Gruppo Galli

Gastroenterology Research Unit


Andrea Galli

About Andrea Galli

1993 - MD in Medicine and Surgery, University of Florence, Magna Cum Laude

1999 - Post-graduate Medical Specialization in Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, Magna Cum Laude, University of Florence

2001 - Ph.D. in Physiology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Florence

2002 - Associate Professor in Gastroenterology, University of Florence

2017 - Full Professor in Gastroenterology, University of Florence

2020 - Head of Department - Clinical and Experimental Biomedical Sciences “Mario Serio”, University of Florence



Member of the Scientific Board the Doctorate/Phd Program in:

Genetics, Oncology and Clinical Medicine (GenOMec), Università di Siena


Member of the following Scientific Societies:

  1. European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL);
  2. American Association for the study of Liver diseases (AASLD);
  3. Società Italiana di Gastroenterologia (SIGE);
  4. Associazione Italiana per lo studio del Fegato (AISF);
  5. Società italiana per lo Studio del Pancreas (AISP);
  6. Federazione Italiana società malattie apparato digerente (FISMAD).


Member of editorial board of the following Journals (current)

International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Guest Editor)



Research Team

- Elisabetta Ceni, PhD

-Barbara Orsini, PhD

-Mirko Tarocchi, MD PhD

-Tommaso Mello, PhD

-Cecilia Grappone, PhD

-Lucia Picariello, PhD

-Simone Polvani, PhD

-Irene Simeone, MSc, PhD student

-Gabriele Dragoni, MD, PhD student

-Alice Guida, MSc, PhD student

-Tommaso Innocenti, MD

-Erica Nicola Lynch, MD


Current research interest

The Gastroenterology Research Unit integrates the expertise of physicians, biologists, and biotechnologists, to deliver a multidisciplinary research approach in the fields of liver and pancreatic fibrosis and cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer.

 1)               Liver cancer

Hepatocellular carcinoma is a complex disease with limited therapeutic options. Most liver cancers develop in the context of chronic liver disease (such as viral hepatitis, Alcoholic Liver Disease, NAFLD and genetic disorders) and thus represent a major medical challenge for cancer treatment. Our research focuses on the roles of Nuclear Receptors Superfamily members (PPARs and COUP-TFs) and of the AAA+ ATPase RuvBL1 in HCC onset and progression. We are specifically interested in disentangling the molecular mechanisms regulated by these proteins at the intersections of:

- cancer cell metabolism

- stress and inflammatory response

- genomic instability

- circadian rhythm

 2)               Pancreatic cancer

 Representing the fourth cause of cancer death in the developed Countries, Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a deadly disease with a poor prognosis. Our research interest is focused in the identification of new genetic determinants of PDAC progression that could translate into novel molecular targets. Specifically, we are currently evaluating the switch between isoforms of the nuclear receptor COUP-TFII and the role of Dishevelled Binding Antagonist Of Beta Catenin (DACT) proteins in tumor progression. Another research field we are exploring, in collaboration with other research units of the Department, is the involvement of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) as a mediator of PDAC development and potential modulator of nuclear receptor expression. Our study about pancreatic cancer progression concerns also the investigation about PADI4 expression and the consequent H3 - histone citrullination. Although physiological functions of citrullination remain not well defined, H3 and H1 histone citrullination has been associated to gene regulation and pluripotency, with PADI4 that may “reprogram” cancer cells into a more stem cell-like state promoting their unrestrained growth. This makes PADI4 both a part of the pluripotency transcriptional network and a feasible therapeutic target to reduce tumor burden and increase survival.

3) Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer (CRC), the second leading cause of cancer death in the EU, develops through a sequential multistep progression of epithelial cells colonocytes initiated to a cancerous state with defined precancerous intermediaries. Emerging evidence suggests that SCFA (short chain fatty acid) butyrate, also through intermediate involvement of the SCFA-producing gut microbiota, may protect from CRC. Our hypothesis is that the dietary administration of a novel compound consisting of a butyrate adsorbed on carbon nanoparticle carriers might either reduce CRC burden or its incidence.

