Skip to main content
Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Professor Silvia Marino, MD, FRCPath


Professor of Neuropathology

Centre: Centre for Genomics for Child Health

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2585


Silvia Marino is the Director of the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence, a partnership between QMUL and the charity Brain Tumour Research.

The focus of the Marino research group is on the biology of stem cells and progenitor cells, on the pathways and genes involved in control of their maintenance, proliferation and differentiation, in particular the Polycomb group genes. The group is currently investigating the role of deregulated epigenetic mechanisms in initiation and progression of brain tumours –medulloblastomas and glioblastomas- in experimental models and in human tumour samples.

Prof Marino is the lead of the Barts Brain Tumour Centre, a clinical research platform at QMUL/Barts Heath funded by Barts Charity to take basic science discoveries to the clinic more effectively with the aim of increasing the availability of experimental treatments to brain tumour patients. 

In her clinical role as a consultant neuropathologist, she specialises in the neuropathological assessment of neuro-oncological surgical specimen and muscle biopsies.

Prof Marino is the current Vice-President of the British Neuropathology Society (BNS), the Academic Training Programme Director for Pathology at NHS England London and a past President of the British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS).


Silvia Marino is Professor of Neuropathology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London and also Honorary Consultant Neuropathologist at Barts Health NHS Trust. After studying Medicine at the University of Turin in Italy, Professor Marino trained in Neuropathology and Histopathology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. She trained in molecular genetics with Professor Anton Berns at The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam as a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow of the European Community studying the role of the tumour suppressor Rb and p53 in the pathogenesis of medulloblastoma in genetically engineered mouse models. She established her own laboratory research group in 2002 firstly at the Institute of Pathology, University of Zurich and then since 2006 at the Blizard Institute in London.

Group Members





MSc Neuroscience and Translational Medicine

MSc Regenerative Medicine


PhD studentships

Prof Marino is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Lab experience placements

Prof Marino is pleased to consider applications for prospective lab placements.


Research Interests:

We are a multidisciplinary research group composed of basic scientists and clinical researchers with the common aim to apply knowledge of basic stem cell biology to advance our understanding of brain tumours.

The group focuses on glioblastoma (GBM) and on medulloblastoma (MB), the most common malignant brain tumours in adults and children respectively. The aim of the research is to increase our understanding of the cells within the brain from which these tumours originate and to characterise key deregulated epigenetic mechanisms driving their growth.

In GBM, the team has established a novel experimental pipeline which allows for the first time to compare GBM stem cells to their normal counterpart -the neural stem cells- isolated from the same patient. The aim is to uncover patient-specific changes which will advance the clinical evaluation of each individual patient and lead to better and more specific drugs.

In MB, the Marino group is studying the role of chromatin modifiers, such as the Polycomb group (PcG) genes, in the development of the tumour and how these genes can be targeted therapeutically in the tumour cells without affecting the normal cells at a crucial stage of brain development in children.

Current projects in the lab are funded by Brain Tumour Research, Cancer Research UK, Barts Charity, Ali's Dream and NIHR.


Key Publications

Subgroup-specific roles of primary cilia in medulloblastoma. S Marino. Genes Dev. 2022 Jun 1;36(11-12):650-651. doi: 10.1101/gad.349856.122. PMID: 35835507; PMCID: PMC9296002.

Combination of BMI1 and MAPK/ERK inhibitors is effective in medulloblastoma. S Badodi, N Pomella, YM Lim, S Brandner, G Morrison, SM Pollard, X Zhang, NR Zabet, S Marino. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Feb 25:noac052. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noac052. PMID: 35213723; PMCID: PMC9340634.

Comparative epigenetic analysis of tumour initiating cells and syngeneic EPSC-derived neural stem cells in glioblastoma. C Vinel, G Rosser, L Guglielmi, M Constantinou, N Pomella, X Zhang, JR Boot, TA Jones, TO Millner, AA Dumas, V Rakyan, J Rees, JL Thompson, J Vuononvirta, S Nadkarni, T El Assan, N Aley, YY Lin, P Liu, S Nelander, D Sheer, CLR Merry, F Marelli-Berg, S Brandner, S Marino. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 21;12(1):6130. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-26297-6. PMID: 34675201; PMCID: PMC8531305.

Elucidation of the BMI1 interactome identifies novel regulatory roles in glioblastoma. V Freire-Benéitez, N Pomella, TO Millner, AA Dumas, MV Niklison-Chirou, E Maniati, J Wang, V Rajeeve, P Cutillas, S Marino. NAR Cancer. 2021 Mar 22;3(1):zcab009. doi: 10.1093/narcan/zcab009. Erratum in: NAR Cancer. 2021 May 25;3(2):zcab020. PMID: 34316702; PMCID: PMC8210184.

Inositol treatment inhibits medulloblastoma through suppression of epigenetic-driven metabolic adaptation. S Badodi, N Pomella, X Zhang, G Rosser, J Whittingham, MV Niklison-Chirou, YM Lim, S Brandner, G Morrison, SM Pollard, CD Bennett, SC Clifford, A Peet, MA Basson, S Marino. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 12;12(1):2148. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22379-7. PMID: 33846320; PMCID: PMC8042111.

Harnessing brain development to understand brain tumours. S Marino, RJ Gilbertson. Development. 2021 Jan 20;148(2). doi: 10.1242/dev.193342. PMID: 33472850.

All Publications


Pratistha Panday, PhD Student

Sara Lucchini, PhD Student

Alexandra Hadaway, PhD Student

Thomas Willott, PhD Student

Ros Gealy, PhD Student

Niamh Baker, PhD Student

Sanjana Ananth, PhD Student

Sheung (Chris) Ng, PhD Student

Back to top