Cancer Systems Biology and eHealth

This program uses biological and analytical resources to develop data and computational tools focused on global understanding of cell signaling pathways. The eHealth Program uses web 2.0 to improve health care between medical informatics, public health, and eLearning/education.
Program Details | Biography Details | Publications




Cancer Systems Biology Program

Our approach relies on the collection of large sets of experimental data from different OMICS platforms. Mathematical models are then utilized to account for significant aspects of these data sets and to assess the quality of the selected model by comparing numerical simulations with the experimental data in collaboration with a team of international experts. The goal is to rationally construct an integrated picture to better understand the dynamic behavior and regulation of integrated intra- and intercellular biomolecular networks deregulated in cancer.

At the heart of this program, there is a strong emphasis on prostate cancer and microRNAs.

Prostate cancer (PC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death in men. Despite the availability of divergent PC biomarkers, the basic molecular mechanisms that regulate the development and progression of PC are still very poorly understood (Figure 1). Improved screening programs to diagnose men with PC in its early stages and more precise markers are still needed so that appropriate treatment decisions can be made for individual PC patients. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a growing class of short non-coding RNAs, negatively controlling the expression of thousands of target mRNAs. Human miRNAs play fundamental roles in various aspects of cellular functions, including differentiation, proliferation and cell death and are deregulated in different diseases. Accumulating evidence suggests that aberrant expression of miRNAs is involved in the development of prostate cancer. Our current Systems Biology work in cancer research is divided into three main topics:

(1) Characterizing the role of miRNAs in prostate carcinoma and other types of cancer;

(2) Developing novel in-silico approaches to predict (a) novel miRNAs and (b) miRNA target genes;

(3) Developing miRNA target gene pathways in cancer.

eHealth Program - Web 3.0

At the turn of the millennium, the term "eHEALTH" was defined as anything related to "Internet Medicine", a generic depiction of all fields related to medicine and computers often employed by industry leaders and marketers. In contrast, the eHealth Program focuses specifically on the intersection of medical informatics, public health, communication and eLearning/education, with the goal of improving health care through the latest information and communication technology. One important aspect of SHRO's eHealth Program is Digi S Lab, a Web 3.0 virtual scientific application. This application was developed to take advantage of Web 3.0, which encourages a high level of social networking, collaboration, and participation among its users. With this technology, visitors (represented by "avatars" or computer representation of the user as textual, two-dimensional and three-dimensional models) can enter and fully interact with a 3-D virtual world (such as Linden Labs' Second Life). Since 2008, we developed two 3-D islands called Biomedicine Research Labs, located on Second Life, with a platform that can host virtual meetings, eLearning for students and scientists using specialized tools developed by SHRO, and scientific simulation. The islands contain virtual buildings, auditoriums, laboratories, offices, meeting rooms, hospitals and other virtual environments. Ongoing research applications of this program are: (1) eLearning projects; (2) evaluation of virtual reality as treatment for PTSD patients; (3) evaluation of virtual reality as distraction intervention in cancer patients during chemotherapy treatments; and (4) development and evaluation of a Tailored Virtual RealityWeight Loss Program.

Our eHealth program includes: creating custom virtual reality environments for eHEALTH; Creating and employing advanced 3-D simulations/tools to transform health guidelines into a full interactive virtual experience; and developing real-time feedback between the virtual and physical worlds by using tools to track different information of the real user.





Giuseppe Russo, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Director, Cancer Systems Biology and E-Health Programs

Tel: 215-204-1346
Fax: 215-204-9522

Giuseppe Russo, Ph.D is a Research Assistant Professor and Director of the Cancer Systems Biology and eHEALTH Programs. Dr. Russo's research focuses on understanding the role and the molecular mechanisms of microRNAs in human cells leading to cancer pathogenesis and development, as well as work in cancer systems biology and bioinformatics. Dr. Russo is also an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Computer and Information Sciences (DISI), University of Genoa, Italy and a Senior Adviser to the Human Health Foundation Onlus (HHF), a nonprofit research foundation, located in Spoleto, Italy. Dr. Russo’s research has been supported by National Institute of Health (NIH), several private foundations and organizations, as well as by SHRO. He can be reached at grusso@temple.edu.

