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Stefano Tiziani

Associate Professor
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Department of Oncology


Phone: 512-495-4706

Office Location

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78723

Dr. Tiziani received his Laurea in Chemistry at the University of Trieste, Italy. In 2006, he completed his Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition at The Ohio State University where he developed a strong interest in phytochemicals and their role in diseases prevention. His interest in biomarker identification was subsequently extended during his postgraduate training in the field of translational chemical biology to study cancer metabolism. In 2006 he joined the School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham (UK), where he investigated the outcome of drug treatment in leukemia cell lines, human biofluids and tumor biopsies using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy-based metabolomics. He continued his postdoctoral training in systems biology at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (La Jolla, CA) where he combined metabolomic data with in silico modeling of the human metabolic network to gain a better understanding of the role of the tumor microenvironment in childhood leukemia. He developed a novel NMR-based high throughput screening method suitable to study combinatorial drug treatment and to investigate survival and metabolism in cell lines and primary leukemia cells after drug intervention.

Research Interests

Altered cellular metabolism is a hallmark of cancer and can promote tumorigenesis, sustain tumor growth and favor cancer drug resistance. The Tiziani Lab is interested in understanding how drug-induced modulation of tumor metabolism and nutrient microenvironment affect treatment outcome. Combination therapies are often needed for effective clinical management of complex diseases. Discovery of new combinations is hampered by the vast space of possibilities created when more than a few drugs over a range of doses are considered. The goal of his research group is to combine high-throughput screening measurements, magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry-based metabolomics, metabolic flux analysis and other omic data to gain a better bio-mechanistic understanding of the effects of combined drug treatment in a disease setting. The systematic combination therapy optimization effort might provide unique information about the selectivity of the treatment towards the specific disease which can be rapidly translated in a personalized drug treatment.

The lab is also interested in oxidative stress, energy balance in diet and obesity in cancer risk. Individuals with imbalanced nutritional habits are more vulnerable to metabolic diseases. In this context, the chemical analysis of the metabolome in human biofluids and tissues can provide a wealth of information on human health, including the assessment of disease state and diagnosis, drug targets and toxicity.