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The long term and well documented experience of the DI.V.A.L.’s team in oncological research as well as in ion-channels-related studies has led them to have a great expertise in analyzing pharmacological compounds, developing oncological models and producing and manipulating antibodies for research purposes.

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Olivia Crociani

BSC, PhD and Researcher at Dept of Experimental Pathology and Oncology. She has an expertise in antibodies' production both polyclonal (through GST gene fusion system) and monoclonal (through the hybridoma technology). She conducted several studies  to identify specific antigen peptides for in vivo immunisation. She developed a new monoclonal antibody patented by the University of Firenze in 2006.



In DI.V.A.L., she is the CEO and the responsibile of the antibody production.

Massimo DAmico

BSC, PhD and Researcher in Experimental and Clinical Oncology. Using the patch-clamp technique, he has taken part in the definition of the role of the current through the hERG potassium channels and in the regulation of the growth and differentiation of different types of tumor cells. He is able to conduct specific toxicological analysis through hERG test.


In DI.V.A.L., he is the responsible of specific toxicity test (hERG test).

***Peer reviewed publications***

1)Arcangeli A, Fontana L, Crociani O, Cherubini A, Hofmann G, Piccini E, Polvani S, D’Amico M, Carlà M and Olivotto M. “A transient dephosphorylation of JAK1 and JAK2 characterizes the early- phase response of murine Erythroleukemia cells to the differentiation inducer haxamethylenbisacetamide”. Leukemia 2001; 14:2112-2117.

2)Fontana L, D’Amico M, Crociani O, Biagiotti T, Solazzo M, Rosati B, Arcangeli A, Wanke E and Olivotto M. “Long-term modulation of HERG channel gating in hypoxia”. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 2001, 286, 857-862.

3)D’Amico M, Biagiotti T, Fontana L, Restano-Cassulini R, Lasagna N, Arcangeli A, Wanke E and Olivotto M. “A HERG current sustains a cardiac-type action potential in neuroblastoma S cells”. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 2003, 302, 101-108.

4)Sacconi L, D'Amico M, Vanzi F, Biagiotti T, Antolini R, Olivotto M, Pavone FS. “Second-harmonic generation sensitivity to transmembrane potential in normal and tumor cells. J Biomed Opt. 2005, 10, 024014.

5)Biagiotti T, D'Amico M, Marzi I, Di Gennaro P, Arcangeli A, Wanke E, Olivotto M. “Cell renewing in neuroblastoma: electrophysiological and immunocytochemical characterization of stem cells and derivatives”. Stem Cells. 2006, 24(2), 443-53.

6)Sacconi L, Tolic-Norrelykke IM, D'Amico M, Vanzi F, Olivotto M, Antolini R, Pavone“Cell imaging and manipulation by nonlinear optical microscopy”. Cell Biochem Biophys. 2006;45(3):289-302.

7)Marzi I, D'Amico M, Biagiotti T, Giunti S, Carbone MV, Fredducci D, Wanke E, Olivotto M. “Purging of the neuroblastoma stem cell compartment and tumor regression on exposure to hypoxia or cytotoxic treatment”. Cancer Res. 2007 Mar 15;67(6):2402-7 

8)Becucci L, Carbone MV, Biagiotti T, D'Amico M, Olivotto M, Guidelli R. “Incorporation ofHERG potassium channel in a mercury supported lipid bilayer”. J Phys Chem B. 2008 Jan 31;112(4):1315-9.     

9)Solazzo M, Fantappiè O, D'Amico M, Sassoli C, Tani A, Cipriani G, Bogani C, Formigli L, Mazzanti R. “Mitochondrial expression and functional activity of breast cancer resistance protein in different multiple drug-resistant cell lines.” Cancer Res. 2009 Sep 15;69(18):7235-42.

10)A metal-supported biomimetic micromembrane allowing the recording of single-channel activity and of impedance spectra of membrane proteins. Bioelectrochemistry. 2010 Jun, 78(2):176-80.

