Professor Ilaria Bellantuono
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
Professor of Musculoskeletal Ageing
+44 114 215 9037
Full contact details
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
DU33, D Floor
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
I am the Co-Director of the Healthy Lifespan Institute (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/healthy-lifespan/home), one of the 4 flagship Institutes at the University of Sheffield.
I am medically qualified but no longer clinically active. After my PhD in the Department of Experimental Haematology, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, at the University of Manchester on gene therapy in hematopoietic stem cells, I decided I wanted to focus all my efforts on research. I undertook post-doctoral training in the Department of Immunology, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College, working on leukaemia stem cells and ways to harness the immune system to eliminate them. Here I also developed an interest in bone marrow stromal stem cells.
This area of research expanded in subsequent years at the University of Manchester, where I was particularly interested in understanding how stem cells age and impact on the function of blood and bone. I was appointed Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, I am currently Professor in Musculoskeletal Ageing and very recently I was appointed to lead the Healthy Lifespan Institute.
- Research interests
The focus of my research is on ways to reduce the onset of multiple age-related disease and frailty by preventing or reversing the ageing using medicinal drugs (geroprotectors). My primary interest is in the diseases of the musculoskeletal system such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. I work closely with many colleagues and experts in different age-related diseases to identify common mechanisms (DNA repair and senescence) involved in driving ageing and compounds which target those mechanisms and are able to benefit more than one disease at the same time.
I am very much interested in how we can design clinical trials to test geroprotectors to prevent multimorbidity and frailty. For this, I have worked with Industrial partners and expert in regulatory affairs to reach consensus at the European level.and our roadmap is here. (Bellantuono I. Find drugs that delay many diseases of old age. Nature 2018).
- Understanding the role cellular senescence in bone and joint and testing of geroprtoectors for skeletal health
- Identification and testing of interventions able to delay ageing and improve healthspan in line with clinical translation
- Development of new tools to screen new senolytics
- Senescence and cancer : a review of clinical implications of senescence and senotherapies. Cancers, 12(8). View this article in WRRO
- A toolbox for the longitudinal assessment of healthspan in aging mice. Nature Protocols, 15(2), 540-574.
- Geroprotectors: A role in the treatment of frailty. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 180, 11-20.
- Modelling physical resilience in ageing mice. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 177, 91-102. View this article in WRRO
- ZOLEDRONATE EXTENDS LIFESPAN AND HEALTHSPAN IN VIVO. Innovation in Aging, 2(suppl_1), 545-545.
- An N‐Ethyl‐N‐Nitrosourea (ENU) Mutagenized Mouse Model for Autosomal Dominant Nonsyndromic Kyphoscoliosis Due to Vertebral Fusion. JBMR Plus, 2(3), 154-163. View this article in WRRO
- Find drugs that delay many diseases of old age. Nature, 554(7692), 293-295.
- Find drugs that delay many diseases of old age.. Nature, 554(7692), 293-295.
- Longitudinal effects of Parathyroid Hormone treatment on morphological, densitometric and mechanical properties of mouse tibia. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 75, 244-251. View this article in WRRO
- Modelling ageing and age-related disease. Drug Discovery Today: Disease Models, 20, 27-32. View this article in WRRO
- MouseAge: Leading the way in the development of geroprotectors in Europe. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 160, 32-33.
- Interventions for age-related diseases: Shifting the paradigm. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 160, 69-92. View this article in WRRO
- Building for the future: essential infrastructure for rodent ageing studies. Mammalian Genome, 27(7), 440-444. View this article in WRRO
- Development of a protocol to quantify local bone adaptation over space and time: Quantification of reproducibility. Journal of Biomechanics, 49(10), 2095-2099. View this article in WRRO
- Does age matter? The impact of rodent age on study outcomes. Laboratory Animals. View this article in WRRO
- Zoledronate Attenuates Accumulation of DNA Damage in Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Protects Their Function. STEM CELLS, 34(3), 756-767. View this article in WRRO
- The chondrocyte clock gene Bmal1 controls cartilage homeostasis and integrity. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 126(1), 365-376.
- Evaluation of in-vivo measurement errors associated with micro-computed tomography scans by means of the bone surface distance approach. Medical Engineering & Physics, 37(11), 1091-1097. View this article in WRRO
- Musculoskeletal changes in superoxide dismutase 1 null mice (1153.5). The FASEB Journal, 28.
