I am a board certified medical doctor in haematology and internal medicine.
I worked as a physician at the Department of surgery and internal medicine of the Viterbo Hospital and Civita Castellana Hospital. As assistant member of the CNR c/o Clinical Surgery, University of Rome, Tor Vergata, S Eugenio Hospital, I was involved in research and clinical activity in the field of oncology. Currently, I am working as Acting Director of the Institute of Translational Pharmacology, CNR, IFT, Rome. I have an associate professor national accreditation in the disciplines of hematology, oncology, and rheumatology. I have significant abroad experience: visiting fellow at Experimental Immunology Branch (NCI), Bethesda (US), later appointed research fellow at Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation, NHLBI, NIH, Bethesda (US) and then faculty member at the Department of Immunology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo [NY(US)]. Guest researcher, at the Cancer Immunology Section, University of Basel (CH).
Since 2012 I have coordinated the Biomedicine Departmental project of immunology and infectious diseases. I am author and co-author of more than 84 publications in peer-review journals. My area of interest is immunology and inflammation including autoimmune diseases. My collaborators and I have contributed to the identification of novel NK and granulocyte cell activating molecules such as CD44 and CD38. We have demonstrated that HLA-matched NK cells can kill myeloid leukemia cells through NKG2D. In addition, we have identified a novel subset of CD56+ peripheral blood monocytes that are associated with autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and autoimmune uveitis. In further investigation, about the role of NK cells in the pathogenesis of solid tumors, we have contributed to show that NK cells are defective in infiltrating the tumor microenvironment and that is, in part due, to the detrimental effect of tumor cells on NK cells. Also, we found that CD16+ myeloid cells are protective in colorectal carcinoma. In contrast, NK cells protect colorectal carcinoma patients by cooperating with T cells.
This information prompted us the idea to develop an additional cell-based immunotherapy of cancer by transferring NK cell ADCC functional property to T cells in a way to redirect them to cancer cells by monoclonal antibodies. To date, we have also patented this technology at national and international level (patent number TO2014A000631; US Patent Provisional No: 62/903, 112; MGH 25820.01-CNR 10728).