11)Pillozzi S, Masselli M, De Lorenzo E, Accordi B, Cilia E, Crociani O, Amedei A, Veltroni M, D'Amico M, Basso G, Becchetti A, Campana D, Arcangeli A. Chemotherapy resistance in acute lymphoblastic leukemia requires hERG1 channels and is overcome by hERG1 blockers. Blood. 2011 Jan 20;117(3):902-14.

12)Polvani S, Calamante M, Foresta V, Ceni E, Mordini A, Quattrone A, D'Amico M, Luchinat C, Bertini I, Galli A. “Acycloguanosyl 5'-thymidyltriphosphate, a thymidine analogue prodrug activated by telomerase, reduces pancreatic tumor growth in mice”. Gastroenterology. 2011 Feb;140(2):709-720.e9.

13)Becucci L, D'Amico M, Cinotti S, Daniele S, Guidelli R. Tethered bilayer lipid micromembranes for single-channel recording: the role of adsorbed and partially fused lipid vesicles. Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2011 Aug 7;13(29):13341-8. 

14)D'Amico M, Gasparoli L, Arcangeli A. Potassium Channels: Novel Emerging Biomarkers and Targets for Therapy in Cancer. Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov. 2013 Jan 1;8(1):53-65

15)Marzi I, Cipolleschi MG, D'Amico M, Stivarou T, Rovida E, Vinci MC, Pandolfi S, Dello Sbarba P, Stecca B, OlivottoThe involvement of a Nanog, Klf4 and c-Myc transcriptional circuitry in the intertwining between neoplastic progression and  reprogramming. Cell Cycle. 2013 Jan 15;12(2):353-64.

16)Polvani S, Tarocchi M, Tempesti S, Mello T, Ceni E, Buccoliero F, D'Amico M, Boddi V, Farsi M, Nesi S, Nesi G, Milani S, Galli A. COUP-TFII in pancreatic adenocarcinoma: Clinical implication for patient survival and tumor progression. Int J Cancer. 2013 Oct 1. 

17)Di Gennaro P, Romoli MR, Gerlini G, D'Amico M, Brandani P, Pimpinelli N, Borgognoni L. IDO and CD83 expression in human epidermal Langerhans cells. J Dermatol Sci. 2013 Oct 29. 

18)Cipolleschi MG, Marzi I, Santini R, Fredducci D, Vinci MC, D'Amico M, Rovida E, Stivarou T, Torre E, Dello Sbarba P, Stecca B, Olivotto M. Hypoxia-resistant profile implies vulnerability of cancer stem cells to physiological agents, which suggests new therapeutic targets. Cell Cycle. 2013 Nov 5;13(2) 

19)Crociani O, Zanieri F, Pillozzi S, Lastraioli E, Stefanini M, Fiore A, Fortunato A, D'Amico M, Masselli M, De Lorenzo E, Gasparoli L, Chiu M, Bussolati O, Becchetti A, Arcangeli A. hERG1 channels modulate integrin signaling to trigger angiogenesis and tumor progression in colorectal cancer. Sci Rep. 2013 Nov 25;3:3308.

Serena Pillozzi

BSC, PhD and Researcher in Experimental and Clinical Oncology. During her experience in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge she learned cloning techniques and methods to express and purify the protein domains producted in yeast. She is able to conduct analysis in vitro and in vivo in order to determine toxicological, pharmocokinetics and pharmacodynamics effects. She is a specialist in the production of preclinical models of xenograft (bone marrow, subcutaneous or orthotopic) and genetically modified animals.

In DI.V.A.L., she is involved in the preclinical evaluation of drugs.


***Peer reviewed publications*** 


1) Pillozzi S, Fortunato A, De Lorenzo E, Borrani E, Giachi M, Scarselli G, Arcangeli A, Noci I. Over-Expression of the LH Receptor Increases DistantMetastases in an Endometrial Cancer Mouse Model. Front Oncol. 2013 Nov 19;3:285.

