Libero Vitiello
Libero Vitiello
affiliation: University of Padova, Dept. of Biology
research area(s): Stem Cells And Regenerative Medicine, Genetics And Genomics
Course: Biosciences and Biotechnologies
University/Istitution: Università di Padova

Jul. 1988: Degree in Biological Science, University of Padova. Title of the thesis: "Mutazioni per delezione del locus DMD-BMD: indagine mediante sonde molecolari intrageniche" (Deletion mutations of the DMD-BMD locus: screening by molecular intragenic probes).

Nov. 1989 to Sept. 1993: Ph.D. student in the “Genetic Sciences” joint program (Dottorato in Scienze Genetiche) between University of Ferrara and University of Padova. Title of the thesis: "Analisi di mutazioni in sequenze codificanti e regolative del gene della distrofina umana" (Analysis of mutations in coding and regulative sequences of the human dystrophin gene).

Professional experience

Sept. 1988 to Sept. 1989: post-graduate fellow, with a fellowship from the Italian Muscular Dystrophy Association, in the Human Genetics Laboratory at the Department of Biology, University of Padova, under the supervision of Prof. G.A. Danieli.

Oct. 1989 to Sept. 1993: PhD student, in the Human Genetics Laboratory at the Department of Biology, University of Padova, under the supervision of Prof. G.A. Danieli.

Sept. 1990-Dec. 1990: training period at Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School (Boston), in the laboratory of Prof. K. Struhl, under the supervision of Dr. S. Oliviero.

Nov. 1993 to Dec. 1996: Post Doctoral fellow in Dr. Worton's laboratory at the Department of Genetics of the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto), working on the project "Liposome-mediated gene therapy of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy". Collaboration, involving frequent visits, with the Liposome Research Unit of the University of British Columbia and with INEX Pharmaceuticals Inc., Vancouver.

Dec. 1996 to Sept 1998: Researcher funded by Telethon Italia, at the Center for Innovative Biotechnologies of the University of Padua. Title of the project: "Liposome-mediated gene transfer in cardiac and skeletal muscle".

Sept 1998 to present: Researcher of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Padova, working at the Department of Biology
Post-doctorate research activity

Gene therapy for Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies:
-use of cationic liposomes for in vitro and in vivo transfection of muscle cells
-characterization of the biology of DNA/liposome complexes, e.g., interaction with serum proteins, effect of DNA pre-condensation with cationic polypeptides, intracellular trafficking and its effect on the transfer of plasmid DNA from the cytoplasm to the nucleus
-preparation of ligand-conjugated liposomes for muscle-specific DNA delivery
-analysis of different liposome formulations with respect to their influence on myoblasts differentiation, both in vitro and in vivo
-comparison of different routes of systemic administration of DNA/liposome complexes in rats (intra-venous, intra-cardiac, intra-arterial).

Present research activity

Gene therapy for Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies (in collaboration with Dr. SW Wilton and Dr. S Fletcher of University of Western Australia):
-use of antisense oligonucleotides to induce therapeutic exon-skipping in dystrophic skeletal and cardiac muscle
- analysis of the relationship between skipping efficiency and genetic polymorphisms in wild type and DMD primary cultures
- analysis of revertant fibers in mdx mice, in terms of quantification and mechanism of formation

Study of macrophage-produced myogenic factors
-use of macrophage-produced, muscle-specific cytokines to improve muscle regeneration/repair in vivo
-use of macrophagic factors to isolate and propagate myogenic stem cells
-biochemical characterization of macrophage-produced myogenic factors.

Tissue engineering of skeletal muscle (in collaboration with Dr. P De Coppi, University of Padova and University College of London, and Dr. Nicola Elvassore, University of Padova and Venetian Institute for Molecular Medicine)
-use of biocompatible matrices to deliver different types of myogenic stem cells in dystrophic skeletal muscle and in models of traumatic muscle ablation.

Collaboration in functional studies on a type of inherited epilepsy (Dr. C. Nobile), on a type of inherited cardiomyopathy (Dr. A. Rampazzo) and on pituitary tumors (Dr. G. Occhi).
Rossi CA, Flaibani M, Blaauw B, Pozzobon M, Figallo E, Reggiani C, Vitiello L, Elvassore N, De Coppi P (2011). In vivo tissue engineering of functional skeletal muscle by freshly isolated satellite cells embedded in a photopolymerizable hydrogel. FASEB J. 25: 2296-304.

Striano P, Busolin G, Santulli L, Leonardi E, Coppola A, Vitiello L, Rigon L, Michelucci R, Tosatto SC, Striano S, Nobile C (2011) Familial temporal lobe epilepsy with psychic auras associated with a novel LGI1 mutation. Neurology. 76: 1173-6.

Occhi G, Losa M, Albiger N, Trivellin G, Regazzo D, Scanarini M, Monteserin-Garcia JL, Fröhlich B, Ferasin S, Terreni MR, Fassina A, Vitiello L, Stalla G, Mantero F, Scaroni C. (2011). The glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptor is overexpressed amongst GNAS1 mutation-negative somatotropinomas and drives growth hormone (GH)-promoter activity in GH3 cells. J Neuroendocrinol. 2011 23: 641-9.

Di Bonaventura C, Operto FF, Busolin G, Egeo G, D'Aniello A, Vitello L, Smaniotto G, Furlan S, Diani E, Michelucci R, Giallonardo AT, Coppola G and Nobile C. Low penetrance and effect on protein secretion of LGI1 mutations causing autosomal dominant lateral temporal epilepsy. Epilepsia, in press

Carnio S, Serena E, Rossi CA, De Coppi P, Elvassore N, Vitiello L (2011) Three-dimensional porous scaffold allows long-term wild-type cell delivery in dystrophic muscle. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 5:1-10

Malerba A, Vitiello L, Segat D, Dazzo E, Frigo M, Scambi I, De Coppi P, Boldrin L, Martelli L, Pasut A, Romualdi C, Bellomo RG, Vecchiet J, Baroni MD (2009) Selection of multipotent cells and enhanced muscle reconstruction by myogenic macrophage-secreted factors. Exp Cell Res 315: 915-27.

Vitiello L, Bassi N, Campagnolo P, Zaccariotto E, Occhi G, Malerba A, Pigozzo S, Reggiani C, Ausoni S, Zaglia T, Gamba ,PG, Baroni MD, Ditadi AP (2008) In vivo delivery of naked antisense oligos in aged mdx mice: analysis of dystrophin restoration in skeletal and cardiac muscle. Neurom Disor 18: 597-605
No projects are available to students for the current accademic year.