Fiorella ALTRUDA

Classe di Scienze fisiche, matematiche e naturali
professore ordinario di Biologia applicata nell’Università di Torino e direttore del Centro di Biotecnologie Molecolari (MBC)

Socio corrispondente dal 26/05/2021 per scienze della biologia animale e dell'uomo
Nato a Torino il 12/08/1952

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

1994-at present: Full Professor in Molecular Genetics, University of Torino, School of Medicine

From 2005-2015: President of the School of Biotechnology, University of Torino

From 2010: Coordinator of the European Master Program in BioHealth Computing for the University of Torino

2010: Member of the evaluation board in Biotechnology for the CNR Institutes
From 2009-2015: University coordinator of the Polo di Innovazione- Biotecnologie (BioPmed), Regione Piemonte

From 2013: Director of the Molecular Biotechnology Center, University of  Torino

From 2012-2016: Member of the Director Board of the University Federico II, Naples

From 2015-2018: Member of the Senate of the University of Torino

From 2018: President of the CNR-University of Torino joint board

From 2002 Scientific member of the Consorzio Interuniversitario Biotecnologie (CIB) and member of the Executive Board from 2014
From 2017: site manager of the Cell Factory University of Torino

From 2015: affiliate to the CNR, Istituto di Biostrutture e Bioimmagini, Napoli

 

NON ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

From 2012: Member of the Scientific Board of CentroScienza Foundation, from 2014 member of the Executive Board and President of the scientific board  of Giovedì Scienza

From 2013: Member of the Accademia di Medicina, Torino

From 2015: President of the Bioindustry Park S.p.A. Colleretto Giacosa (Torino)

From 2017: Member of the Director Board of DiaSorin S.p.A.

From 2021: Member of the Accademia delle Scienze, Torino

 
PAST RELEVANT RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN FOREIGN INSTITUTION

November 1976-December 1977: Postdoctoral fellow- Dept. of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, USA

January-April 1981: Visiting fellow- Dept. of Animal Embryology, University of Geneva, Switzerland

January 1982-December 1982: Postdoctoral fellow, European Molecular Biology        Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany

October-December 1984: Visiting fellow- European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany

July-September 1989: Visiting scientist, Scripps Clinic and Research Laboratory, La Jolla, USA

 

CURRENT RESEARCH INTEREST

The research activity of Altruda's lab is aimed at studying the regulation of gene expression, in particular in the field of Stem cells and Regenerative Medicine. Research regarding the use of stem cells for the cure of metabolic liver diseases is particularly active in the lab. We have previously demonstrated that functional hepatocytes can be generated from mouse germline cell-derived pluripotent stem cells and that these cells can engraft in and participate to liver regeneration in vivo. To reach this goal, particular emphasis was given to the generation of murine models that can be used to correct organ damage. The research group has a strong experience in generating and analysis of mouse models with mutations in genes responsible for cell adhesion, inflammatory response and heme metabolism. Recently, the group has employed human liver stem cells to generate functional hepatocytes in vitro, and have shown that these cells can restore liver function in mice models of Crigler-Najjar syndrome type I. Moreover, the research team of Fiorella Altruda is working on optimising the conditions for using stem cells as platform for gene delivery or with microvesicles for the delivery of therapeutic agents in vivo.

Another research area regards studying the role of an RNA-binding protein, Epithelial Regulatory Protein 1 (ESRP1) in neoplastic transformation. We came across this gene in a large-scale cDNA microarray analysis on mouse embryonic stem cells aiming at finding novel genes involved in stemness- and pluripotency- maintenance. ESRP1 is responsible for epithelial differentiation and we are now studying:
a) The role of ESRP1, by modulating its expression, in the neoplastic transformation of epithelial cells;
b) Tumor growth (primary and metastatic) in vivo in immunocompromised animals.
Recently the group has also set up a corneal alkali burn model to study the therapeutic effects of mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles on wound healing. Topical application of extracellular vesicles accelerates the wound healing process, while dampening inflammation and scarring. Molecular analyses of corneal wound healing are under way.

Patents:

1) 19 December 2002 (WO2004056176)

“MELUSIN, A MUSCLE SPECIFIC PROTEIN, AS A DRUG TARGET FOR PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF HEART FAILURE AND APPLICATIONS THEREOF”

Il brevetto è di proprietà dell’Università di Torino e gli inventori sono: Mara Brancaccio, Lorenzo Silengo, Fiorella Altruda, Giuseppe Lembo, Luigi Fratta, e Guido Tarone.

2) 17 Gennaio 2012 M.G. Faga, A. Bellosi, F. Altruda, S. Carossa, S. Coluccia, G. Martra, F. Mussano, E. Tolosano (2012). Impianto dentale od osseo, in particolare in nanocomposito allumina-zirconia. TO2012A000029, 50% Università degli Studi di Torino, 50% CNR

 

Aggiornato a giugno 2021