Gruppo Danza

Coordinator of Research Team



Name of Research Team/Laboratory clinical and biomedical application of mass spectrometry


telephone number 320 9225475



Brief biographical sketch of the Coordinator (date of birth, degrees and Universities where they have been obtained)

Giovanna Danza was born in Florence  21 April 1961. She received her Master Degree in Chemistry in 1988 at the University of Florence (Italy). She is married and mother of two children.

She has worked at the Clinical Physiopathology Department of University of Florence since 1990, first as technician and from 2005 as researcher. She is actually working as a researcher in the Department of Experimental Clinical Biomedical Science “Mario Serio”.

Teaching activity at the University of Florence, School of Human Healt Science. She is  the Coordinator  of the Master “Clinical Application of Mass Spectrometry” were she also teaches in the module “Mass spectrometry in endocrinology”.

Since 1990 she has carried out clinical activity in the Laboratory of the Endocrine Unit, Careggi Hospital. From 2012 she is working to the development of new methods for quantitative determination of hormones and actually she is involved in the organization of a new diagnostic service based on mass spectrometry. 

She is a member of the School of Human Healt Science and is part of the Florence Unversity Board for quality assurance of didactics and research activity.



Member of the following Scientific Societies

1) Società Chimica Italiana – Divisione di Spettrometria di Massa


Research Team

1) GIANLUCA BARTOLUCCI, born in Florence 11-03-1967, degree  in Pharmacy, researcher  University of Florence



Current research interests  

development of isotopic dilution quantitative mass spectrometry methods for the determination of hormones, drugs and biomarkers of clinical interest. Actually involved in the following research fields:

  1. Role of hypoxia in modulating cholesterol and lipid rafts in prostate cancer progression
  2. Sperm alterations in metabolic syndrome and obesity:  the role of cholesterol content
  3. Targeted metabolomics in diseases related to  gut microbiome alterations 
  4. Steroidogenesis in the normal ovulatory cycle and progesterone as potential biomarker in IVF
  5. Application of quantitative LC-MS/MS methods to the routine clinical lab analysis



Current / recent sources of funding

                1) ENTE CASSA RISPARMIO FIRENZE 2013

                2) Fondi di Ateneo

                3) collaborazione in SIR (principal investigator F. Lotti)


10 best publications of the last 5 years

1: Danza G, Di Serio C, Ambrosio MR, Sturli N, Lonetto G, Rosati F, Rocca BJ, Ventimiglia G, del Vecchio MT, Prudovsky I, Marchionni N, Tarantini F. Notch3 is activated by chronic hypoxia and contributes to the progression of human prostate cancer. Int J Cancer. 2013;133(11):2577-86.


2: Ayala G, Morello M, Frolov A, You S, Li R, Rosati F, Bartolucci G, Danza G, Adam RM, Thompson TC, Lisanti MP, Freeman MR, Di Vizio D. Loss of caveolin-1 in prostate cancer stroma correlates with reduced relapse-free survival and is functionally relevant to tumour progression. J Pathol. 2013;231(1):77-87.


3: Samavat J, Natali I, Degl'Innocenti S, Filimberti E, Cantini G, Di Franco A, Danza G, Seghieri G, Lucchese M, Baldi E, Forti G, Luconi M. Acrosome reaction is impaired in spermatozoa of obese men: a preliminary study. Fertil Steril. 2014;102(5):1274-1281.


4: Marchiani S, Vignozzi L, Filippi S, Gurrieri B, Comeglio P, Morelli A, DanzaG, Bartolucci G, Maggi M, Baldi E. Metabolic syndrome-associated sperm alterations in an experimental rabbit model: relation with metabolic profile, testis and epididymis gene expression and effect of tamoxifen treatment. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2015;401:12-24.


5: Ambrosio MR, Di Serio C, Danza G, Rocca BJ, Ginori A, Prudovsky I, Marchionni  N, Del Vecchio MT, Tarantini F. Carbonic anhydrase IX is a marker of hypoxia and correlates with higher Gleason scores and ISUP grading in prostate cancer. Diagn Pathol. 2016;11(1):45


6: Chillà A, Magherini F, Margheri F, Laurenzana A, Gamberi T, Bini L, Bianchi L, Danza G, Mazzanti B, Serratì S, Modesti A, Del Rosso M, Fibbi G. Proteomic identification of VEGF-dependent protein enrichment to membrane caveolar-raft microdomains in endothelial progenitor cells. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2013;12(7):1926-38


Previous research experiences

  1. 5 alpha reductase inhibitors in prostate and skin diseases. Development of new selective isozyme 1 inhibitor and preclinical studies to assess their efficacy.
  2. Seladin 1/DHCR24 in neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, the role of cholesterol synthesis in lipid rafts dynamics and related cell signaling


Main scientific contributions

- Synthesis and preclinical development of new classes of dual 5 alpha reducatse inhibitors and selective 5 alpha reductase I inhibitors

- characterization of similarities between plant and human 5 alpha reductase activities (DET2 and 5aR respectively) and identification of two different 5 alpha reducing isozymes in solanum malacoxylon.

- Cloning and functional characterization of the Lycopersicon esculentum omolog of DET2: LeDET2.

-  Seladin 1/DHCR24 and cholesterol biosynthesis:

1. Clarification of the protective role of membrane cholesterol derived from de-novo synthesis against Abeta toxicity in a neuronal cell model.

2. Clarification of the role of cholesterol derived from de novo synthesis in lipid raft coalescence and activation of Notch3 in hypoxia condition in prostate cancer.

Ultimo aggiornamento



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