Key words:

HCC, PDAC, CRC, NAFLD, NASH, Fibrosis, Nuclear receptors, Cancer metabolism


Current/recent sources of funding:

-AIRC IG 2017-2022,  Principal Investigator;

-Bando Ricerca Salute 2018- Progetto MAGIC, Principal Investigator;

-Bando Ricerca Salute 2018- Progetto CRCSCREEN- Collaborator


10 best publications of the last 5 years

1: Cordell HJ, Fryett JJ, Ueno K, Darlay R, Aiba Y, Hitomi Y, Kawashima M, Nishida N, Khor SS, Gervais O, Kawai Y, Nagasaki M, Tokunaga K, Tang R, Shi Y, Li Z, Juran BD, Atkinson EJ, Gerussi A, Carbone M, Asselta R, Cheung A, de Andrade M, Baras A, Horowitz J, Ferreira MAR, Sun D, Jones DE, Flack S, Spicer A, Mulcahy VL, Byan J, Han Y, Sandford RN, Lazaridis KN, Amos CI, Hirschfield GM, Seldin MF, Invernizzi P, Siminovitch KA, Ma X, Nakamura M, Mells GF; PBC Consortia; Canadian PBC Consortium; Chinese PBC Consortium; Italian PBC Study Group; Japan-PBC-GWAS Consortium; US PBC Consortium; UK-PBC Consortium. An international genome-wide meta-analysis of primary biliary cholangitis: Novel risk loci and candidate drugs. J Hepatol. 2021 Sep;75(3):572-581. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.04.055. Epub 2021 May 23. PMID: 34033851.


2: Asselta R, Paraboschi EM, Gerussi A, Cordell HJ, Mells GF, Sandford RN, Jones DE, Nakamura M, Ueno K, Hitomi Y, Kawashima M, Nishida N, Tokunaga K, Nagasaki M, Tanaka A, Tang R, Li Z, Shi Y, Liu X, Xiong M, Hirschfield G, Siminovitch KA; Canadian-US PBC Consortium; Italian PBC Genetics Study Group; UK-PBC Consortium; Japan PBC-GWAS Consortium, Carbone M, Cardamone G, Duga S, Gershwin ME, Seldin

 MF, Invernizzi P. X Chromosome Contribution to the Genetic Architecture of Primary Biliary Cholangitis. Gastroenterology. 2021 Jun;160(7):2483-2495.e26. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2021.02.061. Epub 2021 Mar 4. PMID: 33675743; PMCID: PMC8169555.


3: Lulli M, Del Coco L, Mello T, Sukowati C, Madiai S, Gragnani L, Forte P,  Fanizzi FP, Mazzocca A, Rombouts K, Galli A, Carloni V. DNA Damage Response Protein CHK2 Regulates Metabolism in Liver Cancer. Cancer Res. 2021 Jun  1;81(11):2861-2873. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-3134. Epub 2021 Mar 24. PMID: 33762357.


4: Comeglio P, Sarchielli E, Filippi S, Cellai I, Guarnieri G, Morelli A, Rastrelli G, Maseroli E, Cipriani S, Mello T, Galli A, Bruno BJ, Kim K, Vangara K, Papangkorn K, Chidambaram N, Patel MV, Maggi M, Vignozzi L. Treatment potential of LPCN 1144 on liver health and metabolic regulation in a non-

genomic, high fat diet induced NASH rabbit model. J Endocrinol Invest. 2021

Oct;44(10):2175-2193. doi: 10.1007/s40618-021-01522-7. Epub 2021 Feb 13. PMID: 33586025; PMCID: PMC8421272


5: Ghini V, Tenori L, Pane M, Amoruso A, Marroncini G, Squarzanti DF, Azzimonti  B, Rolla R, Savoia P, Tarocchi M, Galli A, Luchinat C. Effects of Probiotics Administration on Human Metabolic Phenotype. Metabolites. 2020 Oct 7;10(10):396.doi: 10.3390/metabo10100396. PMID: 33036487; PMCID: PMC7601401.


