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Research Area

Active Research fields

- Role of the tumor-derived small extracellular vesicles (TD-SEVs) in modulation of pre-metastatic niche.

- Proteomics Investigations focused on (i) characterization of the molecular signature of specific phenotypes and its modulation induced by drugs, elements of tissue microenvironment, etc. (discovery proteomics); (ii) identification of prognostic/diagnostic markers in different pathological conditions by using clinical specimens such as cells, biopsies and body fluids (targeted proteomics).

Research projects of the last 5 years

- 2018/2022: "START: Molecular stratification of patients with giant cell arteritis to tailor glucocorticoid therapy" finanziato da FOREUM Foundation for Research in Rheumatology, Foreum: "Stratified Medicine in Rheumatology" (3-year project). PI: Dr Nicolò Pipitone, Unit of Rheumatology, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale-IRCCS, Reggio Emilia; Scientific Responsible of the Unit at the University of Palermo, (Departiment Bi.N.D.): Prof. Riccardo Alessandro/Prof Simona Fontana.

- 2021/2022: Proof of Concept project (PoC): “JUMP - Joint Universities’ prograM for PoC (Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico) intitolato: “Oligonucleotidi complementari a ddhd1 e loro uso per la prevenzione e il trattamento dei tumori”, for the development of the patent: "Oligonucleotidi complementari a DDH1 e loro uso per la prevenzione e il trattamento dei tumori". Patent N. 102017000060905.

-2018/2020: Project of the Specialization Area di Specializzazione “Grenn Chemistry” entitled “PROGEMA - Processi Green per l'Estrazione di principi attivi e la depurazione di MAtrici di scarto e non”

- 2014/2020: Horizon 2020 Project – PON-MISE 2014/2020 “Salute in tazza: innovative soluzioni per l’isolamento e l’applicazione industriale, anche in capsule, di composti biofunzionali ottenuti da agrumi di Sicilia”.



 - Collaboration with Prof. Aurelio Lorico, Associate Professor at the College of Medicine Touro University Nevada Henderson Nevada USA.

- Collaboration with Prof. Caccamo (Full Professor of General Pathology at School of Medicine, University of Palermo).

- Collaboration with Agrumaria Corleone Company within the PON-MISE 2014/2020 “Salute in tazza: innovativesoluzioni per l’isolamento e l’applicazione industriale, anche in capsule, di composti biofunzionaliottenuti da agrumi di Sicilia”.

- Collaboration with Prof. Prof. Campisi (Full Professor of Odontostomatological Diseases at School of Medicine, University of Palermo).


- Responsible of the Local Unit of Mass Spectrometry at the Department BiND (School of Medicine, University of Palermo) within the National Program ‘Mitochondrial Human Proteome Project’ (mt-HPP) promoted by the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) and coordinated by Prof. Andrea Urbani (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”) aimed to characterize the mitochondrial proteome.

Active research

The group laboratory is formed by three spaces dedicated to research activities and one cell culture facility. There also is a sharing space for research Trainees/Fellows and Ph.D. students.

In our laboratory, there are several instruments routinely used such as analytical balance, benchtop centrifuges, Real-Time systems, etc as well as highly specialized instruments such as TEM, SEM, and confocal microscopes and a mass spectrometer for shotgun proteomics and SWATH analyses.

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