Research Team:

Letizia Cito, Senior Scientist
Andrew Puca, Ph.D.
Debora Muresu, M.S.

External Collaborators:

Cora N Sternberg, M.D.
Chief, Department of Medical Oncology -San Camillo and Forlanini Hospitals, Rome, Italy

Enrico Giarnieri, M.D.
University of Rome "La Sapienza" - Faculty of Medicine and Psycology. Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Rome, Italy

Francesco Masulli, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, DISI-Dept. Computer and Information Sciences, Genoa University, Italy

Marco Paggi, M.D., Ph.D.
Laboratory Head, Department of Development of Therapeutic Programs, National Cancer Institute "Regina Elena", Rome, Italy

Melissa Napolitano, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Public Health - Center for Obesity Research and Education - Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Michele Masucci, Ph.D.
Director, Information Technology and Society Research Group, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Stefano Rovetta, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, DISI-Dept. Computer and Information Sciences, Genoa University, Italy

Valentina Gatta, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, G. d'Annunzio University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy





Giuseppe Russo, Andrew Puca, Francesco Masulli, Stefano Rovetta, Letizia Cito, Debora Muresu, Flavio Rizzolio and Antonio Giordano "Epigenetics, microRNAs and cancer: an update." for "Cancer Epigenetics: Biomolecular Therapeutics in Human Cancer" 2011 editor John Wiley: 101-112.

Flavio Rizzolio, Raffaele La Montagna, Tiziano Tuccinardi, Giuseppe Russo, Mario Caputi and Antonio Giordano "Adenosine receptor ligands in clinical trials" Curr Top Med Chem 2010;10(10):1036-45.

Giuseppe Russo and Antonio Giordano "microRNA: from biogenesis to networks" for Protein Networks, Methods in Molecular Biology series, Humana press 2009; 563:303-52.

Giuseppe Russo and Antonio Giordano "Gene expression profiling in breast cancer: clinical applications" for Breast Cancer in the Post-Genomic Era, Current Clinical Oncology series, Humana press, 2009:123-136.

R Ciarapica, G. Russo, F Verginelli, L Raimondi, A Donfrancesco, R Rota, and A. Giordano "Deregulated expression of miR-26a and Ezh2 in Rhabdomyosarcoma." - Cell Cycle 2009;8(1):172-5.

Alessandra Rossi, Giuseppe Russo, Andrew Puca, Raffaele La Montagna, Mariella Caputo, Eliseo Mattioli, Massimo Lopez, Antonio Giordano, Francesca Pentimalli "The antiretroviral nucleoside analogue Abacavir reduces cell growth and promotes differentiation of human medulloblastoma cells." - International Journal of Cancer, 2009;125(1):235-43.

Russo G., Anzivino E, Fioriti D, Mischitelli M, Bellizzi A, Autran-Gomez AM, Di Silverio F, Giordano A, and Pietropaolo V: "Prostate adenocarcinoma, p53 gene mutational rate and BK virus infection: is there a correlation?" - Journal Medical Virology, 2008;80(12):2100-7.

Eletto, Davide; Russo, Giuseppe; Passiatore, Giovanni; Del Valle, Luis; Giordano, Antonio; Khalili, Kamel; Gualco, Elisa and Peruzzi, F: "Inhibition of SNAP25 expression by HIV-1 Tat involves the activity of mir-128a." - Journal Cellular Physiology, 2008; 216(3):764-70.

Alessandra Rossi, Valentina Caracciolo, Giuseppe Russo, Krzysztof Reiss, and Antonio Giordano: "Medulloblastoma: from molecular pathology to therapy." - Clinical Cancer Research, 2008; 14(4):971-6.

D. Fioriti, G. Russo, M. Mischitelli, E. Anzivino, A. Bellizzi, F. Di Monaco, F. Di Silverio, A. Giordano, F. Chiarini and V. Pietropaolo: "A case of human polyomavirus Bk infection in a patient affected by late stage prostate cancer: could viral infection be correlated with cancer progression?" - International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 2007; 20(2):405-11.

