Dr Francesco S di Giovine

Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Medicine

+44 114 215 9523

Full contact details

Dr Francesco S di Giovine
Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX

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.

Research interests

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.


Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


Teaching interests

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.

I am MBChB committee member for IICD, and mark Phase 3 SSC and Elective Reports MBChB routinely.

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.