Gruppo Cozzolino

Coordinator of Research Team

Name: Federico COZZOLINO

Position: Full Professor of Sciences and Technologies of Laboratory Medicine

Name of Research Team/Laboratory: Biology and Pharmacology of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases


telephone number: +390552758226



 Brief biographical sketch of the Coordinator

Federico Cozzolino was born on October 24, 1952. He received his Degree in Medicine and Residency Degree in Hematology at the University of Florence in Italy. His initial research, performed under the supervision of Prof. R. Di Guglielmo, concerned the clinical and molecular aspects of human Multiple Myeloma. As a post-doc, from 1984 to 1987 he joined the Tumor Immunology Lab at the IST in Genoa, Italy. Then, he was Visiting Professor at the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics of the Columbia University in New York from 1988 to 1990. In 1995, he became Research Director of the Italian National Research Council in Rome, Italy. Since 2005, he is Full Professor at the University of Florence.


Member of the scientific board of the Doctorate/PhD Program in:



Research Team

                1) Federico Cozzolino, Degree in Medicine, 24.10.1952

                2) Maria Torcia, Degree in Medicine, 24.3.1958

                3) Giuseppe Castronovo, Degree in Biotechnology, 11.3.1983

                4) Michele Tanturli, Degree in Biotechnology, 22.7.1983

                5) Ann Maria Clemente, Degree in Biology, 29.7.1975

                6) Cecilia Malentacchi, Degree in Biology, 11.9.1953


Current research interests  

Neurotrophins are cytokines commonly believed to act on neural cells. However, solid evidence demonstrates expression of their specific surface receptors, belonging to the Trk family of Tyrosine Receptor Kinases, on an increasing number of cell types of diverse origin. Such evidence suggested that biological functions of neurotrophins might be exerted on different tissues or organs, possibly even for pharmacologic uses. To the latter purpose, since many years our lab is involved in the identification of small molecules, selected from chemical libraries, able to combine with Trk receptors to either stimulate or inhibit their functional activation, thus generating mimetics or inhibitors of the native cytokines. Being short-range biologic mediators mainly acting in a paracrine fashion, neurotrophins in fact present poor pharmacokinetic properties (e.g., high sensitivity to proteases and inability to pass through the BBB) and quite limited stability. The selected mimetics have been successfully tested for safety and efficacy in numerous experimental models of human diseases, from the ophthalmologic setting to the cardiovascular conditions characterized by Ischemia/Reperfusion damage to the neurodegenerative disorders.

The research activity is run also relying on collaborations with several national and world-wide groups.

Beyond the usual molecular biology and biochemical techniques for manipulation of genes and purification of proteins, the experimental work involves utilisation of cellular techniques for characterization of the Programmed Cell Death processes, e.g., in conditions of oxidative stress, nutrient deprivation or toxic damage. Genetically modified animals are employed to study neurodegenerative diseases. Confocal microscopy, FACS and mass spectrometry are commonly used.


Current / recent sources of funding

1) GPS/DM29066 – Consorzio CINMPIS

2) Istituto Toscano Tumori (ITT)

3) Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze

4) Fondi di Ateneo

5) External grants (?)


Best publications of the last 5 years


Torcia MG, Nencioni L, Clemente AM, Civitelli L, Celestino I, Limongi D, Fadigati G, Perissi E, Cozzolino F, Garaci E, Palamara AT. Sex differences in the response to viral infections: TLR8 and TLR9 ligand stimulation induce higher IL10 production in males. PLoS One 7(6):e39853, 2012

Scarpi D, Cirelli D, Matrone C, Castronovo G, Rosini P, Occhiato EG, Romano F, Bartali L, Clemente AM, Bottegoni G, Cavalli A, De Chiara G, Bonini P, Calissano P, Palamara AT, Garaci E, Torcia MG, Guarna A, Cozzolino F. Low molecular weight, non-peptidic agonists of TrkA receptor with NGF-mimetic activity. Cell Death Dis 3:e389, 2012

Clemente AM, Fadigati G, Caporale R, Marchese DG, Castronovo G, Sannella AR, Severini C, Verra F, Garaci E, Cozzolino F, Torcia MG. Modulation of the immune and inflammatory responses by Plasmodium falciparum schizont extracts: role of myeloid dendritic cells in effector and regulatory functions of CD4+ lymphocytes. Infect Immun 81:1842-51, 2013

Clemente AM, Severini C, Castronovo G, Tanturli M, Perissi E, Cozzolino F, Torcia MG. Effects of soluble extracts from Leishmania infantum promastigotes, Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites on TGF-β mediated pathways in activated CD4+ T lymphocytes. Microbes Infect 16:778-87, 2014

Clemente AM, Rizzetto L, Castronovo G, Perissi E, Tanturli M, Cozzolino F, Cavalieri D, Fusi F, Cialdai F, Vignali L, Torcia MG, Monici M. Effects of near-infrared laser radiation on the survival and inflammatory potential of Candida spp. involved in the pathogenesis of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 34:1999-2007, 2015

Clemente AM, Castronovo G, Antonelli A, D'Andrea MM, Tanturli M, Perissi E, Paccosi S, Parenti A, Cozzolino F, Rossolini GM, Torcia MG. Differential Th17 response induced by the two clades of the pandemic ST258 Klebsiella pneumoniae clonal lineages producing KPC-type carbapenemase. PLoS One. 12(6):e178847, 2017

Castronovo G, Clemente AM, Antonelli A, D'Andrea MM, Tanturli M, Perissi E, Paccosi S, Parenti A, Cozzolino F, Rossolini GM, Torcia MG. Differences in Inflammatory Response Induced by Two Representatives of Clades of the Pandemic ST258 Klebsiella pneumoniae Clonal Lineage Producing KPC-Type Carbapenemases. PLoS One. 12(1):e0170125, 2017


Main scientific contributions

- Definition of the role of cytokines in the pathophysiology of hematologic malignancies

- Definition of the activity of inflammatory cytokines on human endothelium

- Identification of tumor-specific Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes and suppressor cells in metastatic lymph nodes

- Characterization of extra-neural activities of neurotrophins



- Prof. Antonio Guarna, Department of Chemistry, University of Firenze

- Prof. Anna Teresa Palamara, Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, “La Sapienza” University, Rome

- Prof. Fabio Recchia, Institute of Life Sciences, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa

- Prof. Gianluigi Condorelli, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, Rozzano, Milan

- Prof. Charles Dinarello, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado, Denver

Ultimo aggiornamento



I cookie di questo sito servono al suo corretto funzionamento e non raccolgono alcuna tua informazione personale. Se navighi su di esso accetti la loro presenza.  Maggiori informazioni