Isabella Saggio CV 2016

Ritratto di Saggio Isabella
Versione stampabileSend by emailPDF version

Education and professional experience

2016, Selected member of the School of advanced studies at Sapienza University (SSAS)
2015, 2016: Visiting scientist Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, Telomere lab
directed by D. Rhodes. Promoter NTU-Sapienza 5year cooperation agreement.
2011 to date: Founder, coordinator and teacher of the Double Degree between Sapienza University
and the Universities Paris5 and Paris7. The first international degree in Genetics and Molecular
Biology at Sapienza University of Rome, which includes teaching courses held in in English, in
Italy and in France, open to both Italian and French students.
2010: Visiting scientist (CNR financed) Paris 7 University and Pasteur Institute (France),
Immunology lab directed by A. Cumano.
2008: Visiting scientist (CNR financed) Salk Institute (La Jolla CA USA), Virology and Gene
Therapy lab directed by I. Verma.
2008-to date: Teaching member of the PhD school in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Sapienza
University of Rome.
2005-to date: Associate Professor of Genetics and Gene Therapy. Group leader (see web-site, Dept of Biology and Biotechnology Charles Darwin, Sapienza University of
Rome. Founder and Director, Master in Life sciences communication, Sapienza University (see website Erasmus project coordinator Sapienza University /University of Paris 5
and 7.
2004: Visiting scientist (CNRS financed) Lyon Laennec University, Lyon France. Virology lab
directed by P. Boulanger.
2003 to date: Selected associate scientist IBPM research institute, CNR
2003-2010: Associate scientist and group leader San Raffaele Science Park Rome
1996-2003: Assistant Professor, Dept of Genetics and Mol. Biology Sapienza University of Rome
1995-96: EU postdoctoral fellow, Oncogenic Virus Lab, Gustave Roussy Institute, Paris France.
1991-94: PhD fellow at IRBM Merck research institute directed by R. Cortese, Rome Italy.
1989-90: Research fellow, Laboratory of Virology National Health Institute, Rome Italy.
1988: Laurea full marks cum laude, Dept of Genetics and Mol. Biology, Sapienza University of
Rome Italy.

Teaching assignments

2013-now: Founder and teacher, New frontiers of biomedicine in genetics and neurosciences,
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
2001-now: Founder and teacher, Gene Therapy, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
2001-2013: Genetics, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
2001-05: Genetics, University of Urbino, Italy

Research interests

Viral vectors and gene therapy
We study biological interactions occurring between viruses and the host cell, by single gene,
single pathway and high throughput analysis, to understand the toxicity of viral vectors used in
gene therapy and to clarify viral and cellular pathways.
Stem cells and ageing
We’re interested in in vitro and mouse models of human diseases, for their study and for
designing therapeutic strategies, with specific focus on genes/diseases related with telomeres,
mesenchymal stem cells and ageing.

Association to scientific and professional organizations


Funded projects

2016 Telethon EG project. AKTIP and progerias. PI I. Saggio
2015-2018 AIRC project coordinated by M. Gatti. Telomeric genes from Drosophila to man.
2013-2016 EU FP7 IAPP. Brainvectors. PI I. Saggio
2012 Cenci Bolognetti. Telomeric genes, from Drosophila to man. PI I. Saggio
2012 CIB. Comparative investigation of the toxicogenomic signature of canine adenovirus 2 vector
with that of HIV1, AAV 9 and human adenovirus 5 gene therapy vectors in human brain cells. PI I.
2010 AST. Gene therapy of neurodegenerative disorders. PI I. Saggio
2007-2012 EU FP7. BrainCAV. PI and work-package leader
2006-2016 Sponsoring from MSD, Pfeizer, Abbott, Novartis for science communication. PI I. Saggio
2006-2007 MIUR PRIN. Modeling and correcting organogenetic and pathogenetic skeletal processes
using stem cells. PI I. Saggio
2005, 2010 Participation to AIRC project coordinated by M. Gatti
2004-2014 MIUR Uniroma1 funding. PI I. Saggio
2004, 2009 Participation to Telethon project coordinated by P. Bianco
2004 MIUR 6-2000. Web site for science communication. PI I. Saggio
2002 MIUR 6-2000. Openlab. PI I. Saggio
2001-2002 CIB. Phage vectors for gene transfer. PI I. Saggio
2000-2001 Cenci Bolognetti. Phage technology for the study of Adenovirus-receptor interaction.
PI I. Saggio
2000-2001 PNR. Adenoviral vectors for gene therapy. Collaboration with SIGMA TAU
2000 CNR. Structure-function analysis of Adenovirus penton base. PI I. Saggio

