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Francesca Chiarini


Institute of Molecular Genetics - Bologna Unit

c/o Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli -via di Barbiano 1/10

40136 Bologna, Italy


Telephone: 051 2091585

Fax: 051 4689922




2005: Master of Science (MS) in Biology,  Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Bologna, Italy.


2005: National qualification as Biologist.


2010: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Human Morphological and Molecular Sciences, Department of Anatomical Sciences University of Bologna, Italy. Thesis: PI3K/Akt/mTOR targeted therapy as a possible new therapeutic strategy in T-ALL treatment.



Employment/ Training

2003-2005: Internship within research activity in the laboratory of “Immunology and Biology of Metastases” (Cancer Research Section, University of Bologna, Italy) directed by Prof. Pier-Luigi Lollini. I supported the laboratory technical staff in experimental procedures. In particular, my studies aimed to analyze the efficacy of prophylactic and therapeutic cancer cell vaccines in mice transgenic for the rat Her?2/neu oncogene. 


2006-2007: Fellowship within research activity in the laboratory of Cellular Signaling, Dept. of Human Anatomical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.  I was involved in the study of innovative anti-tumor strategies with targeted therapies and their testing in models of human acute leukemias. I was also involved in establishing the relevance of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signal transduction, which is overactive in acute myeloid and lymphoid  leukemias, where it correlates with enhanced drug-resistance and poor prognosis.


2007-2010: I was a PhD student in the course of “Human morphological and molecular sciences”, Cell Signaling Laboratory, Dept. of Human Anatomical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.


2010-2011: Postdoctoral fellowship: I was involved in the  translational studies of GIMEMA AML-1107 clinical trial in which temsirolimus, an mTOR inhibitor, was administered in combination with lower-dose clofarabine as salvage therapy for older patients with acute myeloid leukemia.


2011-Present: Research Scientist, III Level, Institute of Molecular Genetics, National Research Council of Italy, UOS Bologna, Bologna, Italy. My studies focus on mechanisms which sensitize leukemic cancer cells to treatment, to identify patients' specific signatures differentiating cases at higher sensitiveness/resistance to standard chemotherapy. These results could be translated into clinical applications in leukemia patients.


Ad hoc reviewer

- Expert Opinion on Therapeutic targets

- Molecular Cancer Therapeutics

- Transaltional Oncology

- The European Journal of Pharmacology


Research Interests

1. Analysis of Phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway and its constitutive activation in the pathogenesis and progression of myeloid and lymphoid leukemias. 

2. Analysis of synergistic effects between chemotherapeutic agents.

3. Evaluation of apoptosis and autophagy in leukemia cells.

4. Evaluation of toxicity of nanoparticles on human hematopoietic progenitor cells and cell lines.

5. Phosphoinositide-Phospholipase C (PI-PLC) beta1 analysis: gene promoter assays and gene expression analysis.





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