2) Crociani O, Zanieri F, Pillozzi S, Lastraioli E, Stefanini M, Fiore A,Fortunato A, D'Amico M, Masselli M, De Lorenzo E, Gasparoli L, Chiu M, Bussolati O, Becchetti A, Arcangeli A. hERG1 channels modulate integrin signaling to trigger angiogenesis and tumor progression in colorectal cancer. Sci Rep. 2013Nov 25;3:3308.

3) Pillozzi S, Becchetti A. Ion channels in hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells. Stem Cells Int. 2012;2012:217910. doi: 10.1155/2012/217910.

4) Masselli M, Laise P, Tonini G, Fanelli D, Pillozzi S, Cetica V, Da Ros M, Sardi I, Buccoliero AM, Aricò M, Genitori L, Becchetti A, Arcangeli A.Deregulation of ion channel and transporter encoding genes in pediatric gliomas. Front Oncol. 2012 May 30;2:53.

5) Arcangeli A, Pillozzi S, Becchetti A. Targeting ion channels in leukemias: a new challenge for treatment. Curr Med Chem. 2012;19(5):683-96.

6) Pillozzi S, Masselli M, De Lorenzo E, Accordi B, Cilia E, Crociani O, Amedei A, Veltroni M, D'Amico M, Basso G, Becchetti A, Campana D, Arcangeli A. Chemotherapy resistance in acute lymphoblastic leukemia requires hERG1 channels and is overcome by hERG1 blockers. Blood. 2011 Jan 20;117(3):902-14.

7) Fortunato P, Pillozzi S, Tamburini A, Pollazzi L, Franchi A, La Torre A, Arcangeli A. Irresponsiveness of two retinoblastoma cases to conservative therapy correlates with up- regulation of hERG1 channels and of the VEGF-A pathway. BMC Cancer. 2010 Sep 22;10:504. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-504.

8) Becchetti A, Pillozzi S, Morini R, Nesti E, Arcangeli A. New insights into the regulation of ion channels by integrins. Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2010;279:135-90.

9) Pillozzi S, Arcangeli A. Physical and functional interaction between integrins and hERG1 channels in cancer cells. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2010;674:55-67.

10) Arcangeli A, Crociani O, Lastraioli E, Masi A, Pillozzi S, Becchetti A. Targeting ion channels in cancer: a novel frontier in antineoplastic therapy.Curr Med Chem. 2009;16(1):66-93.

11) Becchi C, Pillozzi S, Fabbri LP, Al Malyan M, Cacciapuoti C, Della Bella C, Nucera M, Masselli M, Boncinelli S, Arcangeli A, Amedei A. The increase of endothelial progenitor cells in the peripheral blood: a new parameter for detecting onset and severity of sepsis. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2008 Jul-Sep;21(3):697-705.

12) Noci I, Pillozzi S, Lastraioli E, Dabizzi S, Giachi M, Borrani E, Wimalasena  J, Taddei GL, Scarselli G, Arcangeli A. hLH/hCG-receptor expression correlates with in vitro invasiveness in human primary endometrial cancer. Gynecol Oncol. 2008 Dec;111(3):496-501.

13) Guasti L, Crociani O, Redaelli E, Pillozzi S, Polvani S, Masselli M, Mello T,Galli A, Amedei A, Wymore RS, Wanke E, Arcangeli A. Identification of a posttranslational mechanism for the regulation of hERG1 K+ channel expression and hERG1 current density in tumor cells. Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Aug;28(16):5043-60.

14) Accordi B, Pillozzi S, Dell'Orto MC, Cazzaniga G, Arcangeli A, Kronnie GT, Basso G. Hepatocyte growth factor receptor c-MET is associated with FAS and when  activated enhances drug-induced apoptosis in pediatric B acute lymphoblastic leukemia with TEL-AML1 translocation. J Biol Chem. 2007 Oct 5;282(40):29384-93.

15) Pillozzi S, Brizzi MF, Bernabei PA, Bartolozzi B, Caporale R, Basile V, Boddi V, Pegoraro L, Becchetti A, Arcangeli A. VEGFR-1 (FLT-1), beta1 integrin, and hERG K+ channel for a macromolecular signaling complex in acute myeloid leukemia: role in cell migration and clinical outcome. Blood. 2007 Aug 15;110(4):1238-50.

