Dr Arcadi Cipponi

Senior Research Officer

Arcadi completed his degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Milan, Italy in 1998.  He became fascinated by the field of cancer immunology and immunotherapy and in 2008 gained a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Pathology at the University of Parma, Italy. His studies shed light on the mechanisms driving anti-tumor immune response elicited by engineered T lymphocytes expressing tumor specific antigens.

He then moved to the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Brussels, where he joined the group of Prof Pierre Coulie as Postdoctoral Fellow. His studies involved some fundamental aspects of the anti-tumor immune response, like the transcriptional profile of tumor infiltrating CD8 T lymphocytes in human melanoma samples, and the characterisation of intratumoral lymphoid neogenesis in human subcutaneous metastasis.

In 2011 he joined the group of Prof David Thomas at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, where he focused his attention on defining the general principles governing how human cancer cells adapt and evolve in response to selective pressures imposed by therapeutics. These studies emphasise the molecular and genetic mechanisms used by tumor cells to increase the levels of genetic instability and accelerate stress-induced adaptive evolution.

In 2014, the group moved to The Kinghorn Cancer Centre at the Garvan Institute in Sydney, and Arcadi is actively involved in the development of in vitro and in silico models to define cancer risks associated with germline mutations in tumor suppressor genes.

Research Interests

• Genetic evolution of human cancer cells in response to pharmacological selective pressures
• Development of in vitro and in silico models to define cancer risks in patients carrying germline mutations in tumor suppressor genes

Awards and Honours

2015 - NHMRC Project Grant “Stress-induced genomic instability as a driver of adaptive responses in human cancer cells”.
2012 - Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute Foundation Grant
2006 - FNRS (Belgian National Funds for Scientific Research) fellowship


2008 - 
PhD Cellular and Molecular Pathology, University of Parma - Italy
 - Degree in Biological Sciences (including 2 years specialisation in molecular biology and human genetics), University of Milan - Italy

Selected Publications

Cipponi A. and Thomas D. Stress-induced cellular adaptive strategies: ancient evolutionarily conserved programs as new anticancer therapeutic targets. Bioessays. 2014 Jun;36(6):552-60

Mitchell G, Ballinger ML, Wong S, Hewitt C, James P, Young MA, Cipponi A, Pang T, Goode DL, Dobrovic A, Thomas DM. High frequency of germline TP53 mutations in a prospective adult-onset sarcoma cohort. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 22;8(7)

Cipponi A, Mercier M, Seremet T, Baurain JF, Théate I, van den Oord J, Stas M, Boon T, Coulie PG, van Baren N. Neogenesis of lymphoid structures and antibody responses occur in human melanoma metastases. Cancer Res. 2012 Aug 15;72(16):3997-4007

Cipponi A, Grégoire Wieers, Nicolas van Baren, Pierre G. Coulie. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes: apparently good for melanoma patients. But why? Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy 2011 Aug;60(8) 1153-60 Review

Dr Arcadi Cipponi