Coordinator of Research Team
Name: Emanuela Barletta.
Position: Associate Professor
Name of Research Team/Laboratory: Environmental and occupational etiology of neoplastic, degenerative and inflammatory diseases
telephone number: 055 2751284
Brief biographical sketch of the Coordinator
1985 MD degree, summa cum laude, School of medicine, University of Florence.
1988-1990 Research Associate at the laboratory of Dr. Lloyd A. Culp, Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland (Ohio, U.S.A.)
1991 PhD degree in Experimental Pathology.
1995 Diploma of Specialist in Hygene and Medical Prevention, Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Florence.
1995 Ricercatore universitario, School of Medicine, University of Florence.
2005 to date Associate Professor, School of Human Health Sciences (former School of Medicine), University of Florence.
Dr. Barletta is in charge of the teaching program of General Pathology at School of Human Health Sciences, University of Florence in the following degrees: "Medicine and Surgery", first level Degrees in "Biomedical Laboratory Techniques", in "Orthopaedics Techniques", and in "Health Care Assistant". Dr. Barletta is also lecturer on General Pathology at Postgraduate Specialisation in Clinical Pathology and Clinical Biochemistry, University of Florence.
Member of the following Scientific Societies
1) Gruppo Italiano "I Processi di ADPribosilazione"
Member of the editorial board of the following Journals
1) WebMedCentral, Webmed Limited, UK.
2) WebMedCentral plus,Webmed Limited, UK
1) Antonella Mannini, (Ricercatore universitario, University of Florence)
3) Donatella Degl'Innocenti PA (Associate Professor, University of Florence)
4) Alice Verdelli (M.D. , fellow, University of Florence)
5) Marzia Vasarri (fellow, University of Florence)
Current research interests Dr. Barletta has focused her attention on the role of cell adhesion and invasion in autoimmune skin diseases and hidradenitis suppurativa, neurodegenerative diseases and on the role of occupational exposure to pesticides in development of neurodegenerative diseases.
Current / recent sources of funding
1) University of Florence
2) Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia
Best publications of the last 5 years
Previous research experiences From the beginning of her research career Dr. Barletta has focused her attention on exploring the molecular mechanisms of cell adhesion and cell differentiation induced by specific adhesive substratum in normal and tumor cells. Her studies were centered on adhesive interactions between specific cell-surface molecules such as gangliosides, integrins, and heparan sulfates with adhesive proteins such as fibronectin, vitronectin and platelet factor 4 (PF4). Moreover, she focused her attention on the relationship between cell differentiation and invasive potential through extracellular matrix components. For this purpose she studied the effect of differentiating agents such as retinoic acid, platelet activatin factor (PAF), and neurotrophins CNTF (Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor) and BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotophic Factor) on differentiation and invasiveness of neuroblastoma cells through reconstituted membranes (Matrigel). In the last few years, Dr. Barletta has explored the molecular mechanisms of endothelial cell differentiation process. Indeed, endothelial differentiation requires modulation of adhesive properties and secretion of extracellular matrix degrading enzymes such as urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA). In this study she has revealed that basic fibroblastic growth factor (bFGF) upregulates uPA gene expression and that this effect is mediated by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) through activation of a mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway . Dr. Barletta during her research career has studied the role of mutationally activated ras oncogenes and occupational exposure in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In particular, she found in 111 AML cases a positive association between a priori at risk jobs and ras mutations.
Main scientific contributions
- Oxadiazon affects the expression and activity of aldehyde dehydrogenase and acylphosphatase in human striatal precursor cells: A possible role in neurotoxicity
- Platelet activating factor inhibits the expression of matrix metalloproteinases and affects invasiveness and differentiation in a system of human neuroblastoma clones
- Inverse relationship between invasiveness and differentiative capacity in different human neuroblastoma cell lines
- Integrin-mediated neurite outgrowth in neuroblastoma cells depends on the activation of potassium channels
- Ras gene mutations in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia and exposure to chemical agents
- Expression of cytokines and chemokine receptors in the cutaneous lesions of erythema multiforme and Stevens–Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis
Dr. Marzia Caproni, MD PhD, Adjunct professor, University of Florence; Director SOS Skin Immunopathology and Rare Dermatological Diseases Unit ASF Florence; 1st Dermatological Clinic ASF; Department of Medical and Surgical Critical Care, Section of Dermatology, University of Florence.