eng ita

Prof. Gabriella Torcia

Curriculum vitae:

Dr. Maria Gabriella Torcia


July 1981 Degree in Medicine and Surgery, University of Florence
October 1984 PhD in Haematology (Clinical and Laboratory). University of Florence


1984 Grant from Italian Ministry for Scientific Research and Technology for specialization course in foreign institutions
1986 Grant from Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) for: Studies on suppression mechanisms of anti-tumor immune response
1987-2002 Head Technician, Department of Clinical Physiopathology, University of Florence
2002 Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical Physiopathology, University of Florence
2006 Qualification to Associate Professor in Microbiology


1988 – 1990 Fellowship: Prof. David Stern Laboratory, Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY.
1992 Fellowship: Dr. Alan R. Shaw Laboratory, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Center, West Point, PA

Research activity


Differentiation process of B lymphocytes in monoclonal gammopathies
Phenotypical and functional charateristics of lymphnode subpopulation in cancer patients: analysis of suppressive mechanisms of specific anti-tumor immune response
Regulatory functions of large granular lymphocytes (NK cells)
Autocrine circuit of growth in haematologic malignancies
Autocrine circuit of growth in endothelial cells in normal and neoplastic conditions (prostate carcinoma, melanoma)
Molecular mechanisms regulating the survival of memory B lymphocytes
Molecular pathways of neurothrophins signal transduction regarding the inhibition of programmed cell death


Immunogenetic basis of resistance to malaria infection in West Africa ethnic groups.
Immune response to P. Falciparum: role of T regulatory cells and Toll-like receptors.

Department of Clinical Physiopathology
Cellular Microbiology Section (Director: Prof. Federico Cozzolino)
Dott.ssa AnnMaria Clemente
Dott. Paolo Bonini
Dott.ssa Francesca Amato
Dott. Domenico Ciriello

