akkarilab

Leila Akkari

PhD
Junior Group Leader
Netherlands Cancer Institute

We are located on B3 of the NKI-AvL Cancer Center, and our lab had an open plan organization to promote interactions and collaborations between the Akkari group members but also with members from other research groups we are sharing the floor with. Our research combines experimental and mouse model tools. We use microscopy, immunohistochemistry and image analysis, cell culture, molecular biology and in vivo cancer models on a regular basis. We also closely collaborate with the VU university and Slotevaart hospital to obtain patient samples. As part of Netherlands Cancer Institute (here insert the link of the NKI), we have access to state-of-the-art facilities available to us 24/7.

 

The Lab tools:

- Multiple FACS sorters and Flow cytometers for analyses

Benchtop Octodissociator with heaters for tumor preparation in ML-II labs 

- Confocal and live microscopes

- Transcriptomics platforms for next generation sequencing

- Access to mouse facilities and trainings

- Full computer workstations and computing facilities

 

About Leila Akkari

I trained in cellular and molecular biology during my BA at the University of Montpellier in France, and graduated in 2004 before performing my Master in oncology and immunology between Montpellier and Manchester (England).

I then came back to Montpellier to perform my PhD in health sciences in the laboratory of Dr Ula Hibner, at the IGMM CNRS, during which I studied the effects of HCV viral proteins on cancer initiation through alteration of hepatocyte polarity and cell shape. This was my first encounter on how tumor-extrinsic factors can favor pre-neoplastic transformation.

Once my PhD finished, I wanted to develop my focus in the tumor microenvironment field, in rare tumors, and I joined Prof. Johanna Joyce's laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. During this time, I began to work with mouse models of brain and pancreatic cancer, primarily focusing on tumor associated macrophages and their pro-tumorigenic roles in multiple tumor microenvironment. In 2017, I became a Junior Group Leader at the NKI.

Education

 

2011-2016

Post-Doc

in Cancer Biology and Genetics
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,
New York City, USA and Ludwig cancer center, Lausanne, Switzerland.

2006-2010

PhD

in Cell Biology 
University of Sciences and Technics of Montpellier 2, France 

2001-2006

B.S-MSc

in Molecular and Cellular Biology
University of Sciences and Technics of Montpellier, France 

 

Positions and Employment

 

Jan. 2017 -

Assistant Professor

in Department of Immunology, Netherland Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2011-2016

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City
Laboratory of Dr. Johanna A. Joyce

2006-2010

PhD Student

Institute of Molecular Genetics of Montpellier, CNRS (French National Research Center) 
Laboratory of Dr. Urszula Hibner

2005

Erasmus Free Mover Fellow

University of Manchester, England
Laboratory of Pr. Richard Grencis

2003-2004

Intern

in Institute of Molecular Genetics of Montpellier, CNRS, France
Laboratory of Dr. Robert Hipskind

 

My group is interested in the microenvironment-mediated mechanisms of tumor maintenance and therapeutic resistance to conventional therapy in brain and liver malignancies. In particular, we investigate the acquired resistance mechanisms resulting from alterations in the activation and recruitment of myeloid cells and their mediators in response to standard of care treatment. Our research aims to identify the vulnerabilities in the cancer cell/ stromal compartment heterotypic communication in solid tumors that may be targeted therapeutically.

Honors and Awards

 

2017

5 year Young Investigator Grant, Bas Mulder Award. KWF (Dutch Cancer Society)

2014

Post-doctoral fellowship grant, American Brain Tumor Association

2013

Travel award to attend the Eighth General Meeting of the International Proteolysis Society (IPS) in Cape Town, South Africa

2012

2 year fellowship grant awarded by the Brain Tumor Center, MSKCC, New York City

2011

Travel award to attend the Seventh General Meeting of the International Proteolysis Society (IPS) in San Diego, CA, USA

2010

Young Investigator travel award to attend the EASL meeting (European Association for the study of the Liver) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2010

Best poster award at the GSO meeting (Canceropole Grand-Sud Ouest) in Toulouse, France

2009

1 year Ph.D. fellowship, ARC (Association for Cancer Research), France

2008

Experimentation animale Niveau 1. 2 week training (80hrs)

2006

3 year Ph.D. fellowship, Ministry of Education and Research, France

2005

6 month Erasmus exchange program fellowship