Experimental Therapeutics



Alessio Lavio, MS student
Andrea Timpanaro, MS student
Carlo Catapano, MD Group Leader
Enrica Mira Catò
Giada Zoppi, MS Student
Gianluca Civenni, PhD
Giuseppina Pisignano
Jessica Merulla, PhD
Marco Losa, Research Assistant
Ramiro Vazquez, PhD
Sarah Mapelli, PhD student / Bioinformatics


My group has had a long-term interest in strategies aimed at blocking selectively transcription of genes that might be implicated in pathogenesis of cancer and other diseases with the intent to exploit these approaches for therapeutic applications. In this context, we are currently exploring a number of complementary strategies that include: (a) antigene oligonucleotides that recognize unique sequences in genomic DNA and selectively block expression of target genes; (b) DNA binding small-molecules that interfere with transcription factor binding to corresponding DNA recognition sites and block transcription activation; and (c) small-molecule ligands that interact with transcription factors, alter their interaction with DNA and co-regulatory molecules and interfere with their trans-activating ability. Our long-term objective is to develop novel therapeutic agents that might hit selectively cancer cells with high efficacy and target specificity and have minimal effects on normal cells. My group is also involved in preclinical evaluation and clinical/ traslational studies of new experimental and molecular-targeted anticancer drugs.

Current projects

  • Noncoding promoter-associated RNA and small RNA based transcriptional regulatory networks in cancer cells: mechanisms and therapeutic applications
  • Small RNA-based transcriptional control of cancer genes: mechanisms and therapeutic applications
  • Dendrimers as nanovectors for targeted siRNA delivery in gene therapy (ERA-Net EuroNanoMedicine)