Francesca Peruzzi, PhD Francesca Peruzzi, PhD, is an Associate Professor within the Hematology/Oncology section of the Department of Medicine and a key member of the neurological cancer research program at the Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center. Dr. Peruzzi arrived at LSU in 2010, from the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, where she was an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and an active researcher in the Center for Neurovirology. She earned her doctorate in biology from Siena University, Italy, in 1992, and completed postdoctoral fellowships in microbiology and immunology at each the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University and the School of Medicine at Temple University. Her current research focuses on molecular mechanisms associated with brain cell dysfunction caused by HIV-1 infection and on the role of microRNAs in controlling tumor growth. microRNAs are important in cancer research, as they have emerged as key molecules regulating a variety of cellular processes. One characteristic of these small nucleic acids is that they can be secreted by the cells as free molecules or within microvesicles. Indeed, a variety of tumor cells, including aggressive brain tumors (glioblastomas), utilize microvesicles to exchange "information". This observation has launched a line of research that includes investigating of the role of microRNAs in the control of tumor growth and metastatic dissemination.