Research Departments & Organizations
Dr. Xicola’s long-term goal is to decipher the unknown genetic alterations that predispose to colorectal cancer development. Her research focus is on the molecular characterization of sporadic and hereditary colorectal cancer with an interest in the biological differences among racial groups.
Dr. Xicola’s research projects use state of the art technologies and bioinformatics procedures to identify genetic factors that increase cancer risk. Moreover, she investigates the biological effects of the mutations identified in key cellular processes. Specifically, Dr. Xicola identifies rare likely pathogenic mutations in DNA repair genes using next-generation sequencing. She uses genetic engineering to introduce those mutations in epithelial cells and evaluates their effect on DNA repair.
On the other hand, she investigates the molecular alterations that trigger cancer disparities between ethnicities, with emphasis on colorectal cancer development in African Americans, which have higher incidence and mortality of several common cancers.
To develop her translational research Dr. Xicola is actively involved in several repositories and consortiums that recruit cancer patients and collect biospecimens and clinical data.