Pier Giuseppe Pelicci
Pier Giuseppe Pelicci
affiliation: IEO - Istituto Europeo di Oncologia
research area(s): Cancer Biology, Stem Cells And Regenerative Medicine
Course: Molecular Medicine: Molecular Oncology and Computational Biology
University/Istitution: Università di Milano, UNIMI-SEMM
Educational Profile
1987 Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, University of Perugia, Italy.
1987 Board of Internal Medicine, Summa cum laude, University of Perugia, Italy.
1981 Medical Doctor, Summa cum laude, University of Perugia, Italy.

Scientific Profile
2010-today Scientific Co-Director of the European Institute of Oncology (IEO), Milan, Italy
2009-today Member of the Scientific Committee of “Fondazione Grazia Focacci”, Milan, Italy.
2009-today Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, Singapore.
2008-2010 Vice Scientific Director of IEO, Milan, Italy
2008-today Member of the Board SENDO as Representative of IEO, Bellinzona, Switzerland
2008-today Member of the ECMS Foundation, Milan, Italy
2007-today Member of the Scientific Committee, Fondazione Silvio Tronchetti Provera, Milan, Italy
2003-today President of the Scientific Committee “Umberto Veronesi Foundation”, Milan, Italy
2003-today Full Professor of Pathology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
2000-2003 Full Professor of General Pathology, University H.S. Raffaele, Milan, Italy.
2000-2002 Visiting Professor, New York Medical College, NewYork, USA.
2000-today Scientific Director of SEMM Foundation (European School of Molecular Medicine), Milan, Italy.
1995-today Chairman of Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.
1994-2000 Associate Professor of Oncology, University of Parma, Italy.
1987-1995 Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology; “Istituto di Clinica Medica I”, Perugia, Italy.
1987-1993 Lecturer in Experimental Oncology, University of Perugia, Medical School, Italy.
1983-1986 Research fellow in Molecular Biology; New York University Medical Center, Dept. of Pathology, New York, U.S.A."
1982 Research fellow in experimental haematology; "Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, Unite de Recherches en Genetique Moleculaire et Hematologie, I.N.S.E.R.M.-U.91", Creteil, France.
1981 Clinical fellow in clinical haematology at the "Istituto di Clinica Medica I", School of Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy.
Prof. Pelicci has made original and seminal contributions to the understanding of the molecular basis of cancer, particularly in the field of human acute leukaemias, with the cloning of the acute promyelocytic leukaemia t15;17 breakpoints and the molecular characterization of the translocation product (the PML RAR fusion protein), the identification of mutations of nucleophosmin (NPM) in myeloid leukaemias, and the biological and molecular characterization of the leukemogenic potential of PML-RAR, AML1-ETO and mutant NPM. He also contributed to the definition of the molecular basis of targeted treatments of leukaemias, such as the use of retinoic acid (RA) and of inhibitors of histone deacetylases. More recently, central point of Prof Pelicci’s research has been the biological and molecular characterization of normal and cancer stem cells generating appropriate preclinical and clinical models of leukaemias and breast cancer (mouse models/patient-derived primary tumor cells).
Another major achievement of Prof Pelicci’s research endeavours is represented by his contribution to the study of the molecular mechanisms of aging and aging-associated diseases in mammals. His group identified Shc as a universal regulator of Ras-mediated growth signalling, and the p66Shc splice variant as a determinant of the life span control mechanisms in mammals, due to its ability to generate mitochondrial oxidative equivalents and incidence of aging-associated diseases. Notably, p66 was the first aging gene to be discovered in mammals. The identification and functional characterization of p66Shc has contributed to opening up a new chapter in biomedical research, e.g. studies on genes that affect life span by modifying the penetrance of aging-associated diseases, including cancer.
