Massimo Serra, Biologist

Photo of Massimo Serra, Biologist
Massimo Serra, Biologist
+39-051-6366762
+39-051-6366761

Personal information - Education and work experience

12/12/1961
Biologist

Chief of the "Pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics" Research Unit (Simple Structure) at the Laboratory of Experimental Oncology of the Orthopaedic Rizzoli Institute

1984: Degree in Biological Sciences, with honors.

1987: National qualification as Biologist.

Other qualifications:

  • 1985-1986: Student Fellow at the "Laboratory of Clinical Pathology and Microbiology" of the Orthopaedic Rizzoli Institute (Bologna, Italy);
  • 1987-1988: Research Fellow at the Laboratory of Oncological Research of the Orthopaedic Rizzoli Institute (Bologna, Italy);
  • 1993: Research Fellow at the "Molecular Genetics Laboratory" (Salk Institute, San Diego, CA);
  • 1997: Research Fellow at the "Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics Laboratory" of the University of Helsinki (Finland).
  • Since 1989: Staff Researcher (A Level Biologist Manager) at the Laboratory of Experimental Oncology of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute;
  • 1999-2008: Chief of the "Drug Resistance" Research Unit (Organizational Module) at the Laboratory of Experimental Oncology of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute;
  • 1998-2008: member of the Scientific Committee and of the Directive Committee of the Musculo-Skeletal Oncology Department of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute;
  • Since 1998: member of the Inter-Departmental Cancer Research Centre of the University of Bologna;
  • Since 2009: member of the Direction Committee of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute.
  • Analysis of the genetic and molecular mechanisms responsible for drug resistance in the most common bone and soft-tissue sarcomas, as well as on the genetic background associated with a differential drug sensitivity in osteosarcoma;
  • Pharmacogenomic and pharmacogenetic characterisation of the most common musculoskeletal tumours, with particular regard to osteosarcoma;
  • Analysis of genetic and molecular mechanisms responsible for resistance to doxorubicin, methotrexate and cisplatin in human osteosarcoma cells;
  • Preclinical validation of candidate prognostic and therapeutic markers in osteosarcoma and other bone tumor patients;
  • Preclinical evaluation of the efficacy of new target-specific drugs and innovative therapeutic approaches for osteosarcoma and analysis of their interactions with conventional chemotherapeutic drugs and regimens;
  • Identification of markers, which may be used for an early identification of drug unresponsive osteosarcoma musculoskeletal tumours patients;
  • Identification of new antitumor agents, which may be considered for planning alternative and/or tailored treatment regimens for patients unresponsive or scarcely responsive to conventional chemotherapy;
  • Co-ordination of several National and International Research Projects;
  • Italian Representative for the Research Protocols "Analysis of P-glycoprotein expression in osteosarcoma" and "Micrometastatic disease in patients with osteosarcoma" of the Italian Sarcoma Group/Scandinavian Sarcoma Group;
  • Founder and member of the Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer (ITCC) European Consortium, which has been setup in 2003 to develop new therapeutic strategies for pediatric tumors, including osteosarcoma;
  • Since July 2011: Person in charge, together with the Medical Doctors of the Laboratory of Pathology of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, for the assessment of ABCB1/P-glycoprotein expression level in high-grade osteosarcoma patients enrolled in the ISG/OS2 treatment protocol (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01459484), which recruits patients referring to the Italian Sarcoma Group (ISG) and to the Grupo Español de Investigación en Sarcomas (GEIS).

All research activities are performed in strict connection with the clinical Departments of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, of the Italian Sarcoma Group and of several European Partners with the aim to translate research findings into clinical practice and to ensure a rapid and efficient dissemination in the clinical environment.

