devastating bone cancer in children and adolescents. She is working at the Department of Pediatrics at UC San Francisco under the guidance of Professor Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, whose lab explores transcription regulation mechanisms of understudied bone cancers such as Ewing’s sarcoma.

Currently there is a critical need for the development of new therapeutic approaches. Young patients treated with a combination of local radiation, limb amputation and chemotherapy have only a 20% chance of survival and diminished quality of life. Through her work with the Sweet-Cordero Lab, Marcela hopes to identify possible pathways for developing new therapies in the fight against malignant cancer cells.

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Dr. Briones showing her data at the Biomedical Sciences Program Retreat in 2017.

The Sweet-Cordero laboratory has discovered the presence of a specific long RNA molecule called EWSAT1 in Ewing cells that has an important role in the growth of bone tumors. The goal of Marcela’ work is to determine the precise mechanisms by which EWSAT1 interacts with other key molecules to drive uncontrolled growth in Ewing cells. Using CRISPRi technology, she plans to suppress EWSAT1 and then assess the impact of its removal from Ewing’s cells through the analysis of cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis. She will also assess the in vivo consequences of the loss of EWSAT1 on tumors implanted into mice. Based on preliminary data, she and her colleagues expect to see a significant reduction in tumor size, thus establishing the important role that EWSAT1 has in Ewing oncogenesis and making it a possibility for Ewing sarcoma therapeutic applications.

More information about the Sweet-Cordero laboratory is available here. To contact Dr. Briones, please email her at marcelabrionesmc@gmail.com.

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Members of the Sweet-Cordero Lab based at UC San Francisco