Isabel Maria Buceta Sande De Freitas
Isabel Maria Buceta Sande De Freitas
affiliation: Università di Pavia
research area(s): Cell Biology, Cancer Biology
Course: Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology
University/Istitution: Università di Pavia
Main Research area: Cell Biology
Secondary research area: Cancer Biology
Born in Lisbon, Portugal (1949). Italian and Portuguese nationalities.
1976: Graduation in Chemistry, University of Pavia, Italy
1972: Graduation in Chemical Engineering, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisbon, Portugal
No PhD title since the PhD courses were inactivated in Italy before 1991, date where she won the Associate professor position.
Current position: Associate Professor of Cell Biology for Biotechnology and Biology bachelor and Master Graduation Courses, University of Pavia and Associate researcher at the Citochemistry and Cytometry Section of the IGM/CNR, Pavia.
Professional positions
Portugal (1973-1974): Researcher in the Portuguese Institute of Oncology of Francisco Gentil. Performs research on the development of microfluorometrical techniques to study lipid alterations in ascites tumor cells with a fluorescent lipid probe and induced phenomena of photosensibilization.
In 1974 she obtained a grant from the National Research Council (CNR) to collaborate, as an "Invited visiting researcher" to the development of new microspectrofluorimetric methodologies at the Centro di Studio per l"Istochimica del CNR, Pavia, Italy. 1976-1981: After marrying an Italian citizen and graduating in Chemistry at the University of Pavia she obtained CNR grants to further this research.
1981: she won a position of University Researcher at the University of Pavia
1991: she won the position of Associate professor of Cell Biology, University of Pavia (current position).
Leadership in projects:
Responsible of Pavia University Unit participating to researches co-financed by the Italian Ministry for the University and Research, MIUR (PRIN 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006) and by the University of Pavia.
Main researcher of the Operative Unit UNIPV-Animal Biology, participating to the research project financed by FONDAZIONE CARIPLO " Real time monitoring of liver oxidative stress injuries by means of innovative methodology based on integrated autofluorescence optical biopsy. Application to transplantation procedure” (ref. 2011-0439).
Projects dedicated to the evaluation with histochemical and ultrastructural techniques of the damage induced to the liver by cold and warm ischemia-reperfusion in the initial phases of liver transplantation and to the development of pharmacological and mechanical strategies to protect the organ from such injury.
Post-graduation Courses and Meeting organization
8 Basic and advanced Light Microscopy Courses for people involved in the biomedical and pharmacological field (financed by the European Commission: Leonardo da Vinci Programme, European Social Fund), even in the framework of a Master in Microscopy techniques. 7 Symposia and 1 Workshop on developments of light microscopy techniques (Italy), and 1 special symposium on "Liver carcinogenesis, stem cell activation, dysplasia, therapy" in the framework of the 7th Int. Conf. of Anticancer Research, Corfu, Greece.
Scientific Societies
Society for Histochemistry, European Association for the Study of Liver, International Institute of Anticancer Research, Italian Association for the Study of Liver, Italian Society for Histochemistry, Italian Embryologic Group. Member of Editorial Board of the Journal "In Vivo" (Athens, Greece).
Publications (N.B. signing as Isabel Freitas)
Author of 71 papers on refereed ISI journals; 28 book chapters), and over 200 Abstracts of meetings.
Main areas of research, pursued with enzyme- and immunohistochemical techniques have been:
" Characterization of the dynamics of a solid tumor microenvironment, in particular of the onset of hypoxia and hence of angiogenesis, and their roles in the response to therapy. Results from this investigation are still largely cited in the Science Citation Index. They have allowed the interpretation of several data obtained with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.
" Study of paraneoplastic effects of a mammary tumor on the liver of animals (including trasgenic mice), with particular attention to hemopoietic and liver stem cells activation and differentiation and onset first of retro-differentiation (hemopoiesis) and hence of pre-neoplasia (e.g. large cell dysplasia, expression of oncofetal markers), likely caused by the sustained stress induced by the mammary tumor. With this know-how she participated in 2002-03 to the Commission of the Italian Association for the Study of Liver (AISF), coordinated by A. Ascione and M. Muraca, which produces the document "Cell Therapy in Hepatology".
" Study of the injury caused by ischemia/reperfusion (IR) to normal and fatty liver and of innovative strategies of protection against IR damage by machine perfusion (projects co-financed by the Italian Ministry for the University and Research, MIUR, in 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006) in collaboration with experts in biochemistry and molecular biology and with surgeons of the transplantation field.
" She stimulated the research on the application of optical biopsy techniques as a minimally invasive, real-time procedure to follow organ metabolism and response to IR injury in the various phases of transplantation and to discriminate liver biopsy samples with different anatomo-pathological features.
" She also stimulated the investigation on the use of melatonin as a non toxic substance capable of protecting the liver against IR injury. For this project she collaborates with one of the world greatest experts in the physiological and pharmacological roles of the indole, Prof. R.J. Reiter (Texas, USA) and with Spanish experts on the development of strategies for the preservation of liver for transplantation (Dr. Joan Rossélo-Catafau, Barcelona).
Please Note: she signs papers as I. Freitas

Vairetti M, Ferrigno A, Bertone R, Rizzo V, Richelmi P, Bertè F, Reiter RJ, Freitas I. Exogenous melatonin enhances bile flow and ATP levels after cold storage and reperfusion in rat liver: implications for liver transplantation. J. Pineal Res. 38: 223-230,2005.
Reiter RJ, Tan D-X, Vairetti M, Maldonado MD. Freitas I.: “Melatonin limits ischemia-reperfusion injury: implications for aging and organ transplantation. In: Aging and Age-related Diseases: The Basics, (M. Karasek, ed.) Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp. 103-130,2006.
Baronzio GF, Gramaglia A, Baronzio A, Freitas I. Influence of tumor microenvironment on thermoresponse: biological and clinical implications. In: Hyperthermia in Cancer Treatment: A Primer (Baronzio G.F., Hager, D, eds.) Springer, Berlin, 2006, pp. 62-86.
Freitas I, Bertone V, Guarnaschelli C, Ferrigno A, Boncompagni E, Rizzo V, Reiter RJ, Barni S Vairetti M. In situ demonstration of improvement by melatonin of liver mitochondria function after cold ischemia. In Vivo 20:229-237,2006.
Vairetti M, Ferrigno A, Rizzo V, Richelmi P, Boncompagni E, Neri D, FREITAS I, Cillo U. Subnormothermic machine perfusion protects against rat liver preservation injury: a comparative evaluation with conventional cold storage. Transplantation Proc 39:1765-1767,2007.
Freitas I, Boncompagni E, Vaccarone R, Fenoglio C, Barni S, Baronzio GF.Iron accumulation in mammary tumor suggests a tug-of-war between tumor and host for the microelement. Anticancer Res. 27:3059-3066,2007.
Vairetti M, Ferrigno A, Rizzo V, Boncompagni E, Carraro A, Gringeri E, Milanesi G, Barni S, Freitas I, Cillo U. Correlation between liver temperature employed during machine perfusion and reperfusion damage: role of Ca2+. Liver Transplantation 14: 494-503,2008.
Baronzio G.F. and Freitas I.: Tumor Microenvironment Genesis and Implications on Cancer Immune Response. In: Atlas Effectors of Anti-Tumor Immunity (Kiselevsky MV, ed.) Springer, Berlin, 2008, pp. 36-74.
Croce AC, De Simone U, Vairetti M, Ferrigno A, Boncompagni E, Freitas I, Bottiroli G: Liver autofluorescence properties in animal model under altered nutritional conditions. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci. 7:1046-1053,2008.
Vairetti M, Ferrigno A, Carlucci F, Tabucchi A, Rizzo V, Boncompagni E, Neri D, Gringeri E, Freitas I., Cillo U. Subnormothermic machine perfusion protects steatotic livers against preservation injury: A potential for donor pool increase? Liver Transpl. 15:20-29,2009.
Baronzio GF, Freitas I. Kwaan H. Significance of Tumor Microenvironment on the Genesis of: Interstitial Fluid, Angiogenesis, Haemostatic/Haemorheologic Abnormalities. Pathogenesis and Therapeutic Aspects. In: Cancer Microenvironment and Therapeutic Implications.Tumor Pathophysiology Mechanisms and Therapeutic Strategies (Baronzio G.F., Fiorentini G. and Cogle C.R., Eds) Springer, Berlin, 2009, pp. 41-64.
Ferrigno A, Carlucci F, Tabucchi A, Tommassini V, Rizzo V, Richelmi P, Gringeri E, Neri D, Boncompagni E, Freitas I, Cillo U, Vairetti M. Different susceptibility of liver grafts from lean and obese Zucker rats to preservation injury. Cryobiology 59:327-534,2009.
Croce AC, De Simone U, Freitas I, Boncompagni E, Neri D, Cillo U, Bottiroli G. Human liver autofluorescence: an intrinsic tissue parameter discriminating normal and diseased conditions. Laser Surg Med, 42:371-378,2010.
Zaouali MA, Ben Mosbah I, Boncompagni E, Ben Abdennebi H, Mitjavila MT, Bartrons R, Freitas I, Rimola A, Roselló-Catafau J. HIF-1 alpha accumulation in steatotic liver preservation: Role of nitric oxide. World J Gastroenterol. 16: 3499-3509,2010.
Zaoualí MA, Reiter RJ, Padrissa-Altés S, Boncompagni E, García JJ, Ben Abnennebi H, Freitas I, Garcia-Gil FA, Rosello-Catafau J. Melatonin protects steatotic and non steatotic liver grafts against cold ischemia and reperfusion injury. J. Pineal Res. 250: 213-221,2011.
Bertone V, Tarantola E, Ferrigno A, Gringeri E, Barni S, Vairetti M, Freitas I. Altered alkaline phosphatase activity in the liver of obese Zucker rats respect to lean Zucker and Wistar rats discussed in terms of all putative roles ascribed to the enzyme. Eur. J Histochem 55: 24-32,2011.
Ferrigno A, Rizzo V, Boncompagni E, Bianchi A, Gringeri E, Neri D, Richelmi P, Freitas I, Cillo U, Vairetti M . Machine perfusion at 20°C reduces preservation damage to livers from non-heart beating donors. Cryobiology. 62:152-158,2011.
Croce A.C., Santamaria G., De Simone U., Lucchini F., Freitas I., Bottiroli G. Naturally-occurring porphyrins in a spontaneous-tumour bearing mouse model. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 10:1189-1195, 2011.
Boncompagni E, GINI E, Ferrigno A, Milanesi G, Gringeri E, Barni S, Cillo U, Vairetti M, Freitas I. Decreased apoptosis in fatty livers submitted to subnormothermic machine-perfusion respect to cold storage. Eur. J. Histochem., 2011, accepted.
Project Title:
Characterization of functional alterations of bile tree structures in liver pathologies or induced by preservation techniques for transplantation.