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  • Dr. Paola Marcato, PhD


Associate Professor


Department of Pathology, Dalhousie University

Research Interests:

Cancer, Breast Cancer

The research projects in my laboratory have the long-term goal of developing improved therapeutic strategies for breast cancer based on a precision medicine approach. We use transcriptome and genome-wide functional assays, cell lines, patient-derived xenografts (PDXs), mouse tumor models, and analysis of published patient datasets to identify biomarkers, study breast cancer stem cells (CSCs) and understand factors important in breast cancer progression. These factors include epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation and long non-coding RNA.

The breast cancer projects in my laboratory have the long-term goal of developing improved therapeutic strategies for breast cancer based on a precision medicine approach. We utilize both transcriptome and methylome profiling, and genome-wide functional assays (e.g. shRNA screens) to identify biomarkers which predict response to therapies. Using a combination of breast cancer cell line panels, patient-derived xenografts (PDXs), mouse tumor models, and analysis of published patient datasets, the potential biomarkers are validated.

Currently recruiting graduate students and postdoctoral fellows

Involvement with BHCRI to date:

Dr. Marcato is a BHCRI Senior Scientist


(902) 494-4239



Department of Pathology, Dalhousie University, 11C1 5850 College Street, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3H 4R2


Thomas ML, De Antueno R, Coyle KM, Sultan M, Cruickshank B, Giacomantonio M, Giacomantonio CA, Duncan R, Marcato P. (2016) Citral reduces breast tumour growth by inhibiting cancer stem cell marker ALDH1A3. Mol. Oncol. (in press). IF=5.331

Coyle KM, Murphy P, Vidovic D, Dean CA, Sultan M, Clements D, Wallace M, Vaghar-Kashani A, Thomas ML, Hundert A, Giacomantonio CA, Helyer L, Gujar S, Lee PWK, Weaver I, Marcato P. (2016) Breast cancer subtype dictates DNA methylation and ALDH1A3-mediated expression of tumor suppressor RARRES1. Oncotarget. 7(28):44096-112. IF=6.359

Sharif T, Ahn D-G, Liu R-Z, Pringle E, Nunokawa A, Kwak M, Clements D, Martell E, Murphy P, Dean CA, Marcato P, McCormick C, Godbout R, Gujar SA, Lee PWK. (2016) The NAD+ salvage pathway modulates cancer cell viability via p73. Cell Death Diff. 23(4):669-80. IF=8.184

Canino C, Luo Y, Marcato P, Blandino G, Pass H,  Cioce MA (2015) STAT3-NFkB/DDIT3/CEBPβ axis modulates ALDH1A3 expression in chemoresistant cell subpopulations. Oncotarget. 6(14):12637-53

Clements D, Sterea A, Helson E, Dean CA, Nunokawa A, Coyle KM, Sharif T, Marcato P, Gujar SA, Lee PWK (2015) Newly recruited CD11b+, GR-1+, Ly6Chigh myeloid cells augment tumor-associated immunosuppression immediately following the therapeutic administration of oncolytic reovirus. J. Immun. 194(9):4397-412. IF =4.92

Marcato P*, Dean CA, Liu R-Z, Coyle KM, Bydoun M, Wallace M, Clements D, Turner C, Mathenge E, Gujar SA, Giacomantonio CA, Mackey JR, Godbout R, Lee PWK* (2015) Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A3 influences breast cancer growth rate via differential retinoic acid signaling. Mol. Oncol. 9(1):17-31. IF. 5.331  (*co-corresponding authors). IF=5.331 

Mathenge EG, Dean CA, Clements D, Vaghar-Kashani A, Photopoulos S, Coyle KM, Giacomantonio M, Malueth B, Nunokawa A, Jordan J, Lewis JD, Gujar SA, Marcato P, Lee PW, Giacomantionio CA (2014) Core needle biopsy of 4T1 breast cancer tumors increases distant metastasis in association with an immunosuppressive microenvironment. Neoplasia. 16(11):950-960. IF =4.509

Thomas ML, Coyle KM, Sultan M, Vaghar-kashani A, Marcato P (2014) Chemoresistance in Cancer Stem Cells and Strategies to Overcome Resistance. Chemotherapy. 3:125. doi: 10.4172/2167-7700.1000125 

Gujar SA, Clements D, Dielschneider R, Helson E, Marcato P, Lee PWK (2014) Gemcitabine enhances the efficacy of reovirus-based oncotherapy through anti-tumor immunological mechanisms. Br. J. Cancer. 10(1):83-93. IF=5.569

Coyle KM, Marcato P (2013) Cancer stem cells: clinical relevance. Can J Path. 5(4):141-149.

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