My research activity and scientific production primarily deal with the pathobiology of several respiratory disorders such as asthma, COPD, interstitial pulmonary diseases and lung cancer, and also regard the molecular mechanisms underlying the therapeutic actions of the main drugs used for their treatments. In particular, my current studies are focusing on the role of “mitogen-activated protein kinases” in the signal transduction pathways activated by cytokines, growth factors and oxidative stress in primary cultures of human pulmonary endothelial cells, bronchial epithelial cells, lung cancer cell lines, and pulmonary fibroblasts. A major research interest concerns the activation and inhibition of these enzymes in cell death and proliferation, as well as in development and pharmacological modulation of lung inflammation and remodelling. I am also particularly interested in the recent advances referring to the biological therapies of asthma, with special regard to anti-IgE treatment, with whom I am familiar since ten years ago.
I have been actively involved in many basic studies and clinical trials, among which the most relevant include: (i) “Role of signal transduction pathways activated by oxidative stress or proliferative stimuli in the development and progression of lung cancer: possible diagnostic, prognostic, therapeutic and preventive implications”, financed by a grant of the Italian Ministry for University and Scientific Research (n. 2003061034 – years 2003-2004); (ii) International study “CIGE025A2425”, financed by Novartis and aimed to evaluate the clinical effects in severe, uncontrolled allergic asthma, of the humanized anti-IgE monoclonal antibody omalizumab (years 2005-2006); (iii) A Pan-European open randomised study comparing the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of Symbicort Maintenance and Reliever Therapy – Symbicort SMART – using a maintenance dose of Symbicort 160/4.5 ?g, 1 or 2 inhalations twice daily in the treatment of persistent asthma – EUROSMART (D5890L00022 – years 2007-2008).
I conducted clinical research according to GCP.
My scientific production comprehensively includes over 100 book chapters, reviews and original articles published in both national and international, peer-reviewed journals.