Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa
Atherosclerosis is a pathological condition characterized by the formation of lipid-rich plaques between the intima and media layer of artery walls. Atherosclerotic plaques are a complex environment in which different cell types interact with each other and with circulating factors in the blood stream.
Francesco works on the development of Imaging Mass spectrometry and bottom-up microproteomics platforms for the analysis of cell populations of the plaque environment. The high spatial resolution and the multi-instrumental approach allow the
investigation of the metabolites and proteins of specific cell types within the plaque, and thereby reveal the cell-specific biological pathways involved in atherosclerosis development. He also develops top-down proteomics approaches for the study of post-translational modifications of serum apolipoproteins.
The developed methodologies will be applied to animal tissue and serum samples (Ossabaw minipigs) and to human carotid endarterectomy samples.
The goal is to obtain a deeper insight into the molecular mechanisms that are involved in atherosclerosis progression, that could be used as a starting point for innovative treatments.
Francesco graduated in Chemistry at University of Bari and obtained his Master of Science at University of Pisa with a dissertation about the optimization of a bottom-up proteomics workflow for the discovery of serum biomarkers.
Francesco is a student of the PhD Programme in Translational Medicine at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa.