Curriculum Vitae

  • 1982:        degree in Biological Science, Dept. of Genetics, Biophysics and Biochemistry of the University of Pisa, Pisa
  • 1983-86: Ph.D. fellow of the School of Pharmacology at the Mario Negri Institute Pharmacological Research, Milano
  • 1986-90: post-doctoral fellow at the Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Physiology (Lewis C. Cantley group), Tufts University Medical School, Boston, USA 1990-1995:
  • 1991-95   Research Associate, Dept. of Biomedicine and Oncology (Paolo Comoglio group), University of Torino Medical School, Torino.
  • 1996-99:  Ricercatore Universitario of Biochemistry, Dept. of Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry (Federico Bussolino group), University of Torino Medical School.
  • 2000-06: Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Dept. of Medical Sciences, University of Piemonte Orientale Medical School, Novara
  • 2006-14 Full professor of Biochemistry, Dept. of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, of the University of Piemonte Orientale Medical School, Novara
  • 2015-       Full professor of Biochemistry, Medical School, University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan and Division of Experimental Oncology, Ospedale San Raffaele, Milano.
  • 2015-    Head of the Lipid Signaling unit at the Division of Experimental Oncology, Ospedale San Raffaele, Milano.


Awards and Financial Support:

  • 1982            Magna cum laude graduation in Biological Sciences, University of Pisa
  • 1986-87:      EEC (European Economic Community) post-doctoral fellow.
  • 1987-89:      American Heart Association post-doctoral fellow.
  • 1989-90:    EORTC-NCI post-doctoral fellow(European Organization for Research and Treatment  of Cancer- National Cancer Institute)


Recent and Current Competitive Grants

  •  2018-2019, AFM-Telethon, Acylated and Unacylated Ghrelin, inflammation, and muscle wasting: the unexpected role of novel and old ghrelin receptors.
  • 2017-2019, Fondazione CARIPLO, Role of unacylated ghrelin and autophagy in counteracting aging-associated frailty.
  • 2017-2019, Telethon: SAP-mediated DGKα inhibition triggers a novel cell fate switch in antigenactivated T cells: implications for XLP1 therapy
  • 2017-2019, MIUR – PRIN (Ministero dell’Università – Progetti di Ricerca di Interesse Nazionale): Diacylglcyerol kinase alpha regulates self-renewal and tumorigenesis of glioblastoma cancer stem cells
  • 2016-17, AIRC (Italian Association for Cancer Research): Role of tumor-induced PI3-kinase-gamma in promoting skeletal muscle ghrelin resistance in cancer cachexia
  • 2014-16, TelethonRole of SAP-mediated inhibition of DGKa in regulating restimulation induced cell death (RICD): does DGKa targeting rescue RICD in XLP patients?”
  • 2014-16, Muscle Dystrophy Association (USA): Exploring the therapeutic potential of unacylated ghrelin for muscular dystrophy
  • 2013-15, AFM-Telethon (France), Ghrelin peptides as novel anti-atrophic factors acting directly in the skeletal muscle: identification of their molecular mechanisms and of their role in cancer cachexia
  • 2013-15, Compagnia San PaoloRole of Ghrelin in cancer cachexia
  • 2013-2015, AIRC (Italian Association for Cancer Research) Role of Diacylglycerol kinase alpha in the transduction of oncogenic signaling


Research Interests

  • role and mechanisms of ghrelin activities in the skeletal muscle and inflammation, with
    particular attention to cancer cachexia and aging.
  • Regulation of diacylglcyerol and phosphatidic acid signaling in immune cells and in cancer
    stem cells.


Bibliometrics (Scopus) (march 2018)
N° publications: 68
N° citations: 5820 (8628 Google Scholar)
H index: 29 (34, Google Scholar)
Selected Recent Publications (since 2010):
– Reano S et al., Unacylated ghrelin enhances satellite cell function and relieves the dystrophic phenotype in Duchenne muscular dystrophy mdx model, Stem Cells, 2017, 35:1733-1746.
– Merida I et al. Editorial: Diacylglycerol Kinase Signalling. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2017 Sep 21;5:84.
– Poli A et Nuclear Localization of Diacylglycerol Kinase Alpha in K562 Cells Is Involved in Cell Cycle Progression. J Cell Physiol. 2017;232:2550-2557
– Baldanzi G et al Diacylglycerol Kinases: Shaping Diacylglycerol and Phosphatidic Acid Gradients to Control Cell Polarity. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2016 Nov 29;4:140.
– Ruffo E et al. Inhibition of diacylglycerol kinase α restores restimulation-induced cell death and reduces immunopathology in XLP-1. Sci Transl Med. 2016 Jan 13;8(321):321ra7.
– Gortan Capellari GG et al., Unacylated Ghrelin Reduces Skeletal Muscle Reactive Oxygen Species Generation and Inflammation and Prevents High-Fat Diet Induced Hyperglycemia and Whole-Body Insulin Resistance in Rodents. Diabetes. 2016 Jan 28. pii: db151019,
– Ruozi G., AAV-mediated in vivo functional selection of tissue-protective factors against ischaemia. Nature Commun. 2015 Jun 11;6:7388.
– Rainero E. et al. The Diacylglycerol Kinase α/atypicalPKCs/β1-Integrin Pathway in SDF-1α Mammary Carcinoma Invasiveness Plos One, 2014, 9 (6), e97144
– Porporato PE et al. Acylated and unacylated ghrelin impair skeletal muscle atrophy in mice J. Clin. Invest. 2013, Feb 1;123(2):611-22.
– Rainero E, et al. Diacylglycerol kinase-α controls RCP-dependent integrin trafficking to promote invasive migration. J Cell Biol. 2012 Jan 23;196(2):277-95.
– Baldanzi G et al. SAP-mediated inhibition of diacylglycerol kinase α regulates TCR-induced diacylglycerol signaling. J Immunol. 2011 Dec 1;187(11):5941-51.
– Chianale F et al Diacylglycerol kinase alpha mediates HGF-induced Rac activation and membrane ruffling by regulating atypical PKC and RhoGDI. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Mar 2;107:4182-7
– Baldanzi G, et al. Negative regulation of diacylglycerol kinase theta mediates adenosinedependent hepatocyte preconditioning. Cell Death Differ. 2010 Jun;17(6):1059-68