Prof. Luigi Terracciano
Molecular Pathology Division
Institute of Pathology
CH-4003 Basel / Switzerland
Luigi Terracciano is Professor of Pathology. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Physiology in Heidelberg, Germany, and he is at present Head of the Molecular Pathology Division of the Institute of Pathology at the Basel University Hospital. He has devoted a large part of his research activity to the study of hepatocarcinogenesis and liver regeneration. He has also accumulated a very large knowledge on the use and evaluation of tissue microarray (TMA) immunohistochemistry and FISH.
Currently, our scientific interest concerns the molecular mechanisms involved with organogenesis and cancerogenesis with a special focus on cancer stem cells considered as cells able to differentiate, self-renew and potentially perform symmetric and asymmetric divisions. A large body of evidence supports the involvement of the HOX gene network with organogenesis and cancerogenesis. HOX genes are characterized by a unique genomic network organization: they regulate normal development and control primary cellular processes (cell identity, cell division and differentiation). We are currently investigating the HOX gene network expression as a molecular system to characterize organ-specific (liver, kidney) normal and cancer stem cell differentiation along epithelial-endothelial compartments. Prelimary evidence suggests that specific HOX genes of the network are involved with stem cell differentiation, organogenesis and cancer.