Donatella Barisani - Associate Professor

Department and institution: Department of Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca
tel. +39 02 6448 8304
Curriculum Vitae
institutional profile page: UNIMIB
see also: PubMed, BOA

Keywords: Celiac Disease; Mirnas; Gene Expression; Iron Metabolism; Hypoxia

Research interests:

    Main research interests are:
    a) identify genes and pathways involved in the response of the intestinal mucosa to gluten or its peptides in control subjects and in patients with celiac disease. In particular the studies focus on gene expression regulation by miRNAs and their role either in the development of celiac disease or in determining the different severity of the intestinal damage; b) identify the role of iron metabolism genes and their regulatory mechanisms in determining iron overload, as well as their response to hypoxia. In the latter case an animal model is also used, and the study involves the evaluation of expression profiling at mRNA and miRNA level.

Short Curriculum vitae

    -November 2000 Specialization in Medical Genetics (70/70 cum laude), University of Milan, Italy.
    -July 1994 Specialization in Gastroenterology (70/70 cum laude), University of Milan, Italy.
    -March 1990 M.D. (110/110 cum laude), University of Milan, Italy.
    Postdoctoral training:
    -October 1996- November 2000 Fellowship in Medical Genetics, University of Milan, Italy
    -September 1995-September 1996 Research Fellow, Department of Biology and Genetics, University of Milan, Italy
    -January-June 1995 Research Fellow, Nutrition Department, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
    -August 1992-August 1995 Research Fellow, Gastroenterology Division, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, U.S.A
    -July 1990-July 1992 Fellowship in Gastroenterology University of Milan, Italy.

Academic Appointments:

    -November 2010 – present Associate Professor in Applied Biology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy.
    -May – November 2008 Fulbright Visiting Scientist, Gastroenterology Division, BIDMC, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
    -March 2002 – October 2010 Assistant Professor in Applied Biology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy.
    -December 2000-February 2002 Tutor in Biology and Genetics at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy.


    -2007 Fulbright Research Scholarship
    -1997 AISF (Italian Association for the Study of the Liver) research award.
    -1996 SIGE (Italian Gastroenterological Association) research award.
    -Speaker in National and International Congresses
    She was a selected speaker in more than 30 congresses, including:
    - European Iron Club 2011, Leuven, Belgium.
    - Digestive Disease Week 2009, Chicago, IL, USA.
    - European Iron Club 2006, Barcelona, Spain.
    - 11th International Symposium on Coeliac Disease. 2004, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
    - Bioiron 2001, Cairns, Australia
    - European Iron Club 2000, Stockholm, Sweden

Publications and Reviewer activity

    She has published 46 papers in peer reviewed journals.
    She is member of the Editorial Board of The American Journal of Physiology and of the Muscles, Ligaments and Tendons Journal.
    She has served as reviewer for international journals such as: New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Gut, Journal of Hepatology, Journal of Pathology, The International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, Haematologica, Italian Journal of Gastroenterology, Physiological Genomics, European Journal of Immunology.

Teaching activity

    She has been teaching the course of Biology and Genetics (Medical School), Cellular Biology (Dentistry) and Pharmacogenomics (Degree in Biotechnology) since 2002. She has supervised several (about 20) undergraduate and PhD thesis.

Awarded grants

    -2012 Grant from the Italian Ministry of Research on regulation of iron metabolism (co-investigator).
    -2009-2011 Grant from the Italian Ministry of Research on hypoxia regulation of iron metabolism (co-investigator).
    -2008-2010 Grant from Cariplo Foundation The lron-Hypoxia link: identification of potential markers for Hypoxia-related disorders (co-investigator)
    -2004-2006 Grant from the Italian Ministry of Research on postgenomic studies in iron metabolism. (Head of Research Unit)
    -2002-2004 Grant from the Italian Ministry of Health for the study of genes involved in determining different clinical manifestation in celiac disease (Head of Research Unit)

Select Recent Publications
Full list on BOA
see also: PubMed

  • Ravasi, G., Pelucchi, S., Buoli Comani, G., Greni, F., Mariani, R., Pelloni, I., et al. (2018).
    Hepcidin regulation in a mouse model of acute hypoxia.

  • Elli, L., Villalta, D., Roncoroni, L., Barisani, D., Ferrero, S., Pellegrini, N., et al. (2017).
    Nomenclature and diagnosis of gluten-related disorders: A position statement by the Italian Association of Hospital Gastroenterologists and Endoscopists (AIGO).
    DIGESTIVE AND LIVER DISEASE, 49(2), 138-146.

  • Elli, L., Tomba, C., Branchi, F., Roncoroni, L., Lombardo, V., Bardella, M., et al. (2016).
    Evidence for the presence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity in patients with functional gastrointestinal symptoms: Results from a multicenter randomized double-blind placebo-controlled gluten challenge.
    NUTRIENTS, 8(2), 84.

last update - May 2018