Research projects

Coordinator and Representative of several Italian and International Research projects:

  • 1990-2003: Principal Investigator of 20 Research Projects supported by the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute (total budget 110.000 Euro);
  • 1999-2002: Italian Representative for the Research Protocols "Analysis of P-glycoprotein expression in osteosarcoma" and "Micrometastatic disease in patients with osteosarcoma" of the Italian Sarcoma Group/Scandinavian Sarcoma Group Research Project "An Italian-Scandinavian treatment and research protocol for high-grade osteosarcoma of the extremities. Localized disease and metastatic relapse";
  • 1999-2000: Principal Investigator of the Italian Association for Cancer Research (A.I.R.C.) Project "Molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in sarcomas" (Total budget 60.000 Euro);
  • 2002-2003: Principal Investigator of the Italian Association for Cancer Research (A.I.R.C.) Project "Study of genetic and molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in osteosarcoma as basis for innovative therapies" (Total budget 80.000 Euro);
  • Since 2003: Founder and active member of the Italian Sarcoma Group, of the European Musculo-Skeletal Oncology Society and of the Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer (ITCC) European consortium (http:www.ITCCconsortium.org);
  • 2004-2006: Co-ordinator of the project “Genetic and biomolecular profiling to predict drug clinical response in musculo-skeletal sarcomas” granted by the Italian Ministry of Health for the years 2004-2006 (total budget 311.000 Euro);
  • 2004-2006: Member of the Rizzoli Research Unit of the “Prognosis and Therapeutic targets in the Ewing family of tumours (PROTHETS)” European Research Project (Coordinator Dr. P. Picci);
  • 2006-2009: Scientific Representative for the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute of the European Research Project “Selecting and validating drug targets from the human kinome for high risk paediatric cancers (KidsCancerKinome, KCK)” (Coordinator: Dr. G. Vassal – Pr. H. Caron, total budget 186.515 Euro);
  • 2006-2011: Scientific Representative of the Workpackage 2.2 “Drug response and pharmacogenomics in osteosarcoma” of the Network of Excellence “European Network to Promote Research into Uncommon Cancers in Adults and Children: Pathology, Biology and Genetics of Bone Tumours (EuroBoNeT)” (Coordinator Dr. P. Hoogendoorn, total budget 337.000 Euro);
  • 2007-2009: Principal Investigator of the Italian Association for Cancer Research (A.I.R.C.) Project "Validation of candidate drug resistance-related genes in osteosarcoma" (Total budget 170.000 Euro);
  • 2010-2013: Principal Investigator of the Italian Association for Cancer Research (A.I.R.C.) Project "Overcoming drug resistance in osteosarcoma by targeting ABC transporters and protein kinases" (Total budget 240.000 Euro);
  • 2015-2017: Principal Investigator of the Italian Association for Cancer Research (A.I.R.C.) Project "Cisplatin resistance in osteosarcoma: Validation of new therapeutic targets and drugs for tailored clinical approaches" (Total budget 281.000 Euro);
  • 2019-2023: Principal Investigator of the Italian Association for Cancer Research (A.I.R.C.) Project “Toward tailored treatments for osteosarcoma through validation of pharmacogenomic markers” (Total budget for the first three years of the project 498.000 Euro).

Publications
Author or Co-Author of:

  • 146 publications on international journals with impact factor (H index SCOPUS = 47);
  • 10 book chapters;
  • More than 300 Meeting contributions;
  • 96 contributions as invited speaker at Courses, Meetings or Seminars.

Editorial Boards

  • Since 2011: Member of the Editorial Board of the journal "Expert Opinion on Emerging Drugs", later renamed as "Outlook on Developing Drugs" and, since November 2012,  "Journal of Developing Drugs";
  • Since 2015: Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Molecular Cytotherapy;
  • Since 2018: Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (section Pathology, Diagnostics, Therapeutics).

Memberships:

  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR);
  • Italian Sarcoma Group (ISG);
  • Italian Association for Cell Cultures (AICC);
  • "Mario Campanacci" Association for Study and Treatment of Bone and Soft-Tissue Sarcomas.

Reference:

  • ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0742-1177;
  • Scopus AU-ID: 7203064339;
  • Researcher ID: J-4878-2016.
Content updated 10/12/2018 - 11:48
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