Organization of scientific events

Annual meeting of BrainCAV consortium, Rome 2008.
Organization of more than 30 scientific seminars.
Permanent seminar on Nobel prize, Stockholm in Rome. 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Revision of projects

Association Nationale Recherche, ANR
Unity Through Knowledge Fund
Université de Montpellier
MIE French National Agency
Italian Ministry of University and Research MIUR

Revision of scientific articles

Experimental Cell Research
BMC Medical Genomics
Stem cells
Stem Cell Research
Plos One

Foreign languages

English, French, German

Bibliometrics (Google scholar June 2016)

h-index: 18
Citations: 2217


1. Burla R, La Torre M, Saggio I. (2016) Mammalian telomeres and their partnership with
lamins. Nucleus. In press.
2. Burla R, Carcuro MT, La Torre M, Fratini F, Crescenzi M, D’Apice MR, Spitalieri P, Raffa
GD, Astrologo L, Lattanzi G, Cundari E, Raimondo D, Biroccio AM, Gatti M, Saggio I. (2016)
The telomeric protein AKTIP interacts with A- and B-type lamins. Open Biology. In press.
3. Sacchetti B, Funari A, Remoli C, Giannicola G, Robey PG, Kogler G, Liedtke S, Cossu G,
Serafini M, Sampaolesi M, Tagliafico E, Tenedini E, Saggio I, Riminucci M, Bianco P.
(2016) No identical "mesenchymal stem cells" at different times and sites: Human
committed progenitors of distinct origin and differentiation potential are incorporated
as adventitial cells in microvessels. Stem cell reports. In press.
4. Piersanti S, Burla R, Licursi V, Brito C, la Torre, M, Alves P, Simao D, Mottini C,
Salinas S, Negri R, Tagliafico E, Kremer EJ and Saggio I. (2015) Transcriptional response
of human neurospheres to helper-dependent CAV-2 vectors: activation of DNA damage
response, modulation of microtubule motors and centromeric proteins. Plos One 10:
5. Simão D, Pinto C, Fernandes P, Peddie CJ, Piersanti S, Collinson LM, Salinas S, Saggio I,
Schiavo G, Kremer EJ, Brito C, Alves PM. (2016) Evaluation of helper-dependent canine
adenovirus vectors in a 3D human CNS model. Gene therapy 23: 86–94.
6. Cenci G, Ciapponi L, Marzullo M, Raffa GD, Morciano P, Raimondo D, Burla R, Saggio I and
Gatti M. (2015). The analysis of pendolino (peo) mutants reveals differences in the
fusigenic potential among Drosophila telomeres. Plos Genetics 11: e1005260.
7. Burla R, Carcuro M, Raffa GD, Galati A, Raimondo D, Rizzo A, la Torre M, Micheli M,
Ciapponi L, Cenci G, Cundari E, Musio A, Biroccio A, Cacchione S, Gatti M and Saggio I.
(2015) AKTIP/Ft1, a new shelterin-interacting factor required for telomere maintenance.
Plos Genetics 11: e1005167.
8. Remoli C, Michienzi S, Sacchetti B, Di Consiglio A, Cersosimo S, Spica S, Robey PG,
Holmbeck K, Cumano A, Boyde A, Davis G, Saggio I, Riminucci M, and Bianco P (2014) Targeted
expression of the Fibrous Dysplasia (FD) causing mutation, GsR201C
in osteoblasts
produces a high bone mass phenotype but does not reproduce FD in the mouse. Journal of
Bone and Mineral Research 30: 1030-1043.
9. Simao D, PintoC, Piersanti S, Licursi V, Collimnson L, Serra M, Texeira A, Saggio I,
Kremer EJ, Schiavo G, Brito C, Alves P. Modeling human neural functionality in vitro: 3D
culture for dopaminergic differentiation. (2014) Tissue Engineering 21: 654-668.
10. Cossetti C, Lugini L, Astrologo L, Saggio I, Fais S and Spadafora C. (2014) Soma-togermline
transmission of RNA in mice xenografted with human tumour cells: possible
transport by exosomes. Plos One 9: e101629.
