Riccardo Dalla-Favera

Columbia University

Primary Section: 41, Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology
Secondary Section: 43, Immunology and Inflammation
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2015)


Riccardo Dalla-Favera is known for his studies on the genetic alterations involved in the pathogenesis of human cancer, and human B cell lymphoma in particular. He was born in Legnano, Milan, Italy, in 1951 and grew up in Milan. He obtained his medical Doctor degree from University of Milan. He moved to the U.S. in 1978 to join as a Fogarty Fellow the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.  In 1983 he joined the faculty of New York University, and in 1989 moved to Columbia University, where he is the founding Director of the Institute for Cancer Genetics. He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Research Interests

Riccardo Dalla-Favera's laboratory is interested in the pathogenesis of human B- cell malignancies, including Burkitt Lymphoma (BL), Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). Using first the molecular dissection of chromosomal translocations that are recurrent in these diseases, his group has identified several oncogenes involved in these genetic alterations, including c-MYC in BL and BCL6 in DLBCL. More recently, using genome-wide gene sequencing and gene expression analysis, his group has elucidated a more complete landscape of the genome of these malignancies. They have identified the normal function as well as the contribution to B-cell transformation of recurrently altered genes by using in vitro studies and conditional mouse models reproducing the lesions in germinal-center B cells, the normal counterpart of most B cell malignancies. The results of the Dalla-Favera team have contributed to the understanding of normal B cell function, and are having an impact on the diagnostics and therapeutic targeting of BL, DLBCL, and CLL.

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