2011 Seed the Scientist Grant Recipient

Dr. Lucia Speroni

Postdoctoral Fellow, Tufts University

Dr. Lucia Speroni received her Ph.D degree in 2008 from the National University of Quilmes in Buenos Aires Argentina. There, together with Dr. Bustuoabad she studied the role of tissue environment in tumor malignancy, a subject the continues to be central to her research interest here at Tufts University School of Medicine. In 2010 Dr. Speroni became a post-doctoral fellow in the Laboratories of Drs. Soto and Sonnenschein where she is now developing a 3D culture model to study the role of mammogenic hormones on normal breast tissue organization and during carcinogenesis. Additionally, Dr. Speroni is interested in studying the relationship between perinatal exposure to environmental chemicals and breast cancer development. Thousands of new chemicals are synthesized each year worldwide and are indiscriminately introduced in our midst. Of those, more than 80,000 chemicals are registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). They are present in plastics, detergents and other household and consumer products. Identification of those chemicals that are breast carcinogens is a necessary step in order to develop a public health policy aimed at decreasing exposures to protect women from developing breast cancer.

The Art beCAUSE $30,000 Seed the Scientist award will allow Dr. Speroni to develop an organ-like in culture method of the fetal mammary gland in which suspected synthetic chemicals will be tested for their ability to alter mammary gland development, and therefore help to identify potential breast carcinogens.