Prof. Pelicci is currently continuing to focus on the role of quiescent and proliferating CSCs in tumour growth, on the mechanisms of tumour progression from pre-tumoural SCs, and on the molecular determinants of environmental cancer risk. He is also studying the physiological significance of the p66Shc signalling pathway, with particular emphasis on metabolism, apoptosis, and adipose tissue.
1. Belloni E, Veronesi G, Micucci C, Javan S, Minardi SP, Venturini E, Maisonneuve P, Volorio S, Riboni M, Bellomi M, Scanagatta P, Taliento G, Pelosi G, Pece S, Spaggiari L, Pelicci PG (2011) Genomic characterization of asymptomatic CT-detected lung cancers. Oncogene 30:1117-26
2. Tomilov AA, Ramsey JJ, Hagopian K, Giorgio M, Kim KM, Lam A, Migliaccio E, Lloyd KC, Berniakovich I, Prolla TA, Pelicci P, Cortopassi GA (2011) The Shc locus regulates insulin signaling and adiposity in mammals. Aging Cell 10:55-65
3. Belloni E, Shing D, Tapinassi C, Viale A, Mancuso P, Malazzi O, Gerbino E, Dall'Olio V, Egurbide I, Odero MD, Bertolini F, Pelicci PG (2011) In vivo expression of an aberrant MYB-GATA1 fusion induces leukemia in the presence of GATA1 reduced levels. Leukemia 25:733-6
4. Pasi CE, Dereli-Öz A, Negrini S, Friedli M, Fragola G, Lombardo A, Van Houwe G, Naldini L, Casola S, Testa G, Trono D, Pelicci PG, Halazonetis TD (2011) Genomic instability in induced stem cells. Cell Death Differ 18:745-53
5. Gruszka AM, Lavorgna S, Irno Consalvo M, Ottone T, Martinelli C, Cinquanta M, Ossolengo G, Pruneri G, Buccisano F, Divona M, Cedrone M, Ammatuna E, Venditti A, de Marco A, Lo-Coco F, Pelicci PG (2010) A monoclonal antibody against mutated nucleophosmin1 for the molecular diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemias. Blood 116:2096-102
6. Pece S, Tosoni D, Confalonieri S, Mazzarol G, Vecchi M, Ronzoni S, Bernard L, Viale G, Pelicci PG, Di Fiore PP (2010) Biological and molecular heterogeneity of breast cancers correlates with their cancer stem cell content. Cell 140:62-73
7. Viale A, De Franco F, Orleth A, Cambiaghi V, Giuliani V, Bossi D, Ronchini C, Ronzoni S, Muradore I, Monestiroli S, Gobbi A, Alcalay M, Minucci S, Pelicci PG (2009) Cell-cycle restriction limits DNA damage and maintains self-renewal of leukaemia stem cells. Nature 457:51-6
8. Cicalese A, Bonizzi G, Pasi CE, Faretta M, Ronzoni S, Giulini B, Brisken C, Minucci S, Di Fiore PP, Pelicci PG (2009) The tumor suppressor p53 regulates polarity of self-renewing divisions in mammary stem cells. Cell 138:1083-95
9. Bonetti P, Davoli T, Sironi C, Amati B, Pelicci PG, Colombo E (2008) Nucleophosmin and its AML-associated mutant regulate c-Myc turnover through Fbw7 gamma. J Cell Biol 182:19-26
10. Berniakovich I, Trinei M, Stendardo M, Migliaccio E, Minucci S, Bernardi P, Pelicci PG, Giorgio M (2008) p66Shc-generated oxidative signal promotes fat accumulation. J Biol Chem 283:34283-93
11. Shing DC, Trubia M, Marchesi F, Radaelli E, Belloni E, Tapinassi C, Scanziani E, Mecucci C, Crescenzi B, Lahortiga I, Odero MD, Zardo G, Gruszka A, Minucci S, Di Fiore PP, Pelicci PG (2007) Overexpression of sPRDM16 coupled with loss of p53 induces myeloid leukemias in mice. J Clin Invest 117:3696-707

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