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Roberto Perris

Name of the laboratory

Unit for Cell and Immunotherapy
COMT – Centre for Molecular and Translational Oncology. University of Parma
Parco Area delle Scienze 11/A
43124 Parma, Italy
39 0521 906601

Members of the laboratory

Unit Leader
Staff Researchers
Annamaria Buschini
Paolo Carbognani
Letizia Gnetti
Antonino Musolino
Nicola Sverzellati
Mirca Lazzaretti
Silvana Pinelli
Elisa Tamburini
Post-doctoral fellows
Serena Montalbano

Laboratory activity

The Unit represents of the nine research groups composing the Cancer Centre, operates in close cooperation with the IMEM-CNR of Parma and is characterized by a transversal array of knowledges, competences and research interests, spanning from basic, laboratory research to clinically oriented studies. Accordingly, it incorporates researchers and clinicians with different backgrounds and specialities. Multidisciplinarity is emphasized by the presence of researchers with expertise in non-biomedical disciplines such as physics, chemistry, material sciences and animal surgery. Some of the members of the Unit are highly educated in cell and developmental biology and have longstanding experience in the study of the extracellular matrix in development, tissue homeostasis and disease, with particularly emphasis on cancer. Historically, both ECM and cell surface-bound proteoglycans have been macromolecules of interest. Others members of the Unit are highly knowledgeable about drug resistance and drug repositioning and the development of novel methods for non-invasive tumour imaging and novel non-surgical tumour-ablation approaches. A major assets of the Unit is a bank of more than 1,500 hybridoma clones against more 50 antigens, generated during a period of three decades and including several hundred orphan clones, i.e. against yet unidentified antigens. Another assets is afforded by a cell bank of more 500 established cell lines and more the 100 primary and molecularly engineered cell types.

Research activities

Research efforts of the Unit are focused upon the design, production and preclinical validation of novel immunotherapeutics, such as to favour their transfer to more advanced preclinical developments. This is in part accomplished through close collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry. Experimental activities are therefore dedicated to both target discovery and target validation and the generation of novel antibodies against the identified antigens. A particular attention is given to the creation of monoclonal antibodies reacting with tumour-specific cell surface antigens, which may be represented by unique, cancer-associated protein isoforms resulting from extensive post-translational modifications. A recently adopted strategy, for which term “reversed immunoproteomics” has been cognated, implies that the generation of panels of monoclonal antibodies against whole cell surfaces or enriched subsets of tumour-specific cell surface components, the selection of tumour-reactive antibodies and the proteomic identification of the recognized antigens.

Techniques available

  • Monoclonal antibody production
  • Cell engineering, sorting and cultivation
  • Expression of recombinant molecules
  • Multi-marker and multivalent cellular assays in vitro and ex vivo
  • In vivo cell imaging technologies
  • Functional post-genomics and proteomics
  • Nanotechnologies, chemical drug design and biomaterial testing and functionalization
  • Rama spectroscopy and multiphoton fluorescence imaging

Publications (2019-present)

  • Bertana V, Scordo G, Parmeggiani M, Scaltrito L, Ferrero S, Gomez MG, Cocuzza M, Vurro D, D'Angelo P, Iannotta S, Pirri CF, Marasso SL. Rapid prototyping of 3D Organic Electrochemical Transistors by composite photocurable resin. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):13335.
  • Armando F, Ferrari L, Arcari ML, Azzali G, Dallatana D, Ferrari M, Lombardi G, Zanfabro M, Di Lecce R, Lunghi P, Cameron ER, Cantoni AM, Corradi A. Endocanalicular transendothelial crossing (ETC): A novel intravasation mode used by HEK-EBNA293- VEGF-D cells during the metastatic process in a xenograft model. PLoS One. 2020 Oct 21;15(10):e0239932.
  • Negri M, Francaviglia L, Dumcenco D, Bosi M, Kaplan D, Swaminathan V, Salviati G, Kis A, Fabbri F, Fontcuberta I Morral A. Quantitative Nanoscale Absorption Mapping: A Novel Technique To Probe Optical Absorption of Two-Dimensional Materials. Nano Lett. 2020; 20:567
  • Beghi S, Cavaliere F, Buschini A. Gene polymorphisms in calcium-calmodulinpathway: Focus on cardiovascular disease. Mutat Res. 2020; 786:
  • Malpeli G, Innamorati G, Decimo I, Bencivenga M, Nwabo Kamdje AH, Perris R, Bassi C. Methylation Dynamics of RASSF1A and Its Impact on Cancer. Cancers (Basel). 2019; 9:959.
  • Tamburini E, Dallatomasina A, Quartararo J, Cortelazzi B, Mangieri D, Lazzaretti M, Perris R. Structural deciphering of the NG2/CSPG4 proteoglycan multifunctionality. FASEB J. 2019; 33:3112.
  • Mazzera L, Abeltino M, Lombardi G, Cantoni AM, Ria R, Ricca M, Saltarella I, Naponelli V, Rizzi FMA, Perris R, Corradi A, Vacca A, Bonati A, Lunghi P. Functional interplay between NF-κB-inducing kinase and c-Abl kinases limits response to Aurora inhibitors in multiple myeloma. Haematologica. 2019; .
  • Ghezzi B, Lagonegro P, Fukata N, Parisi L, Calestani D, Galli C, Salviati G, Macaluso GM, Rossi F. Sub-Micropillar Spacing Modulates the Spatial Arrangement of Mouse MC3T3-E1 Osteoblastic Cells. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2019; 28:1701.
  • Tarabella G, Marasso SL, Bertana V, Vurro D, D'Angelo P, Iannotta S, Cocuzza M. Multifunctional Operation of an Organic Device with Three-Dimensional Architecture. Materials (Basel). 2019;12(8):1357.
  • Galati S, Boni C, Gerra MC, Lazzaretti M, Buschini A. Autophagy: A Player in response to Oxidative Stress and DNA Damage. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019;
  • Bocchi L, Motta BM, Savi M, Vilella R, Meraviglia V, Rizzi F, Galati S, Buschini A, Lazzaretti M, Pramstaller PP, Rossini A, Stilli D. The Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Suberoylanilide Hydroxamic Acid (SAHA) Restores Cardiomyocyte Contractility in a Rat Model of Early Diabetes. Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20:1873.
  • Lunelli L, Collini C, Jimenez-Garduño AM, Roncador A, Giusti G, Verucchi R, Pasquardini L, Iannotta S, Macchi P, Lorenzelli L, Pederzolli C, Musio C, Potrich C. Prototyping a memristive-based device to analyze neuronal excitability. Biophys Chem. 2019; 2531
  • Bisceglie F, Orsoni N, Pioli M, Bonati B, Tarasconi P, Rivetti C, Amidani D, Montalbano S, Buschini A, Pelosi G. Cytotoxic activity of copper(ii), nickel(ii) and platinum(ii) thiosemicarbazone derivatives: interaction with DNA and the H2A histone peptide. Metallomics. 2019;11:1729.
  • Tarabella G, Marasso SL, Bertana V, Vurro D, D'Angelo P, Iannotta S, Cocuzza M. Multifunctional Operation of an Organic Device with Three-Dimensional Architecture. Materials (Basel). 2019 Apr 25;12(8):1357.