11. Saggio I, Remoli C, Spica E, Cersosimo S, Sacchetti B, Robey PJ, Holmbeck K, Cumano A,
Boyde A, Bianco P, Riminucci M. (2014) Constitutive Expression of GsαR201C in Mice
Produces a Heritable, Direct Replica of Human Fibrous Dysplasia Bone Pathology and
Demonstrates Its Natural History. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 29: 2357-68.
12. Piersanti S, Tagliafico E, Saggio I. (2014) DNA microarray to analyze Adenovirus-host
interactions. Methods in Molecular Biology Humana Press 1089: 89-104.
13. Piersanti S, Astrologo L, Licursi V, CostaR, Roncaglia E, Gennetier A, Ibanes S, Chillon
M, Negri R, Tagliafico, Kremer EJ, Saggio I. (2013) Differentiated neuroprogenitor cells
incubated with human or canine adenovirus, or lentiviral vectors have distinct
transcriptome profiles. Plos One 26: e69808.
14. Soldati C, Cacci E, Biagioni S, Carucci N, Lupo G, Perrone-Capano C, Saggio I, Augusti-
Tocco G. (2012) Restriction of neural precursor ability to respond to Nurr1 by early
regional specification. Plos One 7: e51798.
15. Khalaj-Kondori M, Sadeghizadeh M, Behmanesh M, Saggio I, Monaci P (2011) Chemical
coupling as a potent strategy for preparation of targeted bacteriophage-derived gene
nanocarriers into eukaryotic cells. Journal of Gene Medicine 13: 622-631.
16. Cherubini G, Naim V, Caruso P, Burla R, Bogliolo M, et al. (2011) The FANC pathway is
activated by adenovirus infection and promotes viral replication-dependent recombination.
Nucleic Acids Research 39: 5459-5473.
17. Riminucci M, Robey PG, Saggio I, Bianco P (2010) Skeletal progenitors and the GNAS gene:
fibrous dysplasia of bone read through stem cells. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 45:
18. Piersanti S, Remoli C, Saggio I, Funari A, Michienzi S, et al. (2010) Transfer, Analysis,
and Reversion of the Fibrous Dysplasia Cellular Phenotype in Human Skeletal Progenitors.
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 25: 1103-1116.
19. Bianco P, Robey PG, Saggio I, Riminucci M (2010) "Mesenchymal'' Stem Cells in Human Bone
Marrow (Skeletal Stem Cells): A Critical Discussion of Their Nature, Identity, and
Significance in Incurable Skeletal Disease. Human Gene Therapy 21: 1057-1066.
20. Caruso P, Burla R, Piersanti S, Cherubini G, Remoli C, et al. (2009) Prion expression is
activated by Adenovirus 5 infection and affects the adenoviral cycle in human cells.
Virology 385: 343-350.
21. Sacchetti B, Funari A, Michienzi S, Di Cesare S, Piersanti S, et al. (2007) Self-renewing
osteoprogenitors in bone marrow sinusoids can organize a hematopoietic microenvironment.
Cell 131: 324-336.
22. Martina Y, Avitabile D, Piersanti S, Cherubini G, Saggio I (2007) Different modulation of
cellular transcription by adenovirus 5, Delta E1/E3 adenovirus and helper-dependent
vectors. Virus Research 130: 71-84.
23. Benihoud K, Esselin S, Descamps D, Jullienne B, Salone B, et al. (2007) Respective roles
of TNF-alpha and IL-6 in the immune response-elicited by adenovirus-mediated gene
transfer in mice. Gene Therapy 14: 533-544.
24. Riminucci M, Saggio I, Robey PG, Bianco P (2006) Fibrous dysplasia as a stem cell disease.
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 21: 125-131.
25. Piersanti S, Sacchetti B, Funari A, Di Cesare S, Bonci D, et al. (2006) Lentiviral
transduction of human postnatal skeletal (stromal, mesenchymal) stem cells: In vivo
transplantation and gene silencing. Calcified Tissue International 78: 372-384.
26. Cherubini G, Petouchoff T, Grossi M, Piersanti S, Cundari E, et al. (2006) E1B55K-deleted
