Lucia De Franceschi

University of Verona, Italy

Associate Professor, Internal Medicine Section B
Academic sectorMED/09 – INTERNAL MEDICINE
Research sector (ERC)LS3_7 – Cell signalling and cellular interactions

 I obtained my Medical Degree cum laude at the University of Verona, Italy in 1991. In the following two years I had an appointment as Research fellow at the Department of Physiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA, which directors were prof DC Tosteson and prof C Brugnara. I got the specialization cum laude in Internal Medicine in 1997 at the University of Verona. I maintained annual appointment as vising researcher in the laboratories of prof. Y Beuzard, Paris, France (Hematology Lab., Hopital H Mondor and Lab of Gene Therapy, Hopital S Louis). I had an appointment as Instructor in Pathology, at the Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA (1998-1999). Then, I maintained annual appointment with Laboratory of Medicine, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (USA). I actually have the permanent position as Associated Professor in Internal Medicine at the Department of Medicine, University of Verona.

Grants: I had a 5 years NIH grant (2002-2007) as co-PI in collaboration on “red cell homeostasis and red cell magnesium content in SCA”. I had a 2001-2004 FIRB-project (3 year project), Italian Ministry of Research on “Proteomic approach to erythroid cells and erythropoiesis”. I had PRIN project (2002-2005): #200262119 (Italian Ministry of Research) :” Proteomic approach on red cell membrane oxidative damage in hemoglobinopathies”. PRIN (2004-2009): # 2004065788 (Italian Ministry of Research)“Molecular characterization of erythropioiesis: post-genomic analysis and protein functional profiling”. 2007-2011 John Grooms and the Advocacy for neuroacanthocytosis patients (UK) project title:” Intracellular signalling in red cells from neuroacanthocytosis”. Telethon grant GPP07007 (2007-2012) Analysis of functional and post-translational modifications in abnormal red cells from neuroacanthocytosis’. PRIN (2009-2013): # 2008N73CJ5 (Italian Ministry of Research): ” Molecular mechanisms of hepcidin inhibition in iron deficiency, hypoxia and erythropoietic expansion: relevance to genetic and acquired iron disorders” (preliminary data from this grant help the research to design the present research proposal). 2009 -2013 member of the ENERCA-project supported by the European Commission (european reference network of expert centres in rare anemias; 2013-2018: University of Verona and Italian Ministry of Research:” Functional characterization of mechanisms involved in organ damage of SCA” (preliminary data from this grant help the research to design the present research proposal). Telethon grant GPP13005 (2014-2018):” Lyn core on neuroacanthocytosis”. PRIN (2012-2017) Oxidative mechanism in pathologic erythropoiesis.

Since 2016 I am member of EurobloodNET.

Since 2014 I am a member of PROTEOSTASIS (BM1307) a COST action on protein homeostasis (

I am part of the teaching staff of the European School of Hematology.  

I am a member of the Cochrane’s reviewer group on sickle cell disease.

I am associated editor for the American Journal of Hematology since 2007 and for Blood Cell Molecular Disease since 2014. I am part of the Editorial Board of Blood since 2016.

I am member of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and European Hematology Association (EHA).

I gave educational lectures at the French Society of Hematology (2003); Italian Society of Hematology (2009) Italian Society of Internal Medicine (2013), European Hematology Association (EHA) at Stockolm meeting 2005 and London meeting 2011 and I will give education lectures on SCA in Wein on next EHA meeting in 11-14 June, 2015. I will give a lecture on SCA models at the SCiF in London 15-16 June 2015.

I served as reviewer and as reviewer coordinator for the American Society of Hematology (2005, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2016), EHA (2001, 2015). I served as grant reviewer for the Italian Ministry of Health, for the Swiss Ministry of Research and for the French Ministry of Research.

 Main research directions

Since 1992 I have been interested in the pathophysiology of SCA with particular interest to the mechanisms involved in organ damage related to SCA. I have identified and characterized a mechanism involved in generation of sickle red cells and their entrapment in microcirculation. I have developed models for lung, liver and kidney damage mimicking human counterpart. These models are extremely useful to explore pathogenesis and evaluate new functional pathways or molecular targets. I have contributed to the identification of novel possible therapeutic targets in treatment of SCA complications. I am also involved in characterization of mechanism involved in the pathogenesis of chorea-acanthocytosis, a rare hereditary neurodegenerative disorder.