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Giuseppe Legname

Faculty

 

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Giuseppe Legname completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies in biochemistry and molecular biology at the ‘Universita’ degli Studi’ of Milan, Italy. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Warwick in 1997 with a thesis entitled "Dianthin 30, a ribosome inactivating protein from Dianthus caryophyllus". After a long spell in Industry (Italfarmaco S.p.A.) where he co-authored many scientific papers and patents in the field of immunotherapy, he moved to Academia at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Medical Research Council in London, UK. During the three years at NIMR, his research focused on the study of the signal transduction mechanisms in thymocytes and lymphocytes, in particular thymocyte development and differentiation by transgenic animal models. The tool that he was able to establish was the first inducible expression system in the immunology of eukaryotic proteins in both cell line and transgenic animals, through which he was able to dissect the molecular requirements for thymocyte development and differentiation. This work was published in Immunity. As a follow-up of this research, he was able to make additional observations on T lymphocytes survival. These novel findings were published in the journal Science.

In 1999 he joined the faculty of the Department of Neurology at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), California, USA.
During the seven-and-a-half years at UCSF he was involved in basic research projects in the field of Prion Biology and Disease at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (IND), under the direction of 1997 Nobel Laureate Professor Stanley B. Prusiner.

Since December 2006, he has joined the faculty of the ‘Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati’ (SISSA), in Trieste, where he is currently managing a new Prion Biology Laboratory.
At IND he was pursuing projects involving protein expression for prion detection in biological fluids and transgenic mice studies. His scientific interests included finding new tools for the study of prion diseases, such as recombinant antibodies, by using state-of-the-art recombinant DNA and phage display technology. In particular, in the last five years he provided crucial support to several projects in the prion field, including his participation in developing a sandwich Conformation-Dependent Immunoassay for early detection of prions in tissue sample and body fluids. One critical focus of the IND has been the pharmacological treatment of human prion diseases. The finding that a FDA approved drug, quinacrine, is active as anti prion drug, has spurred considerable attention as potential efficacious treatment for human prion diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and new variant CJD. Moreover at IND he was responsible for several Projects and Science Cores of funded National Health Institute (NIH) grants on this subject. During his scientific experience in the USA he has co-authored several seminal papers, book chapters and patents. At SISSA, Giuseppe Legname has joined the Neurobiology Sector, and the main focus of his research program is in the field of mammalian Prion Biology (physiological function of the prion protein in mammals) and Prion Disease (mechanisms of prion replication and structural characterization of molecular determinants for prion infectivity).

Education:
1982-1988 Biological Sciences Laurea (Doctoral Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), at University of Milan, Milan, ITALY.
1989-1992 Advanced School of Applied Biotechnology Diploma (Specialist in Applied Biotechnology) at University of Milan, Milan, ITALY
1993-1997 Doctor of Philosophy at University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Career History:
1989-1996 Scientist at the Research Center of Italfarmaco S.p.A., Milan, Italy
1996-1999 Research Associate at the Dept. of Molecular Immunology at National Institute for Medical Research (N.I.M.R.), Medical Research Council, London, U.K.
2000-2004 Assistant Adjunct Professor at the Department of Neurology/Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of California at San Francisco, USA.
2004-2006 Associate Adjunct Professor at the Department of Neurology/Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of California at San Francisco, USA.
2006-present Associate Professor at the Neurobiology Sector, SISSA, Trieste, Italy.

 

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Last Updated (Wednesday, 23 October 2013 14:01)