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, Senior Assistant Professor

Giulia Sita, Junior Assistant Professor

Agnese Graziosi,  Research Fellow

Sofia Gasperini,  Research Fellow

Camilla Corrieri, PhD Student

Eva Benuzzi, PhD Student

Luca Ghelli, Graduate Fellow

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., Gorini, F., Coada, C.A., De Leo, A., de Biase, D., Di Costanzo, S., De Crescenzo, E., Coschina, E., Monesmith, S., Bernante, P., Garelli, S., Balsamo, F., Hrelia, P., De Iaco, P., Angelini, S., Perrone, A.M. (2024). “miRNA levels are associated with body mass index in endometrial cancer and may have implications for therapy”. Cancer Sci, on press.
  • Sita, G., Graziosi, A., Corrieri, C., Ghelli, L., Angelini, S, Cortelli, P., Hrelia, P., Morroni, F. (2023). “The Unfolded Protein Response in a Murine Model of Alzheimer’s Disease: Looking for Predictors.” Int J Mol Sci, 24(22), 16200.
  • Gasperini, S., Greco, G., Angelini, S., Hrelia, P., Fimognari, C., Lenzi, M. (2023). “Antimutagenicity and Antioxidant Activity of Castanea sativa Mill. Bark Extract”. Pharmaceutics, 15(10), 2465.
  • 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.
  • 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.