Predictive toxicology. Coordinator: Hrelia

The research is aimed at studying the main risk factors associated with the development of chronic degenerative diseases, such as cancer and unresolved nervous system diseases, and at identifying new therapeutic strategies for prevention and treatment.


Research themes 

The main focus is the development of innovative experimental models for the study of drugs and xenobiotics able to modulate cellular and molecular well as the identification of new potential biomarkers (genetic and epigenetic) of prognosis and clinical response in patients affected by chronic-degenerative diseases,   


The research philosophy is a multidisciplinary approach on the following research topics:  

 Identification of polyfunctional bioactive compounds with neuroprotective and chemopreventive  

Identification of compounds of natural and synthetic origin, with potential neuroprotective and chemopreventive, and definition of their mechanism of action at cellular and molecular level. Particular emphasis is given to the study of these mechanisms in both in vivo and in vitro models (primary cultures, cancer cell lines and samples from patients) in terms of cell toxicity, induction of apoptosis, modulation of cell proliferation and cell cycle progression. These studies offer the opportunity to identify new molecule and new molecular targets at the basis of neurodegeneration and carcinogenesis, for a multifunctional therapeutic strategy, able of counteracting the onset and/or progression of these diseases.  

 Identification of biomarkers of susceptibility and response to therapy in chronic and neuorodegenerative diseases  

 Identification of genetic and epigenetic biomarkers of disease susceptibility. Of particular interest is the development of new biomarkers genetic and epigenetic, tissue and circulating markers, of disease prognosis, prediction of response and toxicity to pharmacological agents.  

 Toxicity induced by drugs and environmental xenobiotics  

 Evaluation of the alteration of critical molecular and cellular events related to chronic degenerative diseases (carcinogenesis and neurodegeneration) induced by drugs and xenobiotics present in food and in the environment. The aim is the identification of the chain of events responsible for the effect (Adverse Outcome Pathways).  

Lab Members

Patrizia Hrelia, Full Professor

Fabiana Morroni, Associate Professor

Monia Lenzi, Senior Assistant Professor

Gloria Ravegnini, Junior Assistant Professor

Giulia Sita, Junior Assistant Professor

Agnese Graziosi,  Research Fellow

Manuela Montanaro, Research Fellow

Aldo Di Vito, PhD Student

Camilla Corrieri, PhD Student

Internship projects

Possibility to endorse experimental theses for undergraduates.  

Internships for graduates or PhD students who want to implement their doctoral project thanks to an internship at our laboratories. PostDoc and researchers do not hesitate to contact us for collaborations and / or internships 

Main publications

  • Ravegnini, G., De Leo, A., Coada, C., Gorini, F., de Biase, D., Ceccarelli, C., Dondi, G., Tesei, M., De Crescenzo, E., Santini, D., Corradini, A.G., Tallini, G., Hrelia, P., De Iaco, P., Angelini, S., Perrone, A.M. (2021). “Identification of miR-499a-5p as a Potential Novel Biomarker for Risk Stratification in Endometrial Cancer.” Front Oncol, 11:757678.
  •  Gasperini, S., Bilel, S., Cocchi, V., Marti, M., Lenzi, M., Hrelia, P. (2022). “The Genotoxicity of Acrylfentanyl, Ocfentanyl and Furanylfentanyl Raises the Concern of Long-Term Consequences.” Int J Mol Sci 23(22):14406.
  •  Graziosi, A., Sita, G., Corrieri, C., Angelini, S., d'Emmanuele di Villa Bianca, R., Mitidieri, E., Sorrentino, R., Hrelia, P., Morroni, F. (2022). “Effects of Subtoxic Concentrations of Atrazine, Cypermethrin, and Vinclozolin on microRNA-Mediated PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signaling in SH-SY5Y Cells.” Int J Mol Sci 23(23):14538.
  • Sita, G., Graziosi, A., Hrelia, P., Morroni, F. (2021). “Sulforaphane Causes Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Human Glioblastoma U87MG and U373MG Cell Lines under Hypoxic Conditions.” Int J Mol Sci 22(20):11201.
  • Cocchi, V., Hrelia, P., Lenzi, M. (2020). “Antimutagenic and Chemopreventive Properties of 6-(Methylsulfinyl) Hexyl Isothiocyanate on TK6 Human Cells by Flow Cytometry.” Front Pharmacol 11:1242.