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Emilio Casanova
Emilio Casanova

Center for Physiology and Pharmacology (Institute of Pharmacology)
Position: Professor

ORCID: 0000000179925361
T +43 1 40160 31341

Further Information


Adenocarcinoma; Carcinoma, Hepatocellular; Mice, Transgenic; Recombinant Proteins

Research group(s)

Research interests

My main research goal is modeling human diseases using genetically modified animals as tools. I have a strong expertise in the generation and characterization of transgenic mice (conditional knock-outs, knock-ins, BAC-based transgenic, etc.) mimicking human diseases with special emphasis in liver cirrhosis and cancer. Currently, my research group is focused in four main topics:

1) The role of the GH (Growth hormone)-STAT5 (Signal transducer and activator of transcription 5)-IGF1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1) axis in liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

2) Genetically dissection of the role of the AKT isoforms (AKT1, 2 and 3) in mammary gland tumors.

3) Contribution of STAT3 (Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) and EGFR (Epidermal growth factor receptor) to K-RAS dependent lung tumors.

4) Exploring the possibilities of using BAC-based expression vectors applied to mammalian recombinant protein production, which could provide anti-cancer treatments, a collaborative project with POLYMUN Scientific Immunobiologische Forschung, an Austrian company in the field of recombinant protein production.

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

  •  Molecular biology;
  • Cell culture;
  • Genetically modified mice;
  • Xenografts;
  • Recombinant protein production


  • Carbohydrate libraries for improved innate immunity binding (2016)
    Source of Funding: FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency), BRIDGE
    Principal Investigator
  • EAVI2020 - European AIDS Vaccine Initiative 2020 (project partner) (2015)
    Source of Funding: EU, H2020-PHC-2015-single-stage_RTD
    Principal Investigator
  • Growth hormone resistance and liver fibrosis (2013)
    Source of Funding: FWF (Austrian Science Fund), Stand-Alone Projects
    Principal Investigator
  • BAC-based Expression System Technology (2011)
    Source of Funding: FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency), Bridge
    Principal Investigator

Selected publications

  1. Moll, H.P. et al., 2018. Afatinib restrains K-RAS-driven lung tumorigenesis. Science Translational Medicine, 10(446), p.eaao2301. Available at:
  2. Zboray, K. et al., 2015. Heterologous protein production using euchromatin-containing expression vectors in mammalian cells. Nucleic Acids Research, 43(16), pp.e102-e102. Available at:
  3. Grabner, B. et al., 2015. Disruption of STAT3 signalling promotes KRAS-induced lung tumorigenesis. Nature Communications, 6(1). Available at:
  4. Stiedl, P. et al., 2015. Growth hormone resistance exacerbates cholestasis-induced murine liver fibrosis. Hepatology, 61(2), pp.613-626. Available at:
  5. Musteanu, M. et al., 2012. A mouse model to identify cooperating signaling pathways in cancer. Nature Methods, 9(9), pp.897-900. Available at: