Research Groups

Barazzuol group

Barazzuol group

Radiotherapy is an essential and highly effective part of the treatment of many cancers, including paediatric and adult brain tumours. Irradiation of normal brain tissue is, however, unavoidable and can result in major impairment of neurocognitive functioning and reduced quality of life. Similar effects have also been seen after chemotherapy for brain, but also non-intracranial, tumours.

Lara Barazzuol’s group focuses on assessing the effect of radiation (and chemotherapy) on the brain and aims to achieve an improved biological and molecular understanding of cancer treatment-induced neurocognitive dysfunction.

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  • Lara Barazzuol Visit

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    • All Publications: mepa page or  pdf Selected Publications:
      1. Lara Barazzuol, Limei Ju, Penny A. Jeggo A coordinated DNA damage response promotes adult quiescent neural stem cell activation PLOS Biology 2017 May 10; Pdf
      2. Barazzuol L, Ju L, Jeggo PA. In vivo sensitivity of the embryonic and adult neural stem cell compartments to low-dose radiation. Journal of Radiation Research 2016 1:i2-i10.. Pdf
      3. Barazzuol L, Rickett N, Ju L, Jeggo PA. Low levels of endogenous or X-ray-induced DNA double-strand breaks activate apoptosis in adult neural stem cells Journal of Cell Science 2015 128(19):3597-606. Pdf
      4. Saha S, Woodbine L, Haines J, Coster M, Ricket N, Barazzuol L, Ainsbury E, Sienkiewicz Z, Jeggo P. Increased apoptosis and DNA double-strand breaks in the embryonic mouse brain in response to very low-dose X-rays but not 50 Hz magnetic fields Journal of the Royal Society Interface 2014 11(100):20140783. Pdf
      5. Barazzuol L, Jeynes JC, Merchant MJ, Wéra AC, Barry M, Kirkby KJ, Suzuki M. Radiosensitisation of glioblastoma cells using a histone deacetylase inhibitor (SAHA) comparing carbon ions with X-rays. International Journal of Radiation Biology 2015 91(1):90-8. Pdf
      6. Wéra AC, Barazzuol L, Jeynes JC, Merchant MJ, Suzuki M, Kirkby KJ. Influence of the nucleus area distribution on the survival fraction after charged particles broad beam irradiation. Physics in Medicine & Biology 2014 59 4197. Pdf
      7. Barazzuol L, Jena R, Burnet NG, Jeynes JCG, Kirkby KJ, Kirkby NF. Evaluation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor ABT-888 combined with radiotherapy and temozolomide in glioblastoma Radiation Oncology 2013 8:65. Pdf
      8. Jeynes JCG, Merchant MJ, Barazzuol L, Barry M, Palitsin V, Grime GW, Webb RP, Kirkby KJ. Broadbeam irradiation of mammalian cells using a vertical microbeam facility. Radiation and Environmental Biophysics 2013 52(4):513-521. Pdf
      9. Barazzuol L, Jena R, Burnet NG, Jeynes JCG, Merchant MJ, Kirkby KJ, Kirkby NF. In vitro evaluation of combined temozolomide and radiotherapy using X-rays and high linear energy transfer radiation for glioblastoma. Radidation Research 2012 177:651-662. Pdf
      10. Barazzuol L, Burnet NG, Jena R, Jones B, Jefferies SJ, Kirkby NF. A mathematical model of brain tumour response to radiotherapy and chemotherapy considering radiobiological aspects Journal of Theoretical Biology 2010 262(3):553-65. Pdf
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  • Lara Barazzuol obtained her PhD in Radiation Biology in 2012 at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom under the supervision of Karen J Kirkby. She then held a 3-year postdoctoral position at the Genome Damage and Stability Centre, United Kingdom, in Professor Penny Jeggo’s laboratory, known for their world-leading research in DNA repair. This is where Lara developed her research interest of how the embryonic and adult brain respond to DNA damage. In September of 2016, Lara moved to the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands to establish her own laboratory within the Department of Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems and the Department of Radiation Oncology.

    Highlights from her career to date comprise several peer-reviewed articles and young investigator awards, including the 2012 Mercia Award in Medical Engineering, the 2015 British Institute of Radiology Nic McNally Award, the 2017 Adrian Begg Award and the 2017 Bas Mulder Award. Since 2016, Lara became a committee member of the British Association of Radiation Research. She is currently project leader on grants from ZonMW and KWF (Dutch Cancer Society).

  • When using radiotherapy in the treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumours, damage of normal brain tissue is an unavoidable side effect. This can severely compromise cancer patients’ quality of life by diminishing their neurocognitive function, especially in cases of childhood brain tumours. The underlying mechanisms are not fully understood and, at present, there is no effective treatment.

    Lara Barazzuol’s lab, by using a combination of methodologies (ranging from brain organoids to in vivo imaging and behavioral tests), aims to understand the underlying biological and molecular mechanisms of radiotherapy-induced neurocognitive dysfunction; and, to elucidate the effect of genetic variation on the pattern and severity of neurocognitive outcome based on clinical data.

    Another interest of Lara Barazzuol’s lab is investigating how defects in DNA repair impact on human health, with particular focus on neurodegenerative diseases, and understanding how this knowledge can be exploited in the clinic.

  • Projects for internships of Master’s and technical students are available in the following topics:

    • Investigating the response of radiation or chemotherapy-induced DNA damage using cerebral organoids
    • Investigating the role of DNA damage-induced protein aggregation and senescence in neurocognitive dysfunction
    • Further development and characterization of our cerebral organoid system
    • Analysis of behavioural data and PET neuroimaging after radiation damage
  • PhD student positions. For further details contact

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