Antonio Giordano (born in Naples, Italy on October 11, 1962), is an Italian-American pathologist and geneticist, best known as the discoverer of Rb2/p130, a tumor suppressor gene. Giordano is the President and Founder of the Sbarro Health Research Organization, which conducts research to diagnose, treat and cure cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. He is a 'Chiara fama' Professor in the Department of Human Pathology & Oncology at the University of Siena, in Siena, Italy. He is also the Founder and Director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine and the Center for Biotechnology at Temple's College of Science & Technology. He is a founder and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Human Health Foundation Onlus (HHF), an Italian charity for basic medical research supported by the Banca Popolare di Spoleto, located in Spoleto, Italy. He also serves as President of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Centro di Ricerche Oncologiche di Mercogliano (CROM), Mercogliano, Italy, which is affiliated with The National Cancer Institute of Naples.
Giordano was born in Naples, Italy, on October 11, 1962. He is the son of Professor Giovan Giacomo Giordano (bio), an anatomical pathologist who devoted over sixty years of his life to the fields of cancer research and university teaching, and Maria Teresa Sgambati. Giordano received his medical degree from the University of Naples, Italy, and his doctorate in Pathology from the University of Trieste Medical School. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York and at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CHSL) in Cold Spring, New York, where he studied under Nobel Laureate James Watson.
At 26, while a post-doctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, Giordano made significant contributions to the field of cancer research. His work led to the recognition that an identical protein species occurs in complexes with both a virus and with the cell cycle regulatory kinase cdc2. Later, this protein species was identified as protein cyclin A, a substance that regulates growth in the cell cycle. This work helped set the stage for subsequent discovery in several other laboratories.
Giordano went on to discover Rb2/p130 in the early 1990s while serving as a member of Temple's School of Medicine faculty and as a researcher at the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology. Since that time, Giordano and SHRO researchers have established links between Rb2/p130 and its expression with the regression of cancer in the lungs, the aggression of cancer in the liver and ovaries, the effectiveness of drug therapies against breast cancer, and its role as a potential prognosticator of prostate cancer.
Giordano also discovered Cdk9 and Cdk10, genetic substances that must be activated to guarantee proper progression through the cell cycle. Research has subsequently shown that Cdk9 is a multifunctional protein that plays a critical role in cell differentiation, particularly in muscles, HIV transcription, and the inception of tumors. Recent research has focused on the role of Cdk9-55 in helping to regenerate muscle tissue in cases of muscle wasting from disease or aging.
In 2004, Giordano discovered [Novel Structure Proteins (NSPs)], a new family of structural proteins with a possible role in nuclear dynamics during cell division. One form of the gene, the isoform [NSP5a3a], is highly expressed in some tumor cell lines and could be very useful as a tumor marker. A protein isoform is a version of a protein with only small differences to another isoform of the same protein.
Isoforms from NSPs could be involved in apoptosis or programmed cell death.
Giordano also played a major role in studying the cyclin-dependent-kinase inhibitor p27 which serves as the prognostic factor in cancer patients.
Giordano's early investigation and findings on the cell cycle have contributed to a new series of drugs currently in clinical trials.
An International Model
In 1993, Giordano founded the Sbarro Institute with a donation from Mario Sbarro, founder of the Sbarro restaurant chain, following Dr. Giordano’s discovery of the tumor suppressor gene pRb2/p130. Initially named the Sbarro Institute, the research center was located at Thomas Jefferson University, where Giordano was a professor.
When Giordano moved to Temple University in 2002, he and twenty fellow scientists forged a new, three-year alliance with Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Under the new arrangement, the original Sbarro Institute was renamed the Sbarro Health Research Organization, Inc., which includes the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine. SHRO funds a program in the University of Siena.
In 2006, Giordano founded the Human Health Foundation (HHF). The charitable organization raises funds to support biomedical research and health education in Italy.
