Nicola Aceto, Ph.D

Nicola Aceto is Associate Professor of Molecular Oncology and Group Leader of the Molecular Oncology Lab at the Institute of Molecular Health Sciences, Department of Biology of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich since 2021. Previously, he has been Swiss National Science Foundation Assistant Professor of Oncology at the University of Basel. Recent discoveries of the Aceto lab include important insights into the metastatic process, namely investigations of the biology and vulnerabilities of circulating tumor cell clusters (Gkountela et al., Cell, 2019, cover of the journal; Szczerba et al., Nature, 2019; Donato et al., Cell Rep, 2020) some of which already translated in clinical trials for patients with metastatic breast cancer. Previously, Nicola worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Haber lab at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, MA, USA, where he identified circulating tumor cell clusters as metastatic precursors (Aceto et al., Cell, 2014; Sarioglu and Aceto et al., Nature Methods, 2015; Aceto et al., Trends in Cancer, 2015). He has also been an active member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, MA, USA, and a visiting scientist in the Clevers lab at the Hubrecht institute, the Netherlands. Nicola received a PhD summa cum laude from the Friedrich Miescher Institute (FMI) in Basel, Switzerland with a thesis on protein tyrosine phosphatases and their role in breast cancer (Aceto et al., Nature Medicine, 2012; Sun, Aceto et al., Cell, 2011).

Nicola received three ERC Grants (StG 2015, PoC 2018, CoG 2020) and several awards related to his work on circulating tumor cells, including a prestigious Friedrich Miescher Award for Outstanding Achievements in Biochemistry (2020). He is an inventor in 10 patent applications related to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.