geneticaThe Genetics and Microbiology Unit is involved in research lines related to the study of the genetic variability of human and microbial populations. In particular, the role played by genetic polymorphisms in complex phenotypes such as neoplastic diseases (e.g. pancreatic cancer, multiple myeloma, mesothelioma, thyroid cancer ...) and in other multifactorial phenotypes, such as the response to chemotherapy and analgesic therapy. These researches support the analysis of problems such as the assessment of the individual risk of developing pathologies, the assessment of responses to pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies, taking into account the individual genotype. The investigation methods integrate case-control association studies using modern genotyping techniques (e.g. SNP arrays, Real-Time PCR), in silico studies (using bioinformatics methods) and functional in vitro studies (in cell lines and microorganisms also using the most modern gene editing techniques based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system). Furthermore, genetic and genomic damage in human populations is evaluated in order to analyse the effects. 

The other research lines characterizing the activity of the Genetics and Microbiology Unit concern the identification and characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying microbial virulence and pathogenicity and the microorganism-environment-host interaction, using multidisciplinary approaches based on manipulation techniques and gene mutation, proteomics, transcriptomics, microscopy, ex vivo models. The unit is also involved in the study of the interactions between microorganisms in both sessile and planktonic microbial communities and in the development of alternative strategies for the treatment of microbial infections. Finally, part of the activity carried out by the Genetics and Microbiology Unit is focused on the preparation of genetically modified and attenuated bacterial strains, aimed at the development of new and more effective vaccine candidates for the prevention of infectious diseases with high incidence worldwide (e.g. tuberculosis).
The research activities are supported by projects financed by public and private bodies at national and international level.

The research lines in detail are:

  •     Evaluation of human genetic variability in the context of individual susceptibility to developing tumors
  •     Evaluation of human polymorphisms and their influence on male infertility
  •     Evaluation of human polymorphisms in analgesic therapy in adults and newborns
  •     Functional evaluation of genetic polymorphisms
  •     Evaluation of somatic mutations in tumor tissues
  •     In vitro and in vivo mutagenesis tests
  •     Study of the molecular mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity and drug resistance
  •     Genetic manipulation of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts (deletion cassettes, gene editing) aimed at studying the host-parasite interaction
  •     Evaluation of new antimicrobial strategies active against planktonic communities and biofilms (e.g. bacteriophages, antimicrobial peptides), and novel diagnostic tools (e.g. CRISPR/Cas-based sensors)
  • Development of innovative antitubercular vaccination strategies


Staff of the Unit:

Full Professors:
Stefano Landi
Federica Gemignani
Arianna Tavanti

Associate Professors:
Daria Bottai 
Daniele Campa
Roberto Giovannoni
Roberto Scarpato

Mariagrazia Di Luca 
Roberto Marangoni
Ombretta Melaiu 

TA Staff:
Monica Cipollini
Domenica Di Bello


Here you can find the address.