Staff Personnel


Dr. Gian Luigi Russo

Senior Scientist

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

Piano 4 - Stanza n. 3

Office: +39 0825 299 331
Laboratory: +39 0825 299 231/261/201
Fax +39 0825 781585
Skype name: russogl


Pagina Web:

Research Interests

Dr. Russo generalist expertise is in the field of basic biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology. His 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), he carried out work on cell cycle regulation by protein kinases in malignant cell lines. At Biological Station Anton Dohrn of Naples, he 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), he 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 dr. Russo's activity are documented by more than 70 original articles on peer-reviewed journals (H-index 2012=20 [according to Scopus]) with a total impact factor > 270 (ISI).

Dr. Russo 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, dr. Russo possesses a demonstrated 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 Institute of Food Sciences (ISA), 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 (1981).
  • 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, Stazione Zoologica "Anton Dohrn", Naples.
  • 1997-Dec 01. Research Scientist, Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council, Avellino, Italy
  • 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)


Grants awarded (from 2000-present)

  • 2000. "Food flavonoids and their chemopreventive activity against degenerative diseases". From Istituto Superiore di Sanita' (Italian governmental institution).
  • 2001. "Biological activity of vegetable extracts". From Rimonest Ltd (Nesher, Israel).
  • 2002. "Risks and benefits of dietary antioxidants in the prevention of chronic and degenerative pathologies". From Ministero della Salute (Italian Health Ministry).
  • 2004. "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).
  • 2005. "Protective effect of red wine polyphenols against chronic and degenerative pathologies". From Regione Campania (Local County administration).
  • 2007-2009. "Mapping And Comparing Oils" (MAC-Oils, Contract no.: 43083). Specific Support Action, Food Quality and Safety Priority, EU FP6 (scientific coordinator: Dr. Gian Luigi Russo).
  • 2008-2009. Title: "Biochip to evaluate food toxicity in humans". Granted by Italian National Research Council.
  • 2009-2010 "Monitoring of environmental contaminants in the food chain and health effects". Workpackage within the program "Environment and Health", granted by Italian National Research Council.
  • 2009-2011: "Chemoprevention activity of polyphenols isolated from beers", from an Italian private biotechnology firm.
  • 2011-present. "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).
  • 2011-present. "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 University.
  • 2011-present. "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.
  • 2011-present. "New functional foods from regional products possessing healthy properties". C.I.S.I.A. project. National Research Council.


Editorial/Peer reviewing activity:

  • Editorial Advisory Board of Biochemical Pharmacology Journal (Elsevier ISSN 0006-2952).
  • Editorial Advisory Board of Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases (Elsevier ISSN 0939-4753).
  • 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


Teaching and educational activity

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


Publications (2005-2012)

  • 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. [accepted for publication]
  • Pisapia L, Del Pozzo G, Barba P, Caputo L, Mita L, Viaggiano E, Russo GL, Nicolucci C, Rossi S, Bencivenga U, Mita DG, Diano N. Effects of some endocrine disruptors on cell cycle progression and murine dendritic cell differentiation. Gen Comp Endocrinol [Epub ahead of print].
  • 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)
  • Russo M, Mupo A, Spagnuolo C, Russo G. L. 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 PCRÐRFLP 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. Ð 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)


  • Idolo Tedesco, CNR Technician, B.Sc. in Science (Collaboratore tecnico; laurea Scienze Biologiche)
  • Maria Russo, CNR Technician, B.Sc. in Science (Operatore tecnico; laurea Scienze Biologiche, Specializzazione in Biotecnologie)
  • Stefania Bilotto, Doctorate in Advanced Biology (dottore di ricerca in Biologia Avanzata;
  • Carmela Spagnuolo, Doctorate in Medical Oncology, Surgery and Clinical Immunology (dottore di ricerca in Oncologia medica e chirurgica ed immunologia clinica; assegnista di ricerca)
  • Roberta Iannitti, B.Sc. in Science (tirocinante; laurea Scienze Biologiche)