Staff Personnel


Dr. Gian Luigi Russo

Primo Ricercatore/Senior Scientist

Istituto di Scienze dell' Alimentazione - CNR
Via Roma, 64
83100 Avellino - Italy

Piano 4 - Stanza n. 3

Office: +39 0825 299 331
Mobile: +39 329 9064414
Laboratory: +39 0825 299 261/201
Fax +39 0825 781585
Skype name: russogl


Pagina Web:


Research Interests
  • My generalist expertise is in the field of basic biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology. My specialistic expertise is on cell division cycle control and apoptosis in human cancer, with specific emphasis on the regulative role of protein phosphorylation. Cell division represents a fundamental biological process whose deregulation is associated to human degenerative diseases, such as cancer. As a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (NY, USA), I carried out work on cell cycle regulation by protein kinases in malignant cell lines. At Biological Station Anton Dohrn of Naples, I expanded his research to include regulation of cell division cycle during meiosis. As Senior Scientist at National Research Council in Italy (Institute of Food Sciences), I laid the groundwork on how several non-nutritional components present in the regular diet, or molecules derived from food transformation, exert, at molecular level, a protective effect towards degenerative pathologies. These studies fall in the field of dietary chemoprevention which refers to the use of naturally occurring molecules to prevent, block or retard tumour formation. The goal is to discriminate between a general antioxidant activity associated to phytochemicals and their ability to specifically trigger cell arrest or cell death in cancer cells. In terms of Public Health, the result of this research might contribute to understand the impact of micronutrients on cancer prevention and other degenerative human pathologies. As an added value, these studies will contribute to shed light on the contradictions governing the field of healthy foods where general public and patients are often confused by erroneous messages which magnify the healthy properties of phytochemicals without specifying if they are used at pharmacological doses, as dietary supplements or as simple components of nutraceuticals/functional food.


    The results of my research activity are documented by more than 100 original articles on peer-reviewed journals (H-index 2014=29 [according to Google Scholar]) with a total impact factor > 300 (ISI).


    I successfully administered national and European projects (e.g. staffing, research protections, budget), collaborated with other researchers, and produced several peer-reviewed publications from each project he participated. In summary, I demonstrated a record of accomplished and productive research projects in areas of high relevance in the field of Food and Health.


    Short CV

    Nationality: Italian, born January 13th, 1961; Massa Lubrense, Napoli, Italy

    Current position

    -Senior Research Scientist (primo ricercatore) at ISA, Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council (CNR), Avellino (Italy) since 2001.

    -Head of Diet & Human Health division at ISA-CNR and responsible of Food Chemoprevention unit.

    -Associated Investigator, Stazione Zoologica “Anton Dohrn”, Naples (since 1997).


    Education and training

    -Laurea and in Biological Sciences, Univ. Federico II, Naples, Italy (1986).

    -Research Doctoral in Biochemical Sciences issued by associated Universities of Naples and Bari, Italy (1993).


    Professional Appointments

    -1986-90. Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry of Macromolecules, 1st Medical School, University of Naples.

    -1989. August-December, Visiting Scientist, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York (NY, USA).

    -1991-93. Post-doctoral Fellow, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York (NY, USA).

    -1994. Staff Fellow, Department of Biochemistry of Macromolecules, 1st Medical School, University of Naples.

    -1995-96. Research Scientist (not permanent position), Stazione Zoologica “Anton Dohrn”, Naples.

    -1997-Dec 01. Research Scientist (permanent position), Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council, Avellino, Italy


    Visiting Scientist

    -1995. July. Visiting Scientist, Station Zoologique Villefranche-sur-Mer (Nice, Francia).

    -1995. November. Visiting Scientist, Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., Baltimore (MD, USA).

    -1995. December. Visiting Scientist, The Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of Saint Barnabas, West Orange (NJ, USA).

    -1998. November. Visiting Scientist, Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., Baltimore (MD, USA).

    -2000. June. Visiting Scientist, Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids (MI, USA)

    -2010. November. Visiting Scientist, Department of Molecular genetics and Microbiology, Stony Brook University, New York (NY, USA)

    -2011. June-July. Visiting Scientist, Department of Molecular genetics and Microbiology, Stony Brook University, New York (NY, USA)



    -2014 Fulbright Research Scholar (J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board of Washington DC, USA)

    -2014 National Scientific Qualification (art.16 of the law 30 December 2010, n.240) as Full Professor in Biochemistry (this regulation defines a new procedure for the University Professor position recruiting, based on scientific qualification criteria. A national commission evaluates and assesses the candidates scientific qualification)

    -2014 Member (reserve list) of the Scientific Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (2014)

    -since 2012 Member of the advisory board of the international association Getting To Know Cancer (, based in Canada


    Grants awarded (from 2005-present)


    2007-09. Title: Mapping And Comparing Oils (MAC-Oils, Contract no.: 43083). Specific Support Action, Food Quality and Safety Priority, EU FP6 (Project Coordinator: Dr. Gian Luigi Russo).

