Prof. Luigi Maiuri, is Research Director of the European Institute for Research in Cystic Fibrosis at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan since 2007 and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Eastern Pedmont. Since 2002 to 2007 he was appointed as Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College of London and from 2008 to 2011 as Visiting Professor at the Cancer Sciences Division of the University of Southampton.
His scientific interest focusses on disease mechanisms and their modulation. Firstly, his studies focused on the modulation of the innate immune response in celiac disease. He discovered the rules of cooperation between innate and adaptive mucosal immune response to gliadin and unveiled the role of IL15 in driving immune/autoimmune disease phenotype in celiac disease (Lancet, 2003). Moreover, he studied how degenerate self-reactive human T cell receptor may cause spontaneous autoimmune disease in mice (Nature Med 2004). Since 2007, his scientific interest has focussed on cystic fibrosis. His pioneering studies on autophagy have deciphered the relationship between the genetic CFTR defect and proteostasis and demonstrated how manipulating autophagy can circumvent CFTR defect (Nature Cell Biol 2010).
While as a clinician he is interested in drug repositioning for the personalized therapy of cystic fibrosis. He implemented at the laboratories of the European Institute for Research in Cystic Fibrosis a multifaceted cascade of pre-clinical models for translational and reverse translational approaches to therapy. Recently, in collaboration with Prof. Guido Kroemer, Prof. Valeria Raia and Dr. Anil Mehta he translated pre-clinical data to patient’s therapy showing that a combination of two repurposed proteostasis regulators can reverse the CFTR defect of the most common CFTR mutant and ameliorate disease phenotype in CF patients (Autophagy 2014). In February 2014 the Orphan Drug Designation for the use of cysteamine in Cystic Fibrosis was granted to Prof. Maiuri’s lab by the European Medicines Agency.
He has published more than 90 peer-reviewed scientific papers on international journals of high impact factor, and contributed to review articles and book chapters. He has a relevant teaching experience in national and international Universities and was invited speaker in more than 50 international research meetings. His research activity is supported by several national and European grants.