Progetto PRIN 2010-2011

  • Genes and molecules of invertebrate immunity. Structures, functions, evolutionary precursors and transferability to applied research

This project is presented by the Italian Association of Developmental and Comparative  Immunobiology and coordinated by its current President. It assembles expertises and facilities of ten Research Units/Groups, nine of which work in distinct Universities (Camerino, Lecce, Modena-Reggio Emilia, Padova, Palermo, Trento, Varese-Insubria, Viterbo-Tuscia and Trieste) and one works at an Institute of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (in Palermo). Overall it involves five Full Professors, seventeen Associated Professors, and twenty-four Researchers, and relies on a solid and prestigious array of documented collaborations with other research institutions, three national and fifteen extra-national (among which many well-known Universities, the Scripps Research Institute, the Centre d'études d'agente Pathogènes et Biotechnologies pour la Santé in Montpellier, the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana, the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology). On the general theme of innate immunity, the project brings zoologists, physiologists and immunobiologists (most of which are relatively new to molecular and “omics” approaches) together with experts in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and bioinformatics (most of which have little practical and scientific experience in biology of animals). The project pursues the following three major objectives: (i) to provide new insights in the evolution of defence strategies and mechanisms in innate immunity; (ii) to obtain clues for a better understanding of the origin of adaptive immunity in vertebrates; (iii) to identify novel molecules (from invertebrates and protozoans) with antimicrobial, cytotoxic/cytostatic and immunomodulatory activities for practical applications in human health and aquaculture.

An additional (more long-term) objective of the project is to create solid grounds for an innovative and integrated Research Network that, endowed with a critical mass of scientific expertise, technological resources and international collaborations, may legitimately aim at a stable forefront position in the scientific research on innate immunity.

Scientific coordinator


  • Dr. GIULIANINI Piero Giulio, Università degli Studi di TRIESTE - Dipartimento di SCIENZE DELLA VITA
  • Dr.  COLOMBO Paolo,  Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
  • Prof. DE EGUILEOR Magda Anna,  Università degli Studi INSUBRIA - Dipartimento di  BIOTECNOLOGIE E SCIENZE DELLA VITA
  • Prof. OTTAVIANI Enzo , Università degli Studi di MODENA e REGGIO EMILIA - Dipartimento di BIOLOGIA
  • Prof. GUELLA Graziano,  Università degli Studi di TRENTO - Dipartimento di FISICA
  • Prof.  PARRINELLO Nicolo' ,  Università degli Studi di PALERMO - Dipartimento di BIOLOGIA AMBIENTALE E BIODIVERSITA'
  • Dr.ssa PAGLIARA Patrizia, università degli Studi del SALENTO - Dipartimento di SCIENZE E TECNOLOGIE BIOLOGICHE ED AMBIENTALI
  • Prof.ssa VALLESI Adriana, Università degli Studi di CAMERINO - Dipartimento di SCUOLA DI SCIENZE AMBIENTALI
  • Dr. CERVIA Davide Ricercatore, Università degli Studi della TUSCIA - Dipartimento di PER LA INNOVAZIONE NEI SISTEMI BIOLOGICI, AGROALIMENTARI E FORESTALI (DIBAF)