I started my studies on musculoskeletal disease after my graduation in medical biotechnologies with honors. My mentor, Prof. Riccardo Ferracini got a grant for a research project on bone metastases from solid tumor, and I focused my studies on osteoclastogenesis in osteolytic bone lesions of patients affected by different kind of solid tumors. During my PhD in the Osteoncology Lab. at Center for Research and Medical Studies (CeRMS), I met and started a deep collaboration with Prof. Maria Grano from University of Bari, improving my skills and increasing my scientific competences in the field of bone research. I was introduced to the osteoimmunology field, by studying the interactions between osteoclasts and immune cells in bone metastatic patients. I also began a collaboration with Prof. Giancarlo Isaia (University of Torino), working on bone metabolic disease such as osteoporosis, and with Prof. Marco Spada (University of Torino), working on phenylketonuria. During my PhD I presented my data to international meetings in the bone field and published many articles as first author in international peer-reviewed journals. As post doctoral fellow, I received a first grant as Principal Investigator from Ricerca Sanitaria Finalizzata and continued to work on bone metastasis, also collaborating with Dr. Daniele Santini (Campus Biomedico, Rome), a well-known clinician deeply involved in basic, translational and clinical studies on this field. In 2011, I received a grant as Young Investigator from the Italian Ministry of Health, which allowed me to acquire a strong expertise as an independent investigator. Indeed, I demonstrated the fundamental role of cancer stem cells to directly initiate the bone metastastic process in breast, lung and renal cancer, adopting a “human-in-mice” model of bone metastases.
Recently, I extended my interest to osteoarthritis. My laboratory obtained a large financial support for studies on regenerative medicine, focused on the use of mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue to treat osteochondral defects in knee and hip arthritis.
This year, 2019, I received another large grant from the Italian Ministry of Health for a project on the role of NK cells in bone metastasis, in collaboration with IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino Genova and Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori of Milan.
Currently, I’m leading the osteoncology lab at CeRMS in Torino and my main objective is to create a strong research group on metastases and regenerative issues on bone and cartilage.
Author of more than 40 indexed publications.