Selected publications

  1. Pistoia V, Cozzolino F, Torcia M, Castigli E, Ferrarini M: Production of B cell growth factor by a Leu 7 +, OKM1+, non-T cells with the features of Large Granular Lymphocytes (LGL). J. Immunol. 134:3179, 1985
  2. Pistoia V, Cozzolino F, Rubartelli A, Torcia M, Roncella S, Ferrarini M: In vitro production of Interleukin 1 by normal and malignant B lymphocytes. J. Immunol. 136:1688, 1986
  3. Cozzolino F, Torcia M, Castigli E, Giordani R, Carossino AM, Squadrelli M, Cagnoni M, Pistoia V, Ferrarini M: Presence of activated T cells with a T8+  M1+ Leu 7+ surface phenotype in invaded lymph nodes from patients with solid tumors. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 77:637, 1986
  4. Cozzolino F, Torcia M, Carossino AM, Giordani R, Selli C, Talini G, Pistoia V, Ferrarini M: Characterization of the cells from invaded lymph nodes in patients with solid tumors. Lymphokine requirements for a tumor-specific lymphoproliferative response. J. Exp. Med. 166:303, 1987
  5. Cozzolino F, Torcia M, Di Guglielmo R: Immunoregolazione in alcune forme di emopoiesi neoplastica. Haematologica 72 (suppl.) 301:, 1987
  6. Cozzolino F, Torcia M, Miliani A, Carossino AM, Giordani R, Cinotti S, Filimberti E, Saccardi R, Bernabei P, Guidi G, Di Guglielmo R, Pistoia V, Ferrarini M, Nawroth PP, Stern DM: Potential role of Interleukin 1 as the trigger for Diffuse Intravascular Coagulation in Acute Non-Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Am. J. Med. 84:240, 1988
  7. Amato M, Cozzolino F, Bergesio F, Salvadori M, Torcia M, Carossino AM, Sodi A: In vitro Interleukin-1 production by different dialysis membranes. Nephrol. Dial. Transplant 3:432, 1988
  8. Cozzolino F,  Rubartelli A, Aldinucci D, Sitia R, Torcia M, Shaw AR, Di Guglielmo R: Interleukin 1 is an autocrine growth factor for Acute Myeloid Leukemia cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 86:2369, 1989
  9. Cozzolino F, Torcia M, Aldinucci D, Rubartelli A, Miliani A, Shaw AR, Lansdorp PM, Di Guglielmo R: Production of Interleukin 1 by bone marrow myeloma cells. Blood 74:380, 1989
  10. Amato M, Bergesio F, Salvadori M, Cozzolino F, Torcia M, Himmelfarb J: In vitro cytokine production induced by different dialysis membranes and by anaphylatoxins C3a and C5a. Int. J. Artif. Organs. 12:112, 1989
  11. May LT, Torcia M, Cozzolino F, Ray A, Tatter SB, Santhanam U, Sehgal PB, Stern DM: Interleukin-6 gene expression in human endothelial cells: RNA start sites, multiple IL-6 proteins and inhibition of proliferation. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 159:991, 1989
  12. Torcia M, Aldinucci D, Carossino AM, Imreh F, Cozzolino F: Biological and clinical significance of cytokine production in B-cell malignancies. Eur. J. Haematol. 51 (suppl.): 35, 1989
  13. Torcia M, Aldinucci D, Cozzolino F: Analisi delle popolazioni tumore-specifiche da linfonodi metastatici di pazienti con tumori solidi. In: Colture cellulari (Edito da Roberto Sitia). Scuola Superiore di Oncologia e Scienze Biomediche, Genova 1989, pag 135-143
  14. Cozzolino F, Torcia M, Aldinucci D, Carossino AM: Mechanisms of suppression in lymph nodes from patients with solid tumors. In: Advances in Clinical Oncology (Eds.: D. Amadori, A. Ravaioli, R. Ridolfi). Editimes, Pavia, 1989, pag 233-242
  15. Cozzolino F, Torcia M, Aldinucci D, Ziche M, Almerigogna F, Bani D, Stern DM: Interleukin 1 is an autocrine modulator of endothelial growth. Proc. Natl. Acad Sci. USA 87:6487, 1990
  16. Cozzolino F, Torcia M, Bettoni S, Aldinucci D, Burgio VL, Rubartelli A, Barbui T, Rambaldi A: Interleukin-1 and Interleukin-2 control granulocte- and granulocyte-macrophage-colony stimulating factor gene expression and cell proliferation in acute myeloid leukemia. Int. J. Cancer 46:902, 1990
  17. Shreeniwas R, Ogawa  S, Cozzolino F, Torcia G, Braunstein N, Butura C, Brett J, Lieberman HB, Furie M, Joseph Silverstein J, Stern D: Macrovascular and microvascular endothelium during long-term exposure to hypoxia: alteration in cell growth, monolayer permeability and cell surface coagulant properties. J. Cell. Physiol. 148:8, 1991
  18. Rambaldi A, Torcia M, Bettoni S, Vannier E, Barbui T, Shaw AR, Dinarello CA, Cozzolino F: Modulation of cell proliferation and cytokine production by interleukin-1 receptor antagonist and lack of its expression by leukemic cells. Blood 178:3248, 1991
  19. Torcia M, Lucibello M, Vannier E, Fabiani S, Dinarello CA, Cozzolino F: Transforming growth factor-* induces synthesis and secretion of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist in acute myeloid leukemia cells. In: New Advances on Cytokines (Eds.: S. Romagnani, T.R. Mosmann, A.K. Abbas). Serono Symposia Pubblication from Raven Press. Vol. 92, pag 61, 1992
