Dr. Catia Morelli

Catia Morelli is co-founder and Managing consultant at NanoSiliCal Devices. Associate Professor in Clinical Pathology at the Department of Pharmacy and Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria.

She has more than 20 years’ gained experience in the molecular oncology field.
She spent four years at the Kimmel Cancer Institute (KCC), Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) in Philadelphia, for a training period, hosted at the laboratