Targeted cancer Therapeutics and drug discovery; Molecular biology of tumors and drug testing; Transduction Signal Analysis; Epigenetic Studies; Liquid biopsies and isolation of rare circulating tumor cells; Determination of predicting biomarkers in onco

Short description of the research team

Thematic fields of interest/research areas:

  • Targeted cancer Therapeutics and drug discovery
  • Molecular biology of tumors and drug testing
  • Transduction Signal Analysis
  • Epigenetic Studies
  • Liquid biopsies and isolation of rare circulating tumor cells
  • Determination of predicting biomarkers in onco-hematological disorders
The team of the “Laboratory of biomarkers, biomolecular targets and personalized medicine in oncology”, directed by Prof. Luca Neri, has developed expertise in studying fundamental cell processes as proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and neoplastic transformation, focusing on regulation, at molecular level, of signal transduction pathways by targeted therapies. Onco-hematological, preclinical studies have been performed on leukemic cell models (in vitro) or on samples derived from patients (ex vivo) in order to assess the molecular mechanisms that control survival / apoptosis / autophagy processes mediated by different pharmacological and anti-tumor agents which are in clinical use. Dr. Simioni Carolina is part of the lab team. In her career, Dr. Simioni has matured a solid experience in Cell Cultures methods and preparation of primary cultures, ligand-receptor Binding Assays, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA), Western blot, RT-PCR, Transfections and Immunofluorescence methods.


Manager/head of the team: prof. Luca Neri

Team members: Dr. Simioni Carolina.


Research infrastructures:

Our laboratory of signal transduction Department of Morphology, Surgery and Experimental Medicine, University of Ferrara has the following major equipment:

  • LAS4000 (GE Healthcare Life Sciences "ImageQuant LAS 4000"), digital imaging system for sensitive, quantitative imaging of gels and blots, by chemiluminescence and fluorescence.
  • MUSE: the Muse Cell Analyzer uses miniaturized fluorescence detection and microcapillary technology to deliver high-performance cell analysis in flow cytometry.
  • DNA and RNA instrumentation: Luminometer for luciferase experiments, Mini Thermocycler (BIoRad), hood for RNA extraction and PCR experiments, QuantStudio-3 (Applied Biosystem) for absolute quantification module for gene expression analysis, Corbett Research PCR Rotorgene 6000, DNA electrophoresis apparatus.
  • Protein instrumentation: chemical hood is used to prepare reagents for experiments and to make western blot analysis, one dimensional and two dimensional gel electrophoresis apparatus
  • Cell culture room: it is provided with hoods, incubators, incubator for hypoxic treatments, inverted microscope, electroporator for cell transfection, Xcelligence.

Our laboratory can also benefit of the following department facilities:

  • Flow cytometry and Cell Sorting Service equipped with Cell Sorter BD FACS Aria II (with 4 lasers), BD FACS Calibur Analyzer benchtop flow cytometer (with two light sources), Beckman Coulter Epics XL MCL Flow cytometer (with a single argon laser). Flow Cytometry has acquired high skills in the field of bio-medical research, including Onco-hematology.
  • Sequencing - Ion Torrent PGM (Personal Genome Machine)

Our laboratory can also benefit of the following University facilities:

  • Animal Facility: The animals will be hosted in the animal facility of the Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara


Prerequisites of the trainee researcher:

Level of education: PhD in biomedical fields; MD or MS in Biology, Biotechnology and Pharmacology, Physicians with research experience in Oncology - According to “Marie Curie Individual Fellowship” Action requirements

Research experience: in fields of Molecular Oncology and Experimental biology

Required working language: English





  • Molecular and Structural Biology
  • Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Diagnostic tools, therapies and public health