- Shared Ageing Research Models (ShARM): a new facility to support ageing research.. Biogerontology, 14(6), 789-794. View this article in WRRO
- Autosomal dominant hypercalciuria in a mouse model due to a mutation of the epithelial calcium channel, TRPV5.. PLoS One, 8(1), e55412. View this article in WRRO
- Intra-femoral injection of human mesenchymal stem cells. Methods in Molecular Biology, 976, 131-141.
- Intra-femoral injection of human mesenchymal stem cells.. Methods Mol Biol, 976, 131-141.
- Inner ear progenitor cells can be generated in vitro from human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells.. Regen Med, 7(6), 757-767.
- A small molecule modulator of prion protein increases human mesenchymal stem cell lifespan, ex vivo expansion, and engraftment to bone marrow in NOD/SCID mice.. Stem Cells, 30(6), 1134-1143.
- Progeroid syndromes: models for stem cell aging?. Biogerontology, 13(1), 63-75.
- Glycogen synthase kinase-3α/β inhibition promotes in vivo amplification of endogenous mesenchymal progenitors with osteogenic and adipogenic potential and their differentiation to the osteogenic lineage.. J Bone Miner Res, 26(4), 811-821.
- Alterations in the self-renewal and differentiation ability of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis.. Arthritis Res Ther, 12(4), R149. View this article in WRRO
- Telomere length dynamics differ in foetal and early post-natal human leukocytes in a longitudinal study.. Biogerontology, 10(3), 279-284.
- A systems biology approach to Down syndrome: identification of Notch/Wnt dysregulation in a model of stem cells aging.. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1792(4), 353-363.
- Aging of marrow stromal (skeletal) stem cells and their contribution to age-related bone loss.. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1792(4), 364-370.
- Direct muscle delivery of GDNF with human mesenchymal stem cells improves motor neuron survival and function in a rat model of familial ALS.. Mol Ther, 16(12), 2002-2010.
- Retrovirally-mediated genetic correction of mesenchymal stem cells from patients affected by mucopolysaccharidosis type II (Hunter Syndrome). GENE THER MOL BIOL, 12B, 167-174.
- Stem cell ageing: does it happen and can we intervene?. Expert Rev Mol Med, 9(31), 1-20.
- Hematopoietic progenitor cell deficiency in fetuses and children affected by Down's syndrome.. Exp Hematol, 34(12), 1611-1615.
- Detection of Wilms' tumor antigen--specific CTL in tumor-draining lymph nodes of patients with early breast cancer.. Clin Cancer Res, 12(1), 34-42.
- Marrow stromal cells from patients affected by MPS I differentially support haematopoietic progenitor cell development.. J Inherit Metab Dis, 28(6), 1045-1053.
- A small proportion of mesenchymal stem cells strongly expresses functionally active CXCR4 receptor capable of promoting migration to bone marrow.. Blood, 104(9), 2643-2645.
- Haemopoietic stem cells.. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 36(4), 607-620.
- Study of telomere length reveals rapid aging of human marrow stromal cells following in vitro expansion.. Stem Cells, 22(5), 675-682.
- Dendritic cells from CML patients have altered actin organization, reduced antigen processing, and impaired migration.. Blood, 101(9), 3560-3567.
- Two distinct HLA-A0201-presented epitopes of the Wilms tumor antigen 1 can function as targets for leukemia-reactive CTL.. Blood, 100(10), 3835-3837.
- High transduction efficiency of circulating first trimester fetal mesenchymal stem cells: potential targets for in utero ex vivo gene therapy. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 109(8), 952-954.
- High transduction efficiency of circulating first trimester fetal mesenchymal stem cells: potential targets for in utero ex vivo gene therapy.. BJOG, 109(8), 952-954.
- Retrovirally mediated correction of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells from patients with mucopolysaccharidosis type I.. Blood, 99(5), 1857-1859.
- Identification of mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells in human first-trimester fetal blood, liver, and bone marrow.. Blood, 98(8), 2396-2402.
- Immunoresponse to Wilms Tumor antigen-1 (WT-1) in CML patients.. BLOOD, 96(11), 144A-144A.
- The expression of full length Gp91-phox protein is associated with reduced amphotropic retroviral production.. Haematologica, 85(5), 451-457.
- Selective elimination of leukemic CD34+ progenitor cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes specific for WT1. Blood, 95(7), 2198-2203.
- Selective elimination of leukemic CD34(+) progenitor cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes specific for WT1.. Blood, 95(7), 2198-2203.