16) Holmes O, Pillozzi S, Deakin JA, Carafoli F, Kemp L, Butler PJ, Lyon M, Gherardi E. Insights into the structure/function of hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor from studies with individual domains. J Mol Biol. 2007 Mar 23;367(2):395-408.

17) Cherubini A, Hofmann G, Pillozzi S, Guasti L, Crociani O, Cilia E, Di Stefano P, Degani S, Balzi M, Olivotto M, Wanke E, Becchetti A, Defilippi P, Wymore R, Arcangeli A. Human ether-a-go-go-related gene 1 channels are physically linked to beta1 integrins and modulate adhesion-dependent signaling. Mol Biol Cell. 2005 Jun;16(6):2972-83.

18) Arcangeli A, Becchetti A, Cherubini A, Crociani O, Defilippi P, Guasti L, Hofmann G, Pillozzi S, Olivotto M, Wanke E. Physical and functional interaction between integrins and hERG potassium channels. Biochem Soc Trans. 2004 Nov;32(Pt 5):826-7..

19) Polvani S, Masi A, Pillozzi S, Gragnani L, Crociani O, Olivotto M, Becchetti A, Wanke E, Arcangeli A. Developmentally regulated expression of the mouse homologues of the potassium channel encoding genes m-erg1, m-erg2 and m-erg3. Gene Expr Patterns. 2003 Dec;3(6):767-76.

20) Cherubini A, Pillozzi S, Hofmann G, Crociani O, Guasti L, Lastraioli E, Polvani S, Masi A, Becchetti A, Wanke E, Olivotto M, Arcangeli A. HERG K+ channels and beta1 integrins interact through the assembly of a macromolecular complex. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Nov;973:559-61..

21) Pillozzi S, Brizzi MF, Balzi M, Crociani O, Cherubini A, Guasti L, Bartolozzi B, Becchetti A, Wanke E, Bernabei PA, Olivotto M, Pegoraro L, Arcangeli A. HERG potassium channels are constitutively expressed in primary human acute myeloid leukemias and regulate cell proliferation of normal and leukemic hemopoietic progenitors. Leukemia. 2002 Sep;16(9):1791-8.

22) Hofmann G, Bernabei PA, Crociani O, Cherubini A, Guasti L, Pillozzi S, Lastraioli E, Polvani S, Bartolozzi B, Solazzo V, Gragnani L, Defilippi P, Rosati B, Wanke E, Olivotto M, Arcangeli A. HERG K+ channels activation during beta(1) integrin-mediated adhesion to fibronectin induces an up-regulation ofalpha(v)beta(3) integrin in the preosteoclastic leukemia cell line FLG 29.1. J Biol Chem. 2001 Feb 16;276(7):4923-31.

23) Frangioni G, Borgioli G, Bianchi S, Pillozzi S. Relationships between hepaticmelanogenesis and respiratory conditions in the newt, Triturus carnifex. J Exp Zool. 2000 Jul 1;287(2):120-7. 



Laura Carraresi

BSC, Specialist in Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry, PhD in Physiopathology and Cellular Pathology. From 2008 she works at Li.G.E.M.A. Dr. Carraresi is able to use the fundamental techniques of molecular biology to produce different animal models. In particular, she has an expertise in manipulating mouse stem cells and also in techniques involving mammalian genetic engineering - microinjection in mouse zygote pronucleus and gene targeting in mouse stem cells - to product genetically modified models.



***Peer reviewed publications*** 

 1)Filoni C, Caciotti A, Carraresi L, Cavicchi C, Parini R, Antuzzi D, Zampetti A, Feriozzi S, Poisetti P, Garman SC, Guerrini R, Zammarchi E, Donati MA, Morrone A. Functional studies of new GLA gene mutations leading to conformational Fabry disease. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Feb;1802(2):247-52.

