Marina Pasca Di Magliano

Marina Pasca Di Magliano, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, General Surgery
Associate Chair of Research, Department of Surgery
Accepting Students?


Dr. Pasca di Magliano obtained her PhD at the Institute for Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria. She then joined the laboratory of Dr Matthias Hebrok at the University of California, San Francisco, for her postdoctoral training. The Hebrok laboratory studied embryonic signaling pathways in the development and disease of pancreatic islets; Dr Pasca di Magliano’s research branched out to pancreatic cancer, revealing a role for Hedgehog and Wnt signaling in this disease. Dr Pasca di Magliano joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2008, raising through the ranks to Full Professor in 2020. Her laboratory studies the role of oncogenic KRAS, the hallmark mutation of pancreatic cancer, in the regulation of the establishment and maintenance of the pancreatic cancer stroma. Her team developed a mouse model of inducible and reversible expression of oncogenic Kras, which they used to interrogate oncogenic addition to KRAS and the crosstalk between immune cells and pancreatic cancer cells. Her work uses using genetically engineered mouse models is complemented by the use of human pancreatic cancer samples to dissect the components of the microenvironment and their reciprocal interactions.

Research Interests

My laboratory seeks to understand the evolution of pancreatic cancer and identify potential vulnerabilities. Key areas of interest: 1) Early carcinogenesis. How do lesions develop in human patients and what are the factors that underlie their progression or, conversely, prevent them from progressing. 2) Crosstalk between epithelial cells and fibroblasts throughout the progression of pancreatic cancer, including in metastatic disease. 3) Immune regulation of pancreatic cancer.

Research Opportunities for Rotating Students

The number of spots depending on the timeline for graduation for current students. Interest in bioinformatics and/or immunology are particularly relevant to current projects. Rotation projects are setup within the scope of a larger project in the lab driven by a graduate student or other lab member.