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The Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry Unit is part of the Cellular Oncology Division. The unit includes members with different and complementary background: biologists, physicists, chemists, computer engineers and laboratory technicians.





Past members:


Anna Aprile Ms Anna Aprile



Tiziana Bachetti Dr Tiziana Bachetti
See also: Ministry of Health – Google ScholarScopus – Personal page – ORCID 0000-0002-9456-8945


Biologist Manager, for several years she deals with the development of cellular models for the study of biological and pathogenetic mechanisms.
Specialist in Applied Genetics, her experience in cell biology and molecular genetics focuses on the production of plasmids and cell lines that stably express reporters genes (e.g. luciferase), aimed at studying biological processes and transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in physiology and pathology. In particular, through the use of plasmids with specific reporters based on luminescence and fluorescence, she can investigate cellular pathways (autophagy, proteasome functioning, inflammation, microRNAs binding, etc.) aimed at identifying molecular targets suitable to set up cellular models usable to perform drug screening.
She currently provides the course on “Cellular and developmental biology” at the Master degree on “Experimental and Applied Biology” of the University of Genoa. The course aims to deepen the knowledge of the cell by describing in detail the biological processes that regulate both intercellular and intracellular communication between the different compartments with particular attention in every process to the regulation of gene expression both in physiological and pathological conditions and during development.

Paola Barboro Dr Paola Barboro
See also: Ministry of HealthGoogle ScholarScopus – Personal page – ORCID 0000-0001-9074-9290


Paola Barboro got a degree in Biology at the University in Genoa. After a collaboration with the Institute for Macromolecules Studies of the National Research Council, she joined the National Cancer Research Institute, who later merged with San Martino Hospital, where she presently serves as senior researcher. Her research activity is concentrated with genitourinary tumours. In the last years, she focused on the regulatory role of the nuclear matrix in cell transformation. The methodology developed for the purpose of clarifying this functional aspect in an experimental model of cancer (rat hepatocyte nodules) has been successfully extended to a human model (prostate cancer and bladder cancer). Her studies are now focused on differential proteomic techniques in order to characterize in detail the protein modifications that take place during the carcinogenesis process. She also had teaching experiences in proteomic techniques, confocal microscopy and image analysis.

Gabriela Coronel Vargas Dr Gabriela Coronel Vargas
See also: Ministry of Health – Google Scholar – ScopusPersonal page ORCID 0000-0002-7879-706X

Gabriela is a Biotechnologist, Ph.D. in Health Sciences (specializing in the prevention of cancer and degenerative diseases). In 2013, she completed a training internship at the Gaslini Hospital in cell culture, sequencing and gene transfection techniques, to obtain her Bachellor degree in Biological Sciences. In 2018 she obtained a master’s degree in medical-pharmaceutical Biotechnology, after presenting her thesis entitled “Problems of pollution caused by the petroleum industry in the Ecuadorian Amazon ecosystem” after here training internship in the Department of Health Sciences of the University of Genoa and in the Mutagenesis and Oncological Prevention Unit of the San Martino Hospital in Genoa. In 2022 she obtained her PhD after presenting the final dissertation entitled “Pattern of microRNA in tumor tissues of former and non-smokers: a possible predictive imprint for the evaluation of environmental and genetic risks”. She is currently a fellow at the Simple Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry Operating Unit of the San Martino Hospital in Genoa, where she participates in the analysis of proteomic data using bioinformatic tools.

Erika Iervasi Dr Erika Iervasi
See also: Ministry of Health – Google Scholar – Scopus – Personal page – ORCID 0000-0002-7531-3373


Fellowship holder, involved in the management of mass spectrometry data and their analysis.
During her Ph.D. period, she was involved in a collaboration with the laboratory of Neuronal Death and Neuroprotection Laboratory at the Mario Negri Pharmacological Research Institute in Milan. Her research was focused on the synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. She discussed her Ph.D. thesis in March 2021 at the University of Genoa. The work was entitled “Correlation of serum levels of IL-21 with anti-tTG IgA autoantibodies and mucosal damage in patients with celiac disease”.
Afterward, she spent a period as a volunteer in a collaboration between the Regional Agency for Environment (ARPAL) and the Department of Life Science of the University of Genoa (DISTAV). Her studies there were focused on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. In the meantime, she was a teaching assistant at DISTAV for the students attending the Cell Culture Laboratory course.
In the last year, she started the training on Mass Spectrometry analysis and acquired the basic knowledge of different software dedicated to data management at the Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. In parallel, she is improving her skills in cellular and molecular biology and analytical techniques.

Marco Ponassi Dr Marco Ponassi
See also: Ministry of HealthGoogle ScholarScopus – Personal page – ORCID 0000-0002-5418-2458


Biologist. He is in charge of the wet laboratory and of the cellular and molecular biology activities connected to it (cloning, expression and purification of recombinant proteins, cell cultures and cell survival tests by MTT). In recent months he has reproduced in the laboratory a method that allows the determination of protein-protein interactions that occur within cells, the “Tandem Affinity Purification” (TAP). TAP allows, through the over-expression in cell cultures of a “bait” protein with two consecutive tags (amino- or carboxy-terminus), to perform a double affinity purification thanks to which it is possible to isolate, and subsequently characterize by mass spectrometry, the proteins that make up the protein complex that is physiologically formed inside the cells with the protein under study.

Aldo Profumo Dr Aldo Profumo
See also: Ministry of HealthGoogle ScholarScopus – Personal page – ORCID 0000-0002-3713-3021


Senior biologist, he deals with Mass Spectrometry and related research activity, mainly for proteomics and metabolomics studies. He is involved in pharmacokinetic investigations and characterization of new molecules of pharmacological interest. He has developed considerable experience in the field of chromatographic techniques and capillary electrophoresis. He is a member of the Italian Proteomics Association (ItPA) and of the European Proteomics Association (EuPA).
In recent years, he has carried out, in collaboration with the clinical services of the San Martino Hospital, some differential peptidomic studies on cryopreserved serum samples which have allowed the identification of various biomarkers of prognostic interest in the oncology field.
In collaboration with Dr Romano, he contributed to the development of Geena, software for the pre-processing of MALDI / TOF mass spectra, and of SeraDeg, for the evaluation of the conservation level of cryopreserved serum samples.

Me at BMB Open Bridges meeting, Hinxton, 2015 Dr Paolo Romano
See also: Ministry of HealthGoogle ScholarScopusPersonal pageORCID 0000-0003-4694-3883


Electronic Engineer, got a PhD in Bioengineering in 1987. Researcher at the University of Genoa from 1990 to 1993, then researcher at the National Cancer Research Institute of Genoa, now Senior Researcher at the San Martino Hospital. Starting from 1987, he worked on biomedical data management. He has contributed to the creation of various widely used databases and has been responsible for CABRI (Common Access to Biological Resources and Information) network services since 1999. Since 2004, he has been dealing with technologies and tools for the automation of information integration procedures on the network. Since 2013 he has been dealing with computational proteomics. He contributed to the development of Geena and GeenaR, both software for the pre-processing of MALDI / TOF mass spectra, and of SeraDeg, for the evaluation of the quality of sera.

Camillo Rosano Dr Camillo Rosano
See also: Ministry of HealthGoogle ScholarScopus – Personal page – ORCID 0000-0003-2949-9215


Camillo Rosano is a Nuclear Physicist who shifted into the field of Biophysics in the late 1990s. He began his activity in the biomedical world as a Protein Crystallographer in 1994. In 2001 and 2003, he was involved in a joint project with NASA to study protein Crystallization in microgravity onboard the International Space Station. Afterward, Camillo directed his studies in the field of Structure-Based Drug Design, and then, in the years 2000, he translated his research activities into the Drug Discovery processes. Today, he is Responsible for the Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. His activities vary from Drug Design to Biocomputational simulations and drug delivery. He is co-inventor of the patent “Calixpyrrole-based antitumor compounds” (U.S. Patent Grant 10799480 – WO2018061045A1); he is a member of the Scientific Board Advisor of the Company GIAM PHARMA Int. Sarl., Monthey (CH).

Mattia Rocco Dr Mattia Rocco
See also: Google ScholarScopusORCID 0000-0002-0456-7528


Chemist. He carried out biochemical-structural research on proteins of oncological interest using various biophysical techniques. In particular, specialist in light diffusion techniques (MALS and LAELS) and hydrodynamic measurements (DLS, Analytical Ultracentrifugation, Viscosimetry). He developed a strong collaboration with the SOLEIL Synchrotron, developing techniques for the joint measurement of MALS-SAXS data also to follow polymerization / aggregation reactions, and advanced analysis of HPLC-SAXS data. Creator and developer, in collaboration mainly with Dr. E. Brookes of the University of Montana, USA, of the UltraScan SOlution MOdeler (US-SOMO) software for the simulation and analysis of hydrodynamic and SAXS data. He retired in 2021.
Domenico Bordo Dr Domenico Bordo
See also: Google ScholarScopus


Domenico Bordo has been group leader of the Bioinformatics Group at the Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul cancro (IST) between 2002 and 2005. Previously, he has been research investigator in the group of Structural Biology Laboratory of IST and of the University of Genova lead by Martino Bolognesi.
He started his scientific career at IST. In 1988 he moved as post-doc (and later for one year as staff scientist) at EMBL-Heidelberg where he stayed until 1991. In 1991 he moved back to Genova as research assistant at IST, where he continued his scientific activities in the field of Bioinformatics applied to oncology. In 1995 he started working in the field of X-ray Crystallography with Martino Bolognesi, and he also spent a sabbatical year in the Laboratory of Biophysical Chemistry of the University of Groningen lead by Bauke Dijkstra. During his career he has also continued the collaboration with scientists of EMBL-Heidelberg, including Matti Saraste and Peer Bork.
He is adopting a combined approach to study protein structure and function, which includes experimental, crystallographic and computational biology methods.
He has been adjunt professor of Bioinformatics at the University of Genova and held the courses of Bioinformatics I and Bioinformatics II of the Biotechnology Curriculum and Bioinformatics I and II of the Physics curriculum.