Florence Janody is the Coordinator of the CYTOSKELETAL REGULATION and CANCER group at IPATIMUP/i3S (Instituto de Patologia e Imunologia Molecular da Universidade do Porto/Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde) in Porto - Portugal and an associated group leader at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC), Oeiras, Portugal.
Since she had started her career in 1995, as a Ph.D. Student in the laboratory of Dr. Nathalie Dostatni at the Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille Luminy (IBDML), France. In 2000 she joined the Laboratory of Jessica Treisman at the Skirball Institute in New York, USA for her Postdoc. She established her independency in 2007 at IGC, Oeiras, Portugal before moving her laboratory to IPATIMUP/i3S early this year.
Her main research interest has been to understand how signal transduction cascades control cell fate decision and cancer progression. Her contribution to the field gave rise to 26 publications with a total number of 763 citations and an overall H-factor of 15. Her average citations per year is 1.39 for her Ph.D. work, 3,45 for her Posdoctoral work and 4,52 for her work as a group leader.
She established her independency with the goal of characterizing the role of the actin cytoskeleton in signal transduction pathways. Using Drosophila melanogaster, inducible human cell lines that recapitulate the multistep development of cancer and tumour samples, her laboratory composed of a maximum of 6 investigators, has proven to be highly productive with 10 research manuscripts published in competitive fields. 9 were published in the top 15% journal in the research area with an average 5-years impact factor of 7.08. Her first publication as a group leader has already been cited 163 times (García Fernández et al., 2011) and initiated a whole field of investigation in deciphering the role of actomyosin in controlling the conserved Hippo tumour suppressor pathway. Taken together, her team has reported the existence of reciprocal feedbacks between the actin cytoskeleton and the activity of various cancer pathways. Her work argues that F-actin translates upstream signals into mechanical and/or biochemical signalling to the nucleus to control carcinogenesis.
Her current aim is to decipher the mechanisms by which the actin cytoskeleton constitutes a signalling axis from the cell membrane to the nucleus to control cancer cell plasticity and progression. To tackle these questions, her lab is relying on 4 complementary models:
• The in vivo model Drosophila melanogaster.
• Inducible human cell lines that recapitulate the multistep development of cancer.
• Tumour samples.
• Computational modelling.
She has completed the supervision of 3 Ph.D., 6 Master Students and 2 Postdocs. Among which 8 are pursuing an academic career in science or joined the private sector as researchers. She is the IGC coordinator of the Portuguese CANCEL STEM Programme (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-0163), funded by the Portuguese research council, which aims to advance in cancer stem cell research through gathering 18 laboratories in Portugal, located in 3 leading Institutes (i3S, CNC.IBILI and IGC). Moreover, she has established diverse collaborations:
"IN HOUSE" at I3S, Porto
- Dr. J. Paredes, principal investigator of the Epithelial Interactions in Cancer group
- Dr. R. Seruca, coordinator of the Epithelial Interactions in Cancer group
- Dr. M.J. Oliveira, coordinator of the Tumour %Microenvironment group
- Dr. E. Morais de Sa, coordinator of the Epithelial Polarity & Cell Division group
- Dr. J. Pereira Leal at IGC, Oeiras, Portugal.
- Dr. C. Chaouiya, at Institute of Mathematics of Marseilles (I2M), France.
- Dr. F. Pignoni at Center for Vision Research, Syracuse, USA.
- Dr. N. Tapon at the Francis Crick Institute, London, UK.
- Dr. F. Casares at Centro Andaluz de Biologia del Desarrollo, Sevilla, Spain
- Dr. J. Guck at Biotechnology Center, Dresden, Germany
- Dr. A. Stein at Department of Human Genetics, KULeuven, Belgium
- Dr. J.L. White at Cancer Research UK, London, UK)
So far, these collaborations have been highly productive, giving rise to 6 manuscripts published in international journal.