- Selective elimination of leukemic progenitors by allorestricted CTL specific for Wilms tumor antigen-1 (WT-1).. BLOOD, 94(10), 532A-533A.
- Towards gene therapy of Hurler syndrome.. Cas Lek Cesk, 136(1), 27-31.
- Long-term in vitro correction of alpha-L-iduronidase deficiency (Hurler syndrome) in human bone marrow.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 93(5), 2025-2030.
- TREATMENT OF HIGH-RISK LEUKEMIA WITH BUSULFAN, CYCLOPHOSPHAMIDE, ETOPOSIDE AND ALLOGENEIC BONE-MARROW TRANSPLANTATION. EXP HEMATOL, 21(8), 1132-1132.
- GROWTH OF HEMATOPOIETIC PROGENITOR CELLS DERIVED FROM UMBILICAL-CORD BLOOD. EXP HEMATOL, 21(8), 1137-1137.
- Zoledronate extends healthspan and survival via the mevalonate pathway in a FOXO-dependent manner.
- Adult Stem Cells and Gene Therapy, Tissue Stem Cells (pp. 305-337). CRC Press
- Tumour immunology, Infection and Immunity (pp. 109-122). CRC Press
Conference proceedings papers
- Abstract # 3231 Telomerase-dependent senescence and inflammation with ageing in the zebrafish brain. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Vol. 81(Supplement) (pp 7-7). Berlin, Germany, 4 June 2019 - 8 June 2019. View this article in WRRO
- Can Bisphosphonates extend Life Span? Effects on Stem Cell survival, DNA Repair and Tissue Regeneration. JOURNAL OF BONE AND MINERAL RESEARCH, Vol. 28
- TIBIAL PLATEAU BONE SURFACE ROUGHNESS - A POTENTIAL NEW EARLY MARKER TO DETECT ARTHRITIS?. OSTEOPOROSIS INTERNATIONAL, Vol. 23 (pp S574-S574)
- A system biology approach to Down Syndrome: identification of Notch/Wnt dysregulation in stem cells with age. JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS, Vol. 46 (pp S22-S22)
- Intramuscular delivery of GDNF with human mesenchymal stem cells protects dying motor neurons and prolongs survival in a rat model of familial ALS. CELL TRANSPLANTATION, Vol. 17(4) (pp 482-483)
- Human fetal haematopoietic stem cells show different telomere length dynamics from age-matched post natal stem cells in a longitudinal study. BRITISH JOURNAL OF HAEMATOLOGY, Vol. 129 (pp 8-8)
- Human fetal hematopoietic stem cells show different telomere length dynamics to post natal and adult blood cells in a longitudinal study.. BLOOD, Vol. 102(11) (pp 566A-566A)
- Research group
- Paul Potter
- Infrafrontier Network
- Keye Williams
- Paul Potter
- Rafael De Cabo
- Tamara Tchakonia
- Dudley Lamming
- Jeremy Richard (primary supervisor)
- John Gostage
- Luke Mansfield
- Raquel Martins (secondary supervisor)
- Teaching interests
Until 2017 I was the Director of training for the MRC-AR UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA). The Centre is a is a collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield and the training includes an MRes and PhD programme.
I also contribute to the Student Selected Components of Phase 1a of the MBChB course.
- Professional activities
Most of my time is now taken by getting the Healthy Lifespan Institute (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/healthy-lifespan) up and running. This has been built from my experience when I have Chaired and led the effort of the COST Action MouseAGE (https://www.mouseage.eu/) a European network comprising over 200 researchers from 25 EU countries to identify a roadmap to take medicinal drugs targeting mechanisms of ageing (geroprotectors) to the patients.
Until recently I headed the Mellanby Centre skelet.AL laboratories (former Bone Analysis Laboratory), which provides access and expertise to contemporary technologies for the analysis of bone to investigators, internally and externally.
I was also the Director of Research for the Department of Oncology and Metabolism and a member of the Faculty Research and Innovation Committee, which oversees the Faculty strategic approach to Research and Innovation. At present I am serving as a panel member for the UKRI Future Leader Fellowship scheme.
I have been the Chair of the BBSRC Bioscience Skills and Careers (BSC) Strategy Advisory Panel, The BBSRC Fellowship portfolio monitoring group and a member of BBSRC Research Advisory Panel, roles I have enjoyed enormously and from which I have gained experience in policymaking in the vital skills and science sector.
I have taken part in evaluation of funding for NC3Rs, Arthritis Research UK and Horizon 2020 panels