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Prof. Dr. Caterina A. M. La Porta

Prof. Dr. Caterina A. M. La Porta

Former visiting professor


Theresienstr. 37
D-80333 Munich

Room: A304
Phone: +49 (0)89 2180-4603

Permanent address:
Department of Environmental Science and Policy, Center for Complexity & Biosystems, University of Milan, Italy

Curriculum Vitae

Caterina La Porta is currently visiting professor at LMU. She is professor of General Pathology at the University of Milan where she coordinates the research group Oncolab and is member of the steering committee of the Center for Complexity and Biosystems. In 2018, she co-founded the startup ComplexData where she serves as CEO. During her scientific career, Prof. La Porta published more than 120 papers in international journals mainly on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, receiving thousands of citations. In the past ten years, she shifted her interest to quantitative biology and network medicine. The focus of her current research activity focuses on understanding cancer heterogeneity using tools from cell biology, biophysics and data science. Her interdisciplinary view of cancer is summarized in a book published by Cambridge University Press in 2017 entitled “The Physics of Cancer”. Prof. La Porta was selected as one of the 100 most important female scientists in Italy ( and was visiting scientist in many universities around the world, including MIT, Cornell University, Aalto University, Rice University, the ENS Paris and the Weizmann Institute of Science. Prof. La Porta has a long track record of public outreach activities, including the organization of several editions of the EU Researcher’s night, and is involved in many other science dissemination activities.

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Selected Publications


C. A. M La Porta, S. Zapperi, The Physics of Cancer, Cambridge University Press, 2017 (ISBN: 9781107109599)

C. A. M. La Porta, S. Zapperi (editors) Cell migrations: causes and functions Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 1146, Hardcover, 135 pages, Publisher: Springer International Publishing, November 5, 2019, ISBN 978-3-030-17592-4

Journal papers:

C.A.M. La Porta, S. Zapperi Complexity in cancer stem cells and tumor evolution: towards precision medicine. Seminars in Cancer Biology 44 (2017) 3–9.

C.A.M. La Porta, S. Zapperi Explaining the dynamics of tumor aggressiveness: at the crossroads between biology, artificial intelligence and complex systems. Seminars in Cancer Biology, 53, pp. 42-47, 2018.

Z. Budrikis, G. Costantini, CAM La Porta, S. Zapperi, Protein accumulation in the endoplasmic reticulum as a non-equilibrium phase transition. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | 5:3620 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4620, 2014.

G. Costantini, Z. Budrikis, A. Taloni, A. Buell, S. Zapperi, C.A.M. La Porta Fluctuations in protein aggregation: Design of preclinical screening for early diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease. Physical Review Applied 6, 034012, 2016.

C. Giampietro, MC Lionetti, G. Costantini, F. Mutti, S. Zapperi, CAM La Porta Cholesterol impairment contributes to neuroserpin aggregation. Scientific Reports 7, 43669, 2017.

Silvia Bonfanti, Maria Chiara Lionetti, Maria Rita Fumagalli, Venkat R. Chirasani, Guido Tiana, Nikolay V. Dokholyan, Stefano Zapperi, Caterina A. M. La Porta Molecular mechanisms of heterogeneous oligomerization of huntingtin proteins. Scientific Reports 9:7615 |, 2019.

Elena Monzani, Floriana Facchetti, Enrico Galmozzi; Elena Corsini, Anna Benetti, Chiara Cavazzin, Angela Gritti, Andrea Piccinini, Danilo Porro, Mario Santinami, Gloria Invernici Eugenio Parati, Giulio Alessandri, Caterina AM La Porta Melanoma contains CD133 and ABCG2 positive cells with enhanced tumorigenic potential. Eur J Cancer 43, 935-946, 2007.

E. Monzani, R. Bazzotti, C. Perego, C.A.M. La Porta AQP1 is not only a water channel: it contributes to cell migration through Lin7/beta-catenin. Plos One 4, e6167. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006167, 2009.

Alessandro L. Sellerio, Emilio Ciusani, Noa Bossel Ben-Moshe, Stefania Coco, Andrea Piccinini, Christopher R. Myers, James P. Sethna, Costanza Giampietro, Stefano Zapperi, Caterina A. M. La Porta Overshoot during phenotypic switching of cancer cell populations. Nature Scientific Reports 5, 15464, doi:10.1038/srep15464, 2015.

Francesc Font-Clos, Stefano Zapperi, CAM La Porta Topography of epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity. PNAS 115 5902-5907, doi/10.1073/pnas.1722609115, 2018.