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Dr. Sergio Anguissola

joined the Centre for BioNano Interactions as a Postdoctoral Fellow in May 2009. His research focuses on developing platforms to evaluate cytotoxicity and signaling impacts induced by nanomaterials, including characterization of cell death pathways activated by nanoparticles by using High Content Analysis (HCA) and luciferase-based high throughput assays. Sergio also actively participates to the International Alliance for Nanomaterial Environmental Health and Safety Harmonization (IANH) assessing the suitability of protocols for nanosafety assessment and is interested in establishing platforms for ecotoxicological assessment on nanomaterials.

Sergio is funded via an EPA project (SKEP) and the SFI SRC BioNanoInteract.

After a degree in Biology at the University of Turin (Italy) in 1999, Sergio undertook his PhD in Human Oncology at the Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (IRCC) in Turin working on the Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) receptor Met intracellular signalling. His research focused on characterising the role of the c-terminal intracellular tail of Met and its major interactor Gab 1 in cell transformation. In a related project a novel effect of HGF was discovered in ovarian cancer cell lines where HGF instead of promoting cell survival and proliferation sensitizes cells to apoptosis induced by chemotherapeutics currently used in the clinics for ovarian cancer treatment. After his PhD Sergio moved to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland where he studied the role of the BH-3 only protein Bid in endoplasmic reticulum- and genotoxic drug-induced apoptosis. In particular the DNA damaging drug oxaliplatin activated a complex cell death mechanism where Bid causes mitochondrial membrane depolarization and cytochrome-c release in full length form but apoptosis is also synergistically amplified by activation of calcium-activated proteases called calpains. Subsequently Sergio moved to the Conway Institute in UCD where he worked on the endocytosis and nuclear translocation of the serine protease inhibitor PEDF, a potent anti-angiogenic factor.