Investigator, Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Attending Physician
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC
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Dr. Fabbri was trained in Italy, where he got his MD and PhD degrees. In Italy he also specialized in medical oncology and has served as a clinician for 7 years. In 2003 he joined Dr. Carlo Croce’s lab in the US, where he has been training for several years. Dr. Fabbri is author of more than 60 peer reviewed publications and book chapters, serves in the Editorial Board of 6 international scientific Journals, and has been invited as a speaker to 24 national and international conferences.

Dr. Fabbri has contributed many of the seminal discoveries made by that group in the field of microRNAs (and other non-coding RNAs) in cancer. In particular, Dr. Fabbri has provided the first evidence of the existence of epi-miRNAs (a group of miRNAs able to regulate epigenetically modulated genes through their targeting effects on effectors of the epigenetic machinery) and has described a complex miRNA-based network responsible for the prognostic significance of chromosomal aberrations in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

More recently, Dr. Fabbri has identified a completely new mechanism of action for miRNAs as ligands of Toll-like receptors, therefore discovering an unsuspected new mechanism of action used by cancer cells to grow within their tumor microenvironment and disseminate.


Medical School: 

University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 110/110 with honor, 1997; Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy, 2012


University of Ferrara (Medical Oncology), Ferrara, Italy 2001


University of Ferrara (Medical Oncology), Ferrara, Italy 1997-2001



Medical Oncology, Italy

Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies- Department of Experimental Applied Sciences- Medicine and Surgery Branch, Pisa, Italy, Degree with honor, 1999.

Professional Memberships: 

American Association of Cancer Research
Society of Pediatric Research
American Society for Exosomes and Microvesicles
International Society of Extracellular Vesicles


Sidney Kimmel Scholar Award, 2009
St. Baldrick's Foundation Scholarship, 2013
The Saban Research Institute Research Center
Development Award, 2013





Challagundla KB, Wise PM, Neviani P, Chava H, Murtadha M, Xu T, Kennedy R, Ivan C, Zhang X, Vannini I, Fanini F, Amadori D, Calin GA, Hadjidaniel M, Shimada H, Jong A, Seeger RC, Asgharzadeh S, Goldkorn A, Fabbri M.  Exosome-Mediated Transfer of microRNAs Within the Tumor Microenvironment and Neuroblastoma Resistance to Chemotherapy. J Natl Cancer Inst 107(7), 2015. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djv135.

Ling H, Fabbri M*, Calin GA. MicroRNAs and other non-coding RNAs as targets for anticancer drug development. Nat Rev Drug Discov 12(11):847-65, 2013.

Fabbri M, Paone A, Calore F, Galli R, Gaudio E, Santhanam R, Lovat F, Fadda P, Mao C, Nuovo GJ, Zanesi N, Crawford M, Ozer GH, Wernicke D, Alder H, Caligiuri MA, Nana-Sinkam P, Perrotti D, Croce CM. MicroRNAs bind to Toll-like receptors to induce prometastatic inflammatory response. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A 109(31):E2110-6, 2012.

Fabbri M, Bottoni A, Shimizu M, Spizzo R, Nicoloso M, Rossi S, Barbarotto E, Cimmino A, Adair B, Wojcik S, Valeri N, Calore F, Sampath D, Fanini F, Vannini I, Musuraca G, Dell’Aquila M, Alder H, Davuluri R, Rassenti L, Negrini M, Nakamura T, Amadori D, Kay N, Rai K, Keating M, Kipps T, Calin G, Croce CM. Association of a microRNA/TP53 feedback circuitry with the pathogenesis and prognostic factors of B-Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. JAMA 305(1):59-67, 2011.

Fabbri M, Garzon R, Cimmino A, Liu Z, Zanesi N, Callegari E, Liu S, Alder H, Costinean S, Fernandez-Cymering C, Volinia S, Guler G, Morrison CD, Chan KK, Marcucci G, Calin GA, Huebner K, Croce CM. MicroRNA-29 family reverts aberrant methylation in lung cancer by targeting DNA methyltransferases 3A and 3B. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A 104(40):15805-15810, 2007.

Research Interests: 

Muller Fabbri, MD, PhD, is interested in studying the role of microRNAs (and other non-coding RNAs) in cancer biology. His lab is specifically investigating the role of non-coding RNAs in the tumor microenvironment and how this contributes to cancer growth and dissemination. Also, they are working on understanding the mechanisms through which microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs within extracellular vesicles contribute to the cross-talk between cancer cells and surrounding cells of the tumor microenvironment and how such inter-cellular communication affects cancer biology and the development of drug resistance.

Visit the Fabbri Laboratory.


4650 Sunset Blvd
MS #57
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-361-8920Office
Fax: 323-361-8920Fax