    2010-2012. Title: “In vitro and in vivo models of arthritic processes for studying the mechanisms of inflammation and oxidative stress link-up. New perspectives for arthritis therapy”. Bilater programme between CNR-SAV (Slovak Republic) (co-ordinator).

    2013-2015. Title: “Phytochemicals in ameliorating rheumatoid arthritis therapy: from preclinical studies to clinical applications (Acronym: PhytoArt). Bilater programme between CNR-SAV (Slovak Republic) ) (co-ordinator).



    2002-05. Title: “Food flavonoids and their chemopreventive activity against degenerative diseases”. From Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian governmental institution) (co-investigator).

    2008.Title: “Biochip to evaluate food toxicity in humans”. Granted by Italian National Research Council (principal investigator).

    2010-14. Title: “Development of new pharmacological strategies for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction associated with aging and psychiatric disorders, with special reference to psychosis and neurodegenerative diseases”. Granted by Italian Ministry of Education and University (principal investigator).

    2008-09. Title: “Monitoring of environmental contaminants in the food chain and health effects”. Workpackage within the program “Environment and Health”, granted by Italian National Research Council (co-investigator).

    2010-11. Title: “The Italian pilot project SANPEI – “Healthy as a Fish*: enhancement of Italian native species from organic aquaculture for school catering”. From The Italian Ministry of Agriculture (co-investigator).

    2012-15. Title: “New functional foods from regional products possessing healthy properties”. C.I.S.I.A. project. (Project Coordinator: Dr. Gian Luigi Russo). National Research Council (principal investigator).

    2011-13. Title: “Innovative approaches in the evaluation and prevention of the food exposure to contaminating toxic persistent and emergent, through the study of the diet and the debugging of innovative methods of survey”. Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale (Portici, Italy) (participant).

    2012-15. Title: “Impact of functional foods and / or nutraceuticals containing polyphenols on energetic and glyco-lipid metabolism, inflammation, gene expression and epigenetic modifications in experimental models and in humans”. PRIN project from Italian Ministry of education and University (participant)



    2005-08. Title: “Protective effect of red wine polyphenols against chronic and degenerative pathologies”. Project Coordinator: Dr. Gian Luigi Russo. Regione Campania (Local County administration)

    2012-15. Title: “Quality of local products from Campania region and its terroir: innovative and integrated approaches to strengthen the competitiveness of agribusiness”. Regione Campania (Local County administration) (co-investigator)

    2013-2015. Title: Scientific Responsible project "Wellbeing and biotechnology: New Nutraceutical and Cosmeceutical Products and Processes to improve Human Health" (Benten). Regione Campania (Local County administration) (principal investigator).



  • 2004-06. Title: “Innovative tests to abolish in vivo methods to evaluate human toxicological risk caused by chemical compounds used in several commercial fields”. From Chelab s.r.l. (Italian private biotechnology firm) (co-investigator).
  • 2009-11. Title: “Biological activity of phytochemicals in beers”. From DRIVE Beer (Baragiano (PZ) Italy) (principal investigator).


    Editorial/Peer reviewing activity

    -Associate Editor of Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases (Elsevier – ISSN 0939-4753).
    -Editorial Advisory Board of Biochemical Pharmacology Journal (Elsevier – ISSN 0006-2952).
    -Editorial Advisory Board of International Journal of Hematology Research (ISSN 2409-3548)
    -Peer reviewer for many international journals
    -Expert evaluator in the program Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources – Key Action 6.2. Expert evaluator for the Mid Term Review in the program Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources
    -Expert evaluator in Horizon2020, Marie Skodowska-Curie Actions; Individual fellowships


    Teaching and educational activity

    -1993-94. Professor of Genetics, II University of Naples, Naples, Italy.
    -1994-95. Professor of Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids, II University of Naples, Naples, Italy.
    -1995-96. Professor of Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids, II University of Naples, Naples, Italy.
    -1999-2000. Professor of Biochemistry of Marine Organisms, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy.
    -2000-2001. Professor of Biochemistry of Marine Organisms, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy.
    -2001-2002. Professor of Biochemistry of Marine Organisms, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy.
    -2003-2004. Professor of Applied Biotechnology, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy.
    -2004-2005. Professor of Applied Biotechnology, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy.
    -2005-2006. Professor of Applied Biotechnology, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy.
    -Teaching activity in CME and master courses in the field of cancer biology, chemoprevention, nutrition.