Patents and Publications
Since 1992, Giordano has been awarded twelve patents, with eight patents pending. He has published over 400 papers on his work in the fields of cell cycle, gene therapy, the genetics of cancer, and the epidemiology of cancer. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of professional journals including: Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, Journal of Cellular Physiology (Reviews Editor & Associate Editor), La Clinica Terapeutica (Associate Editor), Anticancer Research, Molecular and Cellular Differentiation (1994–1997), Cancer Biology and Therapy (Associate Editor), Cancer Therapy, Current Cancer Therapy Reviews, Journal of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Frontiers in Bioscience, Journal of Clinical Pathology and Molecular Pathology, The Women’s Oncology Review (Associate Editor)(2001–2006), The Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research (Editor-USA), Journal of Neurovirology, International Journal of Oncology, The Open Cancer Journal (TOCJ), The Open Proteomics Journal (TOPROTJ), BMJ Case Reports, International Journal of Biomedical Science, Genetics and Epigenetics Journal, Current Clinical Pathology and Oncology (Series Editor), The Open Breast Cancer Journal (TOBCANJ), The Open Lung Cancer Journal (TOLCJ), The Open Drug Safety Journal (TODSJ), Gene Review Letters, World Journal of Clinical Oncology, World Journal of Biological Chemistry (WJBC), Oncotarget, Journal of Social and Economical Issues of Biotechnology - Open Access, Chinese Journal of Clinicians (CJC), World Journal of Translational Medicine, SCD, World Journal of Medical Genetics (WJMG), Cancer Reports (CR), and Sequencing. He is also a founding member of the International Hologenomics Society.
His work is funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, the Department of Defense, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as well as individual and program project grants from SHRO.
Giordano serves as the series editor for textbooks on pathology. He is most recently co-editor of an oncology textbook entitled, Cancer Epigenetics: Biomolecular Therapeutics for Human Cancer (Wiley) (2011), that is dedicated to his father. Other books he has co-edited include: Diagnostica Molecolare nella Medicina di Laboratorio. Vol IX (Piccin) (2009), Cell Cycle Regulation and Differentiation in Cardiovascular and Neural Systems (Springer)(2010), and Breast Cancer in the Post-Genomic Era (Humana Press)(2009).
In November 2012 is being awarded Premio Grande Ippocrate or Hippocrates Grand Prize for exceptional research, international collaboration and communicating scientific discoveries to the general public. The award ceremony took place at the "Castel Nuovo"in Naples Italy. In March 2011, Giordano was one of seven distinguished Italian Americans to be named to the board of the National Italian American Foundation.
Giordano has been named a Knight of the Republic of Italy for outstanding achievements in cancer research. On October 1, 2010, he was named a Commendatore, or Knight Commander, by the President of the Republic of Italy. In December 2010, he was named as an Honorary Professor of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic for his achievements in research and the development of biomedicine. He has been honored by The National Association of Italian American Women for his achievements in the fields of cell cycle, gene therapy, and the genetics of cancer. In 2010, he was also appointed by the executive committees of the Federazione Pugilistica Italiana and the International Boxing Association to be a member of their medical commissions. In June 2009, he received the Premio Casentino in Medicine, from the Center Fonte Aretusa in the city of Poppi (Tuscany) and the GOIM award, Maestri dell`Oncologia (Master of Oncology) in Catania (Sicily). The GOIM (Oncology Group of South Italy) is a non-profit association founded in 1985 which aims to develop and support scientific research in southern Italy. GOIM is also one of the largest oncology networks for clinical trial centers.
In September 2009, Giordano received the Philip Mazzei "The Bridge" Award from The American University of Rome for his scientific and economic contributions to the United States and Italy. In 2009, he also received the Dean's Distinguished Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Science & Technology at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. The award cites the quality of his work, "attested to by the fact that it provides an impetus for other investigators studying cancer growth control and it has resulted in a framework for our conceptualization of cancer development and mechanisms of tumor suppression."
- Sbarro Health Research Organization
- Human Health Foundation (in Italian)
- Banca Popolare di Spoleto (in Italian)
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