adenovirus (ONYX-015) overrides G(1)/S and G(2)/M checkpoints and causes mitotic
catastrophe and endoreduplication in p53-proficient normal cells. Cell Cycle 5: 2244-2252.
27. Campo S, Serlupi-Crescenzi O, Arseni B, Rossi S, Saggio I, et al. (2005) Comparative
activity of Sant7 and anti-IL-6, IL-6R monoclonal antibodies in a murine model of B-cell
lymphoma. Cytokine 31: 368-374. IF 2.8
28. Piersanti S, Martina Y, Cherubini G, Avitabile D, Saggio I (2004) Use of DNA microarrays
to monitor host response to virus and virus-derived gene therapy vectors. Am J
Pharmacogenomics 4: 345-356.
29. Piersanti S, Cherubini G, Martina Y, Salone B, Avitabile D, et al. (2004) Mammalian cell
transduction and internalization properties of lambda phages displaying the full-length
adenoviral penton base or its central domain. Journal of Molecular Medicine 82: 467-476.
30. Salone B, Martina Y, Piersanti S, Cundari E, Cherubini G, et al. (2003) Integrin alpha 3
beta 1 is an alternative cellular receptor for adenovirus serotype 5. Journal of Virology
77: 13448-13454.
31. Di Giovine M, Salone B, Martina Y, Amati V, Zambruno G, et al. (2001) Binding properties,
cell delivery, and gene transfer of adenoviral penton base displaying bacteriophage.
Virology 282: 102-112.
32. Benihoud K, Salone B, Esselin S, Opolon P, Poli V, et al. (2000) The role of IL-6 in the
inflammatory and humoral response to adenoviral vectors. Journal of Gene Medicine 2: 194-
33. Benihoud K, Saggio I, Opolon P, Salone B, Amiot F, et al. (1998) Efficient, repeated
adenovirus-mediated gene transfer in mice lacking both tumor necrosis factor alpha and
lymphotoxin alpha. Journal of Virology 72: 9514-9525.
34. Saggio I, Ciapponi L, Savino R, Ciliberto G, Perricaudet M (1997) Adenovirus-mediated
gene transfer of a human IL-6 antagonist. Gene Therapy 4: 839-845.
35. DiMarco A, Gloaguen I, Demartis A, Saggio I, Graziani R, et al. (1997) Agonistic and
antagonistic variants of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) reveal functional differences
between membrane-bound and soluble CNTF alpha-receptor. Journal of Biological Chemistry
272: 23069-23075.
36. Di Marco A, Gloaguen I, Graziani R, Paonessa G, Saggio I, et al. (1996) Identification of
ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) residues essential for leukemia inhibitory factor
receptor binding and generation of CNTF receptor antagonists. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 93:
37. Saggio I, Gloaguen I, Poiana G, Laufer R (1995) CNTF variants with increased biological
potency and receptor selectivity define a functional site of receptor interaction. Embo
Journal 14: 3045-3054.
38. Saggio I, Gloaguen I, Laufer R (1995) Functional phage display of ciliary neurotrophic
factor. Gene 152: 35-39.
39. Saggio I, Paonessa G, Gloaguen I, Graziani R, Deserio A, et al. (1994) Nonradioactive
receptor binding assay for ciliary neurotrophic factor. Analytical Biochemistry 221: 387-
40. Saggio I, Laufer R (1993) Biotin binders selected from a random peptide library expressed
on phage. Biochemical Journal 293: 613-616.
41. Saggio I, Laufer R (1993) Detection of biotinylated molecules in solid-phase assays using
a recombinant biotin-binding bacteriophage. Analytical Biochemistry 214: 352-355.
42. Federico M, Taddeo B, Saggio I, Orecchia A, Verani P, et al. (1991) HIV-1 superinfection
of CEM-SS clones infected with an interfering HIV-1 genome. Aids Research and Human
Retroviruses 7: 140-141.

