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Dr. Giulio Francia
Department of Biological Sciences
College of Science
UT El Paso
Giulio grew up in Maputo Mozambique, in Africa, and he attended the local Portuguese-speaking school A Luta Continua. Later, he moved to Mbabane in the neighboring Kingdom of Swaziland, and studied at the local Sifundzane high school and then at the Waterford Kamhlaba United Word College. After completing his secondary education, he went to Bristol University in the United Kingdom where he earned a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, working in Ian Hart's Biology of Metastasis lab at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, UK. He then started postdoctoral training with Bob Kerbel at the University of Toronto, Canada. He joined UTEP as a faculty member in 2012.
Giulio studies new treatment strategies that can delay the growth of cancers that have spread to other organs. In 2002, he worked with Shan Man on the application of low-dose (metronomic) chemotherapy administered via the drinking water as a new cancer treatment strategy. A year later, with Dr. Guido Bocci, he discovered that metronomic chemotherapy can induce a response that slows the formation of blood vessels that feed a tumor. He has spent 25 years studying and developing models of late-stage cancer. In 2017 with his students Karla Parra and Paloma Valenzuela he reported on the anti-tumor effect of the combination of metronomic chemotherapy with immunotherapy.
Before joining UTEP, he had no teaching experience. In this he was 'saved' by the virtuoso mentoring by his colleagues and renowned teachers Dr. Kristin Gosselink and Dr. German Rosas-Acosta, and the unwavering support of his Dean, Dr. Rob Kirken. Giulio now teaches Freshman Biology, and Senior Cancer Biology. He tries to bring to the classroom his experience of academia from the different countries where he studied. He lives in El Paso with his wife Svetlana.