Jacksonville, Florida




Within Mayo Clinic's Brain Tumor Stem Cell Laboratory, Paula Schiapparelli, Ph.D., studies molecular features of brain tumors, with a special emphasis on glioblastoma, the most aggressive primary brain tumor in adults.

One of the key obstacles to successfully treating glioblastoma is the invasive nature of its cells. Addressing this challenge, Dr. Schiapparelli's research is centered on brain tumor cancer stem cells, including isolation, molecular characterization and analysis of genes that regulate migration as well as invasion and proliferation into the healthy brain. Her research efforts have enabled the development of novel nanomedicine-based therapies in murine models using hydrogels, microparticles and small molecules, with the goal of improving therapy for glioblastoma.

Focus areas

  • Molecular characterization of patient-derived glioblastoma tissues and cells to study brain tumor initiation capacity, migration and proliferation
  • The roles of protein kinases and ion cotransporters implicated in glioblastoma cell migration
  • Development of nanomedicine-based local therapies for glioblastoma using patient-derived cells

Significance to patient care

Dr. Schiapparelli's research is aimed at increasing knowledge about brain tumor malignancy and developing effective treatments for patients with glioblastoma. By investigating and screening small-molecule inhibitors and supramolecular hydrogels, she is improving the understanding of the mechanisms governing cell proliferation and migration.

Professional highlights

  • Awardee, Neuro-Oncology Convergence Pilot Program, Mayo Clinic Department of Neurosurgery and Research Operations Management, 2019-2022
  • Georg Haub Family Career Development Award in Cancer Research Honoring Richard F. Emslander, M.D., Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science, 2017-2020


Primary Appointment

  1. Department of Neurosurgery
  2. Department of Cancer Biology

Academic Rank

  1. Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery


  1. Post Doctoral Fellowship - Tumor Biology, neuro-oncology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  2. PhD - Molecular and Cell Biology University of Navarra
  3. B.A.Sc. - Biology and Biochemistry University of Navarra

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