6: Peluso M, Russo V, Mello T, Galli A. Oxidative Stress and DNA Damage in Chronic Disease and Environmental Studies. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Sep 21;21(18):6936. doi: 10.3390/ijms21186936. PMID: 32967341; PMCID: PMC7555191.


7: Mello T, Materozzi M, Zanieri F, Simeone I, Ceni E, Bereshchenko O, Polvani S, Tarocchi M, Marroncini G, Nerlov C, Guasti D, Bani D, Pinzani M, Galli A.  Liver haploinsufficiency of RuvBL1 causes hepatic insulin resistance and enhances hepatocellular carcinoma progression. Int J Cancer. 2020 Jun 15;146(12):3410-3422. doi: 10.1002/ijc.32787. Epub 2019 Nov 28. PMID: 31721195.


8: Mello T, Simeone I, Galli A. Mito-Nuclear Communication in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Metabolic Rewiring. Cells. 2019 May 5;8(5):417. doi: 10.3390/cells8050417. PMID: 31060333; PMCID: PMC6562577.


9: Ceni E, Mello T, Polvani S, Vasseur-Cognet M, Tarocchi M, Tempesti S,  Cavalieri D, Beltrame L, Marroncini G, Pinzani M, Milani S, Galli A. The orphan  nuclear receptor COUP-TFII coordinates hypoxia-independent proangiogenic responses in hepatic stellate cells. J Hepatol. 2017 Apr;66(4):754-764. Doi:  10.1016/j.jhep.2016.11.003. Epub 2016 Nov 17. PMID: 27866920.


10: Carloni V, Lulli M, Madiai S, Mello T, Hall A, Luong TV, Pinzani M, Rombouts K, Galli A. CHK2 overexpression and mislocalisation within mitotic structures enhances chromosomal instability and hepatocellular carcinoma progression. Gut. 2018 Feb;67(2):348-361. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2016-313114. Epub 2017 Mar 30. PMID: 28360097.


Previous research experiences

-1996-1998 Dept. Of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA. Molecular mechanisms of alcoholic liver disease;

 -2000-2001 Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA. Ligand-independent activation of PPAR nuclear receptors.

Main scientific contributions

Prof. Andrea Galli, Associate Professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Florence, is a leading researcher in Gastroenterology diseases being involved in the last 20 years in studies aimed at defining the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the development of liver fibrosis and pancreatic and liver cancers. His attention was  mainly focused on transcription regulatory factors belonging to the superfamily of the nuclear receptors and on their pharmacological modulation. Its scientific interest hsa now switched to the metabolic rewiring of  cancer cells and to the application of nanotechnology in the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer.

Prof. Galli is national coordinator of UNIGASTRO, an active member of SIGE, AISF, AISP Italian scientific societies, and EASL and AASLD international scientific societies.

The impact and quality of Prof. Galli research is recognized at the National and International level and resulted in the following awards: 1997 Midwest Trainee Investigator Award Central Society of Clinical Research; 1998 Annual investigator Award Italian Society of Gastroenterology (SIGE); 1999 BYK GULDEN Award; 1999 Prize Winning Abstract (7th UEGW ROMA 99); 1998 Young Clinicians Program Award (WGC); 2001 Young investigator award (University of Florence); 2003 Rising Star in Gastroenterology 2003 (ASNEMGE).



Ongoing collaborations:

-Dr. Peluso, ISPRO, oxidative stress in colorectal cancer;

-Prof. L. Vignozzi and Prof. Maggi. Hormonal treatment of liver fibrosis;

-Dr. M. Luconi. Effect of BMDG in colorectal cancer;

-Dr. S. Vermeire, Department CHROMETA (Chronic diseases, Metabolism & Ageing) KU Leuven Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology - University hospitals Leuven

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