Proceedings (selection)

1. Piersanti S, Licursi V, Brito C, Burla R, Alves P, Simao D, Devau G, Mottini C, Negri R,
Tagliafico E, Kremer EJ, Saggio I. (2014) High Throughput Comparative Analysis of the
Response of Human and Nonhuman Primate Neurons To Viral Vectors. Mol. Therapy 22: 192-192.
2. Simao D, Pinto C, Fernandes P, Serra M, Teixeira AP, Piersanti S, Ibanes S, Gennetier A,
Saggio I, Collinson L, Weston A, Schiavo G, Kremer EJ, Alves PA, Brito C. (2013) Towards
improved predictability in pre-clinical research: Human dopaminergic 3D in vitro model
for development of gene delivery strategies . Human Gene Therapy 12:118-11.
3. Alves-Marques P, Baker A, Bosch A. (2012) et al. BRAINCAV: a nonhuman adenovirus vector
for gene transfer to the brain. Human Gene Therapy 10:154-154.
4. Piersanti S, Astrologo L, Licursi V, et al. (2012) Canine adenovirus (CAV-2) vectors
induce an innate immune response and the modulation of cell cycle genes in dopaminergic
differentiated human midbrain neuronal precursors Human Gene Therapy 10:157-157.
5. Piersanti S, Astrologo L, Schwarz SC, Schwarz J, Chillon M, et al. (2010) High-throughput
transcriptional analysis of gene therapy viral vectors effects on brain cells. Human Gene
Therapy 21: 1426-1426.
6. Michienzi S, Piersanti S, Funari A, Remoli C, Cersosimo S, et al. (2009)
Phosphodiesterase-mediated adaptation to Gs-alpha mutations is developmentally regulated
in embryonic and post-natal stem cells. Bone 44: S155-S155
7. Martina Y, Avitabile D, Piersanti S, Cherubini G, Salone B, et al. (2003) Gene expression
is altered by infection with adenovirus and adeno-derived vectors. Global monitoring with
oligonucleotide arrays. Molecular Therapy 7: S5-S5.
8. Federico M, Titti F, Butto S, Orecchia A, Carlini F, et al. (1990) Construction of a
retroviral particle containing an interfering HIV-1 genome. Aids Research and Human
Retroviruses 6: 68-68.

Book chapters

1. Saggio I. In Genetica, a cura di S. Pimpinelli. (2014) Terapia genica. Casa Editrice
Ambrosiana Rozzano (Mi) 550-559.
2. Saggio I. Terapia genica. I virus usati per curare (2008) in Enciclopedia medica 52-58.
3. Saggio, I. Targeting bacteriophage vectors. (2002) In Vector targeting for therapeutic
gene delivery. Edited by Curiel, D.T. and Douglas, J.T.. Published by Wiley, New York.
20: 429-456


1. Saggio I, Di Giovine M, Salone B, Martina Y. Chimeric vectors and their use for gene
transfer. Granted Italian and international patent. (WO 02/24934)
2. Laufer R, Saggio I, Gloaguen I, Di Marco A, Demartis A. Variants of human ciliary
neurotrophic factor (hCNTF) with improved receptor-selectivity, and methodology for their
selection. Granted italian and international patent. (WO 98/41625)
3. Ciliberto G, Saggio I, Savino R, Perricaudet M. Adenoviral vectors for mutants of human
interleukin 6 (hIL-6) with hIL-6 antagonist activity over hIL-6. Pharmaceutical
compositions there with and their uses. Granted italian and international patent. (WO
4. Laufer R, Saggio I. Variants of human ciliary neurotrophic factor (hCNTF) with improved
receptor binding affinity. Granted italian patent.(n. 012878094)
5. Laufer R, Saggio I. Method for production of Filamentous phages displaying on the surface
of the capsids peptides capable of binding biotin, and Filamentous phages and peptides
thus obtained. Granted italian patent. (n. 1261693)