Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1989 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr. Alfonso Bellacosa is a Professor in the Cancer Epigenetics Institute and Nuclear Dynamics & Cancer Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center. He received his M.D. and training in hematology/oncology from the Catholic University Medical School in Rome, and his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Paris.  He did his postdoctoral training in Molecular Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center.


His research is focused on the analysis of genetic and epigenetic alterations in cancer to understand normal gene function and pathogenesis of disease, with the ultimate goal of identifying critical regulatory molecules/pathways as targets for innovative approaches of cancer prevention and therapy. His main contributions to science have been: 1) the cloning and functional characterization of the oncogene AKT; 2) the cloning, mutational analysis and functional characterization of the DNA repair enzyme MED1/MBD4; 3) the characterization of the role of the DNA repair enzyme TDG in DNA demethylation and epigenetic regulation; and, more recently, 4) the identification of TDG as a target for cancer treatment.


The Bellacosa lab employs biochemical, genetic and genomic approaches to address fundamental mechanisms of genome and epigenome stability in cancer, with a particular focus on the regulation of DNA methylation and DNA demethylation.  Currently the lab focuses on three main areas: Project 1 aims to identify the mechanisms by which active DNA demethylation (primarily TDG) constitute a vulnerability in melanoma and lung cancer, using molecular and cellular biology techniques, epigenomics, and animal models.  Project 2 employs biochemical assays to identify potent inhibitors of TDG. Project 3 aims to characterize the epigenetics of melanoma and its relationship to response or resistance to immunotherapy, using mouse models and human melanoma samples. 


Dr. Bellacosa has earned honors and awards for his work, including the"Sir Paul Girolami" Award for Innovative Research in Biology and Medicine,          presented by Nobel Laureates Edmund Fischer and Rita Levi-Montalcini, and the Italian American Medical Award which acknowledges individuals of Italian origin who, thanks to their spirit and commitment, have honored their country of origin and given contribution to research, leadership, and mentorship in the medical community.


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