Bin Shi, Marco Prisco, George Calin, Chang-gong Liu, Giuseppe Russo, Antonio Giordano and Renato Baserga: "Expression profiles of micro RNA in proliferating and differentiating 32D murine myeloid cells." - Journal Cellular Physiology, 2006; 207(3):706-10.

Francesca Sanseverino, Rosa Santopietro, Michela Torricelli, Giuseppina D'Andrilli, Giuseppe Russo, Gabriele Cevenini, Alessandro Bovicelli, Lorenzo Leoncini, Giovanni Scambia, Felice Petraglia, Pier Paolo Claudio and Antonio Giordano: "pRb2/p130 and VEGF expressions in endometrial carcinoma in relation to angiogenesis and tumor histopathologic grade." - Cancer Biology and Therapy, 2006; 5(1):84-8.

Giuseppe Russo, Alessandra Zamparelli, Luigi Califano, Cristiana Bellan, Corrado Minimo, Candace M. Howard, Lorenzo Leoncini, Antonio Giordano and Pier Paolo Claudio: "Expression of Cell-Cycle Regulated Proteins pRB2/p130, p107, E2F4, p27, and of pCNA in Salivary Gland Tumors. Prognostic and diagnostic implications." - Clinical Cancer Research, 2005; 1:3265-73.

Pier Paolo Claudio, Giuseppe Russo, Christine ACY Kumar, Corrado Minimo, Antonio Farina, Steve Tutton, Gennaro Nuzzo, Felice Giuliante, Giulia Angeloni, Vellone Maria, Fabio Maria Vecchio, Cristiana Di Campli, and Antonio Giordano: "pRb2/p130, VEGF, p27(KIP1), and PCNA expression in hepatocellular carcinoma: their clinical significance." - Clinical Cancer Research, 2004; 10:3509-17.

Marcella Macaluso, Caterina Cinti, Giuseppe Russo, Antonio Russo and Antonio Giordano: "pRb2/p130-E2F4/5-HDAC1-SUV39H1-p300 and pRb2/p130-E2F4/5-HDAC1-SUV39H1-DNMT1 multimolecular complexes mediate the transcription of estrogen receptor-alpha in breast cancer." - Oncogene, 2003; 22:3511-17.

Giuseppe Russo, Charles Zegar, and Antonio Giordano: "Advantages and limitations of microarray technology in human cancer." - Oncogene, 2003; 22:6497-6507.

Giuseppe Russo, Pier Paolo Claudio, Yan Fu, Peter Stiegler, Zailin Yu, Marcella Macaluso, and Antonio Giordano: "pRb2/p130 target genes in non small cell lung cancer cells identified by microarray analysis." - Oncogene, 2003; 22:6959-6969.

Claudio P.P., Zamparelli A., Garcia FU., Claudio L., Ammirati G., Farina A., Bovicelli A., Russo G., Giordano G.G., McGinnis DE., Giordano A., Cardi G.: "Expression of Cell-Cycle Regulated proteins pRb2/p130, p27 Kip, p53, Mdm-2 and of Ki-67 (MIB1) in Prostatic Adenocarcinoma." - Clinical Cancer Research 2002; 8:1808-15.

Zini N., Trimarchi C., Claudio P.P., Stiegler P., Marinelli F., Maltarello M.C., La Sala D., Russo G., Ammirati G., Maraldi N.M., Giordano A., Cinti C.: "pRb2/p130 and p107 control cell growth by multiple strategies and in association with different compatments within the nucleus." - Journal Cellular Physiology, 2001; 189:34.

DiPalma T., Tucci M., Russo G., Maglione D., Lago C.T., Romano A., Saccone S., Della Valle G., De Gregorio L., Dragani T.A., Viglietto G., Persico M.G.:"The Placenta growth factor gene of the mouse". Mammalian Genome 1996; 7: 6-12.

Maglione D., Guerriero V., Rambaldi M., Russo G., Persico M.G.: "Translation of the Placenta Growth Factor mRNA is Severely Affected by a Small Open Reading Frame Localized in the 5' Untranslated Region". Growth Factors, 1993; 8:141-152.


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