Dr. Cervello’s main field of scientific interest is the study of the molecular mechanisms that contribute to the acquisition of abnormal growth and differentiation of neoplastic cells, such as loss of cell growth control and resistance to apoptosis. In recent years, he has focused his attention on the study of cell proliferation, invasiveness and drug resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Another aspect of interest studied by his research group is related to the characterization and definition of the molecular targets for particular drugs, such as Nuclear Protein 1 (NUPR1), proteasome, HSPs, NF-κB, Raf/MEK/ERK, PI3K/PTEN/AKT/mTOR, p53, and COX-2 inhibitors and whether this information can be translated into more effective cancer therapies, especially for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Another aspect of interest studied by his research group is related to the characterization and definition of the molecular targets for particular drugs, such as proteasome, HSPs, NF-κB, Raf/MEK/ERK, PI3K/PTEN/AKT/mTOR and COX-2 inhibitors and whether this information can be translated into more effective cancer therapy, especially the therapy of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Currently, his research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) with the goal to identify new molecular targets and test novel therapeutic approaches for steatohepatitis that could be brought to the clinic. In this context, he has studied the role of NUPR1 in the regulation of lipid metabolism and dyslipidaemia, both in animal models and human samples during progression from NAFLD to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Another aspect of his research aims to study the association of genetic variants, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), with the risk of development and progression of NAFLD.
- 2020-2021 - Guest Editor of Special Issue “Targeting Signal Transduction Pathways and Non-coding RNAs as Potential Therapy in Cancer and Aging” - Cells.
- 2019-present Member of the Editorial Board of the Cancer.
- 2019-present Member of the Editorial Board of the Cells.
- 2018-present Member of the Editorial Board of Oncology Signaling.
- 2015-present Member of the Editorial Board of Frontiers Oncology - Hematology.
- 2013-present Member of the Editorial Board of BioMed Research International.
- 2009-2013 Member of the Editorial Board World Journal of Hepatology.
H index =41 with over 5600 citations (Source WoS).
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-003-4923-7220
Other Professional Expertise And Activities:
- Teaching activity for PhD and master courses (University of Palermo).
- Science divulgation in middle and high schools on behalf of AIRC.
- Experience in mentoring, training and editing theses for students, PhD and post-docs in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Molecular Oncology.
- Reviewer for many international scientific journals in the area of cell biology, liver diseases and oncology.
- Reviewer for grant application for the Swiss National Science Foundation.
- Member of the International Liver Cancer Association (ILCA).
- Author of over 150 research articles, book chapters and reviews in international journals. H index = 43, with over 6400 citations (Source Scopus).
Responsability Of Research Projects:
- 2020-2021 - Responsible of IRIB-CNR-Unit – Progetto Ministero della Salute – Ricerca Corrente: “Studio del pathway NUPR1/RUNX2 nel tumore mammario canino e umano per lo studio di fattori che inducono chemioresistenza e metastasi”.
- 2017-present - Responsible of IRIB-CNR-Unit – Progetto Piano Sanitario Nazionale (PSN) 2014 – Supporto alla ricerca nell’ambito della caratterizzazione genomica, anche in riferimento all’ambito oncoematologico - Linea Progettuale 6 - Azione - 6.15 - Ministero della Salute: “Approccio integrato mediante strumenti di analisi innovativi in grado di identificare e quantificare predittori specifici ed oggettivi di risposta al Sorafenib in pazienti con carcinoma epatico avanzato”. Coordinator Professor G. Montalto – University of Palermo - Italy.
- 2017-2019 - Principal Investigator of Italian Association for Cancer Research (Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro - AIRC) Project n° 18394: “Role of NUPR1 in hepatocarcinogenesis and hepatic steatosis”.