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Research Groups
Cancer development and innate immune evasion


Fior Lab

Fior Lab

Cancer Development and innate immune evasion
Tumor cells in order to thrive employ mechanisms that circumvent the immune response. This dynamic process is explained by the concept of cancer immunoediting, where some tumor cells variants have the capacity to escape the innate and adaptive immune system recognition, to then expand and hijack the host. However some tumor variants may protect less fit clones enabling immune evasion to then contribute to the whole tumor fitness, generating heterogeneous tumors with clones with different tumor traits. By combining live imaging, genetic and chemical tools we are studying the process of innate immune evasion and intra-tumoral clonal interactions using the zebrafish-larvae xenograft model. Understanding the process of innate immune rejection/ evasion may lead to new avenues of anti-cancer therapies based on modulating conserved innate immune mechanisms.

Zebrafish Avatars, towards personalised medicine
Despite advances in targeted cancer treatments, we still lack methods to predict how a specific cancer in a specific patient will respond to a given therapy. Consequently, patients go through rounds-of-trial-and-error approaches based on guidelines to find the best treatment, often subjected to unnecessary toxicity. We are developing zebrafish Patient Derived Xenografts (PDX) or “Avatars”, as sensors for cancer behavior and personalised therapy screening (Fior et al, PNAS 2017).


Get in touch

To find out more about our lab, contact Rita Fior via email.

Lab Webpage

Fior Lab


Fior Lab

Know our Team

Rita Fior

Group Leader

Ana Beatriz Machado

PhD Student

Bruna Costa

Lab Manager

Cátia Almeida


Filipa Amorim

Masters Student

Márcia Fontes

Research Technician

Marta Estrada

Postdoctoral Researcher

Raquel Mendes

Postdoctoral Researcher

Sara Cardoso

Masters Student

Vanda Póvoa

Postdoctoral Researcher


Fior Lab

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