  20. Cozzolino F, Torcia M, Lucibello M, Fabiani S, Stern DM: Cytokine-mediated control of endothelial cell growth: Interferon- and Interleukin-2 synergistically enhance basic fibroblast growth factor synthesis and induce release promoting cell growth in vitro and in vivo. J. Clin. Invest. 91:2504, 1993
  21. Rambaldi A, Torcia M, Dinarello CA, Barbui T, Cozzolino F: Modulation of cell proliferation and cytokine production in AML by recombinant interleukin-1 receptor antagonist. Leukemia 7:S10, 1993
  22. Kuwabara K, Ogawa S, Matsumoto M, Koga S, Clauss M, Pinsky D, Witte L, Joseph-Silverstein J, Furie M, Torcia M, Cozzolino F, Kamada T, Stern D: Hypoxia-mediated induction of acidic/basic fibroblast growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor in mononuclear phagocytes stimulates growth of hypoxic endothelial cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 92:4606,1995
  23. Torcia M, Bracci-Laudiero L, Lucibello M, Nencioni L, Labardi D, Rubartelli A, Cozzolino F, Aloe L, Garaci E: Nerve growth factor is an autocrine survival factor for memory B lymphocytes. Cell, 85:345,1996
  24. Torcia M, Lucibello M, Vannier E, Fabiani S, Miliani A, Guidi G, Spada O, Dower SK, Sims JE, Shaw AR, Dinarello CA, Garaci E, Cozzolino F: Modulation of osteoclast-activating factor (OAF) activity of multiple myeloma bone marrow cells by different interleukin-1 inhibitors. Exp. Hematology, 24:868, 1996
  25. Torcia M, Lucibello M., De Chiara G., Labardi D., Nencioni L., Bonini P., Garaci E.,  and Cozzolino F. Interferon--induced inhibition of B16 melanoma cell proliferation: interference with bFGF-maintained autocrine circuit of growth. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 262:838, 1999
  26. Rosini P, De Chiara G, Lucibello M, Garaci E, Cozzolino F and Torcia M. NGF withdrawal induces apoptosis in CESS B cell line through p38 MAPK activation and Bcl-2 phosphorylation. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 278: 753, 2000
  27. Torcia M., Nencioni L., Ammendola S., Labardi D., De Chiara G., Lucibello M,  Bonini P., Palamara AT, Dello Sbarba P., Marlier L, Garaci E., and Cozzolino F.: Molecular mechanisms of NGF inhibition of apoptosis: inactivation of p38 MAPK and prevention of Bcl-2 phosphorylation and cytochrome c release. J. Biol. Chem. 276: 39027-36, 2001.
  28. Rosini P, Bonaccorsi L, Baldi E, Chiasserini C, Forti G, De Chiara G, Lucibello M, Mongiat M, Iozzo RV, Garaci E, Cozzolino F, and Torcia M: Androgen receptor expression induces FGF2, FGF-binding protein production, and FGF2 release in prostate carcinoma cells: role of FGF2 in growth, survival, and androgen receptor down-modulation. The Prostate 54:1-12, 2002,
  29. Rosini P, De Chiara G, Bonini P, Lucibello M, Marcocci ME, Garaci E, Cozzolino F,  Torcia M. NGF-dependent survival of CESS B cell line is mediated by increased expression and decreased degradation of MKP-1. J. Biol. Chem.,, 279: 14016-14023, 2004
  30. De Chiara G, Marcocci ME, Torcia M, Lucibello M, Rosini P, Bonini P, Higashimoto Y, Damonte G, Armirotti A, Amodei S, Palamara AT, Russo T, Garaci E, Cozzolino F. Bcl-2 Phosphorylation by p38 MAPK: identification of target sites and biologic consequences. J Biol Chem. 281:21353-61. 2006
  31. Bonacchi A, Taddei ML, Petrai I, Efsen E, Defranco R, Nosi D, Torcia M, Rosini P, Formigli L, Rombouts K, Zecchi S, Milani S, Pinzani M, Laffi G, Marra F. Nuclear localization of TRK-A in liver cells. Histol Histopathol. 23:327-40, 2008
  32. Torcia MG, Santarlasci V, Cosmi L, Clemente A, Maggi L, Mangano VD, Verra F, Bancone G, Nebie I, Sirima BS, Liotta F, Frosali F, Angeli R, Severini C, Sannella AR, Bonini P, Lucibello M, Maggi E, Garaci E, Coluzzi M, Cozzolino F, Annunziato F, Romagnani S, Modiano D. Functional deficit of T regulatory cells in Fulani, an ethnic group with low susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 105:646-51, 2008
  33. Nencioni L, De Chiara G., Marcocci ME, Sgarbanti R, Amatore D, Serafino A, Torcia M, Cozzolino F, Aquilano K, Ciriolo MR, Palamara AT. Bcl-2 expression and p38MAPK activity in cells infected with influenza virus: impact on virally induced apoptosis and viral replication. J. Biol. Chem. 2009 Mar 31. [Epub ahead of print]

International Patents

  1. Torcia Maria: Nerve Growth Factor as a vaccine adjuvant. (US Patent 6,572,866)
  2. Guarna Antonio, Torcia Maria, Cozzolino Federico, Garaci Enrico: Pharmaceutical composition for the treatment of diseases related to neurotrophins (n. WO200400024)
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