Dr Chiara Galloni

Dr Chiara Galloni


After graduating in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology from the University of Bologna, I obtained my DPhil from the University College London (UCL) working in the Cellular Signalling and Cytoskeletal Function Laboratory at the London Research Institute (now The Francis Crick). During this time, my research focused on  investigating how subunit composition impacts on the function of the Arp2/3 complex, a protein machine essential for the regulation of actin assembly inside eukaryotic cells. The control of the composition of the Arp2/3 complex may have unique roles during both normal and pathological development.

I have been a postdoctoral fellow in the Signal Transduction and Cancer Microenvironment Group at the University of Leeds since 2017.   

Research interests

My current research focuses on breast cancer brain metastasis. Brain metastasis is an emerging problem in the long-term management of breast cancer and our team has identified the Rac1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), DOCK4, as a regulator of blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) and delineated the signalling pathway in which it participates in endothelial cells. Additionally, published studies have implicated DOCK4 in breast cancer cell migration in tissue culture models and DOCK4 has been shown to play a role in metastasis. In my research, funded by Breast Cancer Now, we are aiming to:

i) dissect the precise the role of endothelial DOCK4 in angiogenesis and the growth of breast cancer brain metastases,

ii) elucidate the role of DOCK4 expression in tumour cells in the process of metastasis in vivo,

iii) exploit the potential use of DOCK4 and pathway members as prognostic markers of brain metastasis.

Ultimately, this could lead to the development of therapies targeting DOCK42, to prevent metastasis and growth of breast cancers in the brain and to treat brain metastases.






  • DPhil in Molecular Biology, University College London (2016)
  • MS, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna (2012)

Student education

- 2017-2018 Tutor for Research Evaluation Special Studies 1 (RESS1) First year Medical Student Selected Project,
- Dec 2017: Lecturer for the Clinical and Medical Oncology Basic Sciences Course (FRCR).

- Oct 2017-Feb 2018: Supervision of Erasmus placement student. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's