Luena Papa is an Assistant Professor at the Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry, and her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the City University of New York.
During her undergraduate training, she developed a strong interest in research focused on the mitochondrial function and metabolism in both neurodegeneration and cancer. During her postdoctoral fellowship, her research included the elucidation of mitochondrial metabolic reprogramming, mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPR), and resistance to endocrine therapies in breast cancer.
Currently, her studies focus on the mechanisms underlying the ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from CD34+ cells derived from umbilical cord blood with valproic acid treatment. This novel ex vivo expansion strategy has been implemented into an ongoing clinical trial under the leadership of Dr. Ronald Hoffman.
Her present research interests encompass the elucidation of fundamental questions regarding the role of the mitochondrial network as a critical determinant of HSC fate decisions.