    Publications (2005-2014)

    G.L. Russo, M. Russo, C. Spagnuolo. The pleiotropic flavonoid quercetin: from its metabolism to the inhibition of protein kinases in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Food Funct. 5:2393-401 (2014)

    T.N. Newman, E. Liverani, E. Ivanova., G.L. Russo, N. Carpino, D. Ganea, F. Safadi, S.P. Kunapuli and A.Y. Tsygankov. Members of the novel UBASH3/STS/TULA family of cellular regulators suppress T-cell-driven inflammatory responses in vivo. Immunology and Cell Biology 1–14; (2014)

    M. Russo, C. Spagnuolo, S. Bilotto, I. Tedesco, G. Maiani, G. L. Russo. Inhibition of protein kinase CK2 by quercetin enhances CD95-mediated apoptosis in a human thymus-derived T cell lineOriginal Research Article. Food Res Int. 63: 244–251 (2014)

    G. L. Russo, M. Russo, I. Castellano, A. Napolitano, A. Palumbo. Ovothiol Isolated from Sea Urchin Oocytes Induces Autophagy in the Hep-G2 Cell Line. Marine Drugs 47:132-6 (2014)

    Russo G. L., Russo M, Spagnuolo C, Tedesco I, Bilotto S, Iannitti R, Palumbo R. Quercetin: a pleiotropic kinase inhibitor against cancer. Cancer Treat Res. 159:185-205 (2014)

    G. Romano, E. Manzo, G.L. Russo, G. d'Ippolito, A. Cutignano, M. Russo, A. Fontana. Design and Synthesis of Pro-Apoptotic Compounds Inspired by Diatom Oxylipins. Marine Drugs 11:4527-4543 (2014)

    A. Carraturo, K. Raieta, I. Tedesco, J. Kim, and G.L. Russo. Antibacterial activity of phenolic compounds derived from Ginkgo biloba sarcotestas against food-borne pathogens. British Microbiology Research J. 2014, 4:18-27 (2014)

    C. Spagnuolo, I. Tedesco, M.G. Volpe, S. Bilotto, M. Russo, G.L. Russo. Cytotoxic Properties of Lyophilized Beers in a Malignant Cell Line. Food and Nutrition Sciences 2014, 5:45-51 (2014)

    I Tedesco, M Russo, S Bilotto, C Spagnuolo, A Scognamiglio, R Palumbo, A Nappo, G Iacomino, L Moio, G.L. Russo. Dealcoholated red wine induces autophagic and apoptotic cell death in an osteosarcoma cell line. Food and Chemical Toxicology 60: 377-384 (2013)

    G.L. Russo, M. Russo, P. Ungaro. AMP-activated Protein Kinase: a target for old drugs against diabetes and cancer. Biochem. Pharmacol. 86:339-50 (2013)

    S. Bilotto, R. Boni, G.L. Russo, M.B. Lioi. Meiosis progression and donor age affect expression profile of DNA repair genes in bovine oocytes. Zygote 14:1-8 (2013)

    M. Russo; C. Spagnuolo; S. Volpe, I. Tedesco; S. Bilotto, G.L. Russo. ABT-737 Resistance in B-Cells Isolated from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Patients and Leukemia Cell Lines is Overcome by the Pleiotropic Kinase Inhibitor Quercetin Through Mcl-1 Down-regulation. Biochem Pharmacol. 85:927-36 (2013)

    S. Bilotto, C. Spagnuolo, M. Russo, I. Tedesco, B. Laratta and G.L. Russo. Dietary Phytochemicals in Chemoprevention of Cancer: an Update. Immun., Endoc. & Metab. Agents in Med. Chem. 13: 2-24 (2013)

    A. Gallo; G.L. Russo, E. Tosti. T-type Ca2+ current activity during oocyte growth and maturation in the ascidian Styela plicata. PLOS ONE 8: e54604 (2013)