2)Filoni C, Caciotti A, Carraresi L, Donati MA, Mignani R, Parini R, Filocamo M, Soliani F, Simi L, Guerrini R, Zammarchi E, Morrone A. Unbalanced GLA mRNAs ratioquantified by real-time PCR in Fabry patients' fibroblasts results in Fabrydisease. Eur J Hum Genet. 2008 Nov;16(11):1311-7.

3)Carraresi L, Parini R, Filoni C, Caciotti A, Sersale G, Tomatsu S, Orlando C, Zammarchi E, Guerrini R, Donati MA, Morrone A. GALNS gene expression profiling in Morquio A patients' fibroblasts. Clin Chim Acta. 2008 Nov;397(1-2):72-6.

4)Carraresi L, Martinelli R, Vannoni A, Riccio M, Dembic M, Tripodi S, Cintorino M, Santi S, Bigliardi E, Carmellini M, Rossini M. Establishment and characterization of murine small cell lung carcinoma cell lines derived fromHPV-16 E6/E7 transgenic mice. Cancer Lett. 2006 Jan 8;231(1):65-73.

5)Buonomo T, Carraresi L, Rossini M, Martinelli R. Involvement of aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling in the development of small cell lung cancer induced by HPV E6/E7 oncoproteins. J Transl Med. 2011 Jan 4;9:2.

6)Carraresi L, Tripodi SA, Mulder LC, Bertini S, Nuti S, Schuerfeld K, Cintorino M, Bensi G, Rossini M, Mora M. Thymic hyperplasia and lung carcinomas in a line of mice transgenic for keratin 5-driven HPV16 E6/E7 oncogenes. Oncogene. 2001 Dec 6;20(56):8148-53.

7)Mora M, Lazzer M, Marsicano G, Mulder LC, Carraresi L, Pieri A, Benanchi A, Grifoni D, Nuti S, Bruzzone P, Comporti M, Cortesini R, Rossini M. An in vivo model of hyperacute rejection: characterization and evaluation of the effect of transgenic human complement inhibitors. Transgenic Res. 2000 Jun;9(3):205-13.

8)Carraresi L, Mora M, Lazzeri M, Orsini E, Romagnoli R, Comporti M, Carli A, Carmellini M, Rossini M. Hepatocyte grafting as an alternative to liver transplant. Transplant Proc. 2001 Nov-Dec;33(7-8):3474-6.

9)Modesti A, Cirri P, Raugei G, Carraresi L, Magherini F, Manao G, Camici G, Ramponi G. Expression, purification and kinetic behaviour of fission yeast low M(r) protein-tyrosine phosphatase. FEBS Lett. 1995 Nov 20;375(3):235-8.

10)Modesti A, Bini L, Carraresi L, Magherini F, Liberatori S, Pallini V, Manao G, Pinna LA, Raugei G, Ramponi G. Expression of the small tyrosine phosphatase (Stp1) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a study on protein tyrosineElectrophoresis. 2001 Feb;22(3):576-85.



B.Sc. in Biological Sciences. He has experience in the production of orthotopic xenograft models.

In DI.V.A.L., he is the specialist of in vivo specialist

Marco Bizzicalupo
BSC and PhD in Biology, Professor of Genetics since 2000.

His main scientific interests are in Microbial Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology applications of Genetics. The contribution of Prof. Bazzicalupo in DI.V.A.L. concerns in particular activities in the field of bacterial Genetics, Microbiology and Biotechnology.



Colorobbia Consulting srl is a corporate of Gruppo Colorobbia specialised in technology services and development of new materials. Its business is pursued through four Divisions, closely integrated among each other, supporting the Group’s companies as well as the external market with a 360-degree service, capable of meeting any requirement in term of research, chemical and chemical-physical analysis, compliance with environmental and safety regulations in force, IT and process plant engineering.

Graduate in Veterinary Medicine, PhD in Biology of Human Reproduction and Animal; she researched and published on topics related to Biotechnology applied to animal reproduction.

She is currently Veterinary Manager at the Asl 4 in Prato, where she is also the representative for the management of the Quality System.