Foto del docente

Eleonora Turrini

Associate Professor

Department for Life Quality Studies

Academic discipline: BIO/14 Pharmacology


Keywords: antitumor chemotherapy in vitro anticancer activity cellular and molecular mechanisms

Cancer Pharmacology:

The most relevant problems of chemotherapy consist on the marked toxicity profile of most drugs used today and the increasingly frequent appearance of the phenomenon of drug resistance.  It is urgent, therefore, the need to develop more innovative molecules characterized by a better profile in terms of both efficacy and toxicity. The aim of the research actually consists in the identification of compounds of natural origin with chemotherapeutic potential against the cancerogenic process and the characterization of their mechanism of action at cellular and molecular level. The activity of the molecules is investigated on different cancer cell models (primary cultures and cell lines). The first step is the evaluation of the effects at cellular level, in terms of cyto-and genotoxicity, modulation of cell proliferation, induction of apoptosis, modulation of cell cycle progression, induction of cytodifferentiation. Based on these results, the research is directed towards the planning and preparation of specific investigations, aimed at the analysis of specific pathways and molecular targets underlying the anticancer potential of molecules for specific cancers, including through the analysis of specific microRNA, as post transcriptional regulators of genes involved in cancer process.

 Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics:

The research interests are focused on pharmacogenetics, whose aim is to correlate genetic polymorphisms (SNPs) in key genes to drug efficacy. In particular, the analysis concern genes coding for specific drug-metabolising and transporters enzymes. In the long run, this analysis may lead to the identification of a subset of SNPs with predictive value for optimisation of therapy. Moreover, the interests are on molecular biology-mutation, with the aim to identify genes that underline cancer susceptibility. In addition SNPs are analysed in many cancer-related genes. Additionally, the interest is on the role of miRNA in gene regulation, in particular in in vitromodels to understand the pharmacoresistance.