Anna Rita Cantelmo

Anna Rita Cantelmo, PhD
Team leader
Phone: + 33 320 43 40 77





Cell and Molecular Biology, cancer and oncology, angiogenesis, metastases, metabolic crosstalk, endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition, calcium ion channels


Personal statement and research interests

Since my Master degree training, my research interests have been focused on the study of (tumor) angiogenesis and its molecular mechanisms in health and disease. I acquired experience in developing strategies to inhibit tumor angiogenesis and cancer progression.

From 2007 till 2010, I performed my PhD in the laboratory of Dr Adriana Albini (MultiMedica, Milan, Italy). My project focused on the evaluation of the antiangiogenic activity of several compounds with a main endpoint on studying the ability of synthetic peptides, derived from the docking site of the c-Met receptor, to interfere with tumor angiogenesis (Cantelmo et al. Oncogene, 2010).

For my postdoctoral training, I joined the laboratory of Prof Peter Carmeliet (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology, Leuven, Belgium), to study the role of a glycolytic regulator (PFKFB3) in endothelial cell (EC) metabolism and pathological angiogenesis. I contributed to the first studies investigating the role of PFKFB3-driven glycolysis in vessel sprouting (De Bock et al. Cell, 2013) and pathological angiogenesis (Schoors, De Bock, Cantelmo et al. Cell Metab, 2014; Schoors, Cantelmo et al. Cell Cycle, 2014; Cantelmo et al. Cancer Cell, 2016; Conradi, Brajic, Cantelmo et al. Angiogenesis, 2017).

From 2018, I have been appointed as young group leader at the University of Lille to develop my own research on tumor angiogenesis.

ECs contribute to metastatic dissemination by regulating vascular permeability and barrier integrity. The use of drugs targeting the tumor vasculature (antiangiogenic therapy) has been proposed as an alternative anti-cancer therapy, but so far, it has failed to show significant survival benefits in many tumor types. This is because we still do not completely understand the mechanisms regulating ECs dysfunctions.

The aim of my team is to investigate the process of endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition during cancer progression. We aim to understand how the metabolic crosstalk between cancer cells and ECs regulates this process, and whether other unconventional mechanisms, such as altered calcium homeostasis and ion channels are involved. Our ultimate goal is to identify new targets that can be used to inhibit the metastatic spread.

Publication list


Team members

Camille Dejos, PhD
Phone: + 33 320 43 40 77

Camille obtained a PhD in Molecular & Cellular Biology in 2014 at the University of Poitiers, France. Her PhD thesis focused on the role of Ca2+ signaling in photoreceptor differentiation. After a first postdoc at the University of Alberta, Canada, Camille worked at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, where she investigated the role of mitochondria in skin wound healing. She joined the team in March 2019.


Mathilde Lebas
Phone: + 33 320 43 40 77

After obtaining a Master 2 at the University of Lille, Mathilde joined the team as an engineer.