    I. Tedesco; C. Spagnuolo; M. Russo; R. Iannitti; A. Nappo; G.L. Russo. Protective effect of ?-irradiation against hypochlorous acidinduced haemolysis in human erythrocytes. Dose-Response 11:401-12 (2012)

    C. Spagnuolo, M. Russo, S. Bilotto, I. Tedesco, B. Laratta and G.L. Russo. Dietary polyphenols in cancer prevention: the example of the flavonoid quercetin in leukemia. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1259: 95-103 (2012)

    L. Pisapia, G. Del Pozzo, P. Barba, L. Caputo, L. Mita, E. Viaggiano, G.L. Russo, C. Nicolucci, S. Rossi, U. Bencivenga, D.G. Mita, N. Diano. Effects of some endocrine disruptors on cell cycle progression and murine dendritic cell differentiation. Gen Comp Endocrinol 178: 54–63 (2012)

    G.L. Russo, and E. Picano. The effects of radiation exposure on interventional cardiologists. Eur. Heart J. 33: 423-4 (2012).

    G.L. Russo, I. tedesco, M. russo, A. Cioppa, M.G. Andreasi, and E. Picano. Cellular Adaptive Response to Chronic Radiation Exposure in Interventional Cardiologists. Eur. Heart J. 33: 408-14 (2012).

    M. Russo, C. Spagnuolo, I. Tedesco, S. Bilotto and and G.L. Russo. Flavonoid quercetin in disease prevention and therapy: facts and fancies. Biochem Pharmacol. 83: 6-15 (2012)

    C. Spagnuolo, C. Cerella, M. Russo, S. Chateauvieux, M. Diederich and G.L. Russo. Quercetin down-regulates Mcl-1 by acting on mRNA stability and protein degradation. British J Cancer 105: 221-30 (2011).

    I. Tedesco, M. Russo, and G.L. Russo. Commentary on ‘Resveratrol commonly displays hormesis: Occurrence and biomedical significance’. Human & Experimental Toxicology 29: 1029-31 (2010).

    M. Russo, C. Spagnuolo, S. Volpe, A. Mupo, I. Tedesco, and G.L. Russo. Quercetin Induced Apoptosis in Association with Death Receptors and Fludarabine in Cells isolated from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Patients. British J Cancer 103: 642-08 (2010)

    A. Mari, I. Tedesco, A. Nappo, G.L. Russo, A. Malorni, V. Carbone. Phenolic compound characterisation and antiproliferative activity of “Annurca” apple, a southern Italian cultivar. Food Chemistry 123: 157-164 (2010)

    M. Russo, C. Spagnuolo, I. Tedesco and G.L. Russo. Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention and Therapy: Truth or Dare ? Toxins. 2: 517-551. (2010)

    M. Russo, A. Mupo, C. Spagnuolo, G.L. Russo. Exploring death receptor pathways as selective targets in cancer therapy. Biochem Pharmacol. 80: 674-82. (2010)

    G.L. Russo. Dietary n-6 and n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: from Biochemistry to Clinical Implications in Cardiovascular Prevention. Biochem Pharmacol. 77: 937-46. (2009)

    G.L. Russo, S. Bilotto, G. Ciarcia, E. Tosti. Phylogenetic conservation of Cytostatic Factor related genes in the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Gene 429: 104-11 (2009)

    Iacomino, G, Medici, M.C., G.L. Russo. Valproic Acid Sensitizes K562 Erythroleukemia Cells to TRAIL/Apo2L-induced Apoptosis. Anticancer Res. 28: 855-64. (2008)

    M.F. Mazzeo, B. De Giulio, G. Guerriero, G. Ciarcia, A. Malorni, G.L. Russo and R.A. Siciliano. Fish authentication by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. J. Agric. Food Chem. 56: 11071-6 (2008).

    G.L. Russo, G. Ciarcia, E. Presidente, R.A. Siciliano and E. Tosti. Cytotoxic and Apoptogenic Activity of a Methanolic Extract from the Marine Invertebrate Ciona intestinalis on Malignant Cell Lines. Med. Chem. 4: 106-9 (2008)

    G.L. Russo. Ins and outs of dietary phytochemicals in cancer chemoprevention. Biochem Pharmacol. 74: 533-44. (2007)

    Russo, M., Nigro, P., Rosiello, R., D’Arienzo, G.L. Russo. Quercetin enhances CD95 and TRAIL induced apoptosis in leukemia cell lines. Leukemia 21: 1130-3. (2007)

    Y. Menezo, G.L. Russo, E. Tosti, S. El-Mouatassim, M. Benkhalifa. Expression profile of genes coding for DNA repair in human oocytes using pangenomic microarrays, with a special focus on ROS linked decays. J. Assist Reprod. Genet. 24: 513-520 (2007)

    S. Comes, A. Locascio, F. Silvestre, M. d’Ischia, G.L. Russo, E. Tosti, M. Branno, A. Palumbo. Regulatory roles of nitric oxide during larval development and metamorphosis in Ciona intestinalis. Dev. Biol. 306: 772-84 (2007)

    S. El-Mouatassimi, S. Bilotto, G.L. Russo, E. Tosti and Y. Menezo APEX/Ref-1 (Apurinic/Apyrimidic Endonuclease DNA-Repair Gene) Expression in Human and Ascidian (Ciona intestinalis) Gametes and Embryos. Mol. Human Reprod. 13: 549-56 (2007)

    L. Tega, K. Raieta, D. Ottaviani, G.L. Russo, G. Bianco and A. Carraturo. Catheter-related Bacteremia and Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter lwoffii. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 13: 355-356 (2007)

    A. Di Finizio, G. Guerriero, G.L. Russo, and G. Ciarcia. Identification of gadoid species (Pisces, Gadidae) by sequencing and PCR–RFLP analysis of mitochondrial 12S and 16S rRNA gene fragments. European Food Research & Technology. 225: 337-344 (2007)

    G. Iacomino, M.C. Medici, D. Napoli, and G.L. Russo. Effects of histone deacetylase inhibitors on p55CDC/Cdc20 expression in HT29 cell line. J. Cell. Biochem. 99: 1122-1131 (2006)

    P. Coccetti, V. Zinzalla, G. Tedeschi, G.L. Russo, S. Fantinato, O. Marin, L. A. Pinna, M. Vanoni and L. Alberghina. Detection by mass spectrometry of Sic1 phosphorylation on Ser201 in yeast cells. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 346: 786-793 (2006)

    A. Carraturo, K. Raieta, D. Ottaviani, and G.L. Russo. Inhibition of Vibrio parahaemolyticus by a Bacteriocin-Like Inhibitory Substance (BLIS) produced by Vibrio mediterranei 1. J. Applied Microbiol. 101: 234-241 (2006)

    I. Tedesco, A. Nappo, F. Petitto, G. Iacomino, F. Nazzaro, R. Palumbo, and G.L. Russo. Antioxidant and cytotoxic properties of lyophilized beer extracts on HL-60 cell line. Nutrition & Cancer 52: 74-83 (2005)

    M. Russo, I. Tedesco, G. Iacomino, R. Palumbo, G. Galano and G.L. Russo. Dietary Phytochemicals in Chemoprevention of Cancer. Curr. Med. Chem. – Immun., Endoc. & Metab. Agents 5: 61-72 (2005)

    R. Carotenuto, M. C. Vaccaro, N. De Marco, M. Wilding, S. Biffo, P.C. Marchisio, T. Capriglione, G.L. Russo, and C. Campanella. In Xenopus laevis oogenesis p27BBP/eIF6 is phosphorylated and associated with the cytoskeleton following meiosis resumption. Cell. Mol. Life Sciences 62: 1641-1652 (2005)

    I. Tedesco, A. Nappo, F. Petitto, G. Iacomino, F. Nazzaro, R. Palumbo, and G.L. Russo. Antioxidant and cytotoxic properties of lyophilized beer extracts on HL-60 cell line. Nutrition & Cancer 52: 74-83 (2005)




    -Idolo Tedesco (1), CNR Technician, B.Sc. in Science (Collaboratore tecnico; laurea Scienze Biologiche)

    -Maria Russo (2), CNR Technician, B.Sc. in Science (Operatore tecnico; laurea Scienze Biologiche, Specializzazione in Biotecnologie)

    -Stefania Bilotto (3), Doctorate in Advanced Biology (laurea in Scienze Biologiche, dottore di ricerca in Biologia Avanzata; assegnista di ricerca)

    -Carmela Spagnuolo (4), Doctorate in Medical Oncology, Surgery and Clinical Immunology (laurea in Scienze Biologiche, dottore di ricerca in Oncologia medica e chirurgica ed immunologia clinica; assegnista di ricerca)

    -Stefania Moccia (5), graduate student (laurea in Farmacia, dottoranda in Scienze del Farmaco)

    -Aurelio Conte Moccia (6), undergraduate student (tesista in Biologia della Nutrizione)

Last Update