Dr Francesco S di Giovine
Senior Lecturer in Molecular Medicine
Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease
University of Sheffield
Beech Hill Road
Tel: +44(0) 114 215 9523
Fax: +44(0) 114 271 1863
I graduated in Medicine in the University of Florence (Italy) in 1982, and then entered Internal Medicine training. I was then a PhD student in the University of Edinburgh, where I completed a Ph.D (1988) in the Molecular Immunology Group, directed by Prof. Sir. Gordon W. Duff. Thesis title: The role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in Rheumatoid Arthritis (TNF and IL-1).
After a two years post-doctoral experience, in 1990 I was appointed Lecturer in the University of Sheffield and later Senior Lecturer. In year 2000 I have had a sabbatical experience in Prof. Phil Ingham´s lab, studying conditional transgenesis in zebrafish. Since year 2001 I have been the Director of the Genomic Facilities in this Faculty.
In the past I have worked on the biology, molecular biology and genetics of IL-1 and TNF in diseases. We first reported the presence of bioactive TNF in Rheumatoid joints in 1986 , and first reported a cytokine gene polymorphism in 1990. Our work pioneered the field of cytokine genetics, and established important genetic associations between IL-1 and TNF gene variants and several important inflammatory diseases. Of particular interests, we have reported association and/or linkage between the IL-1 gene cluster and periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and R.A. I am consequently a co-inventor of several international patents, based on clinical use of the predictive value of these haplotypes.
My research interests now lay mainly in three areas:
- Long-range mechanisms involved IL-1 locus co-regulation.
- Functional implications of IL-1 locus variations.
- Novel technologies for allelic discrimination.
We have recently proved that IL-1 cluster genes on chromosome 2 come in physical proximity during macrophage stimulation. We have identified putative Locus Control regions and will soon be testing locus function and possible epigenetic influence on activation.
I teach biochemistry in the MBChB course (Phase Ia), and human genetic diseases (MED6003), cytokine biology and high-throughput technology to our Msc students (MEDT01). I am a SSC oordinator, and mark assignments and mini-theses in many of our postgraduate courses.
James Black Prize:
In December 2016 I have been awarded the Sir James Black Award for Contributions to Drug Discovery, for my work leading to anti TNF therapies in Rheumatoid. Click here for details.
For key publications see below. For a full list of publications click here.
- Sharaf N, Nicklin MJ & di Giovine FS (2014) Long-range DNA interactions at the IL-1/IL-36/IL-37 gene cluster (2q13) are induced by activation of monocytes.. Cytokine, 68(1), 16-22.
- Camp NJ, Cox A, di Giovine FS, McCabe D, Rich W & Duff GW (2005) Evidence of a pharmacogenomic response to interleukin-l receptor antagonist in rheumatoid arthritis.. Genes Immun, 6(6), 467-471.
- Carter MJ, Jones S, Camp NJ, Cox A, Mee J, Warren B, Duff GW, Lobo AJ & di Giovine FS (2004) Functional correlates of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist gene polymorphism in the colonic mucosa in ulcerative colitis.. Genes Immun, 5(1), 8-15.
- Colasante A, Aiello FB, Brunetti M & di Giovine FS (2003) Gene expression of transforming growth factor beta receptors I and II in non-small-cell lung tumors.. Cytokine, 24(5), 182-189.
- Salvarani C, Boiardi L, Timms JM, Silvestri T, Ranzi A, Macchioni PL, Pulsatelli L & di Giovine FS (2000) Absence of the association with CC chemokine receptor 5 polymorphism in polymyalgia rheumatica.. Clin Exp Rheumatol, 18(5), 591-595.
- Tazi Ahnini R, Camp NJ, Cork MJ, Mee JB, Keohane SG, Duff GW & di Giovine FS (1999) Novel genetic association between the corneodesmosin (MHC S) gene and susceptibility to psoriasis.. Hum Mol Genet, 8(6), 1135-1140.
- Kornman KS & di Giovine FS (1998) Genetic variations in cytokine expression: a risk factor for severity of adult periodontitis.. Ann Periodontol, 3(1), 327-338.
- Cox A, Camp NJ, Nicklin MJ, di Giovine FS & Duff GW (1998) An analysis of linkage disequilibrium in the interleukin-1 gene cluster, using a novel grouping method for multiallelic markers.. Am J Hum Genet, 62(5), 1180-1188.
- di Giovine FS, Bailly S, Bootman J, Almond N & Duff GW (1994) Absence of lentiviral and human T cell leukemia viral sequences in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.. Arthritis Rheum, 37(3), 349-358.
- Wilson AG, de Vries N, Pociot F, di Giovine FS, van der Putte LB & Duff GW (1993) An allelic polymorphism within the human tumor necrosis factor alpha promoter region is strongly associated with HLA A1, B8, and DR3 alleles.. J Exp Med, 177(2), 557-560. View this article in WRRO
- di Giovine FS, Takhsh E, Blakemore AI & Duff GW (1992) Single base polymorphism at -511 in the human interleukin-1 beta gene (IL1 beta).. Hum Mol Genet, 1(6), 450.
- di Giovine FS, Malawista SE, Thornton E & Duff GW (1991) Urate crystals stimulate production of tumor necrosis factor alpha from human blood monocytes and synovial cells. Cytokine mRNA and protein kinetics, and cellular distribution.. J Clin Invest, 87(4), 1375-1381.
- di Giovine FS & Duff GW (1990) Interleukin 1: the first interleukin.. Immunol Today, 11(1), 13-20.
- Symons JA, Wood NC, Di Giovine FS & Duff GW (1988) Soluble IL-2 receptor in rheumatoid arthritis. Correlation with disease activity, IL-1 and IL-2 inhibition.. J Immunol, 141(8), 2612-2618.
- Eastgate JA, Symons JA, Wood NC, Grinlinton FM, di Giovine FS & Duff GW (1988) Correlation of plasma interleukin 1 levels with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis.. Lancet, 2(8613), 706-709.
- Di Giovine FS, Nuki G & Duff GW (1988) Tumour necrosis factor in synovial exudates.. Ann Rheum Dis, 47(9), 768-772.
- Di Giovine FS, Malawista SE, Nuki G & Duff GW (1987) Interleukin 1 (IL 1) as a mediator of crystal arthritis. Stimulation of T cell and synovial fibroblast mitogenesis by urate crystal-induced IL 1.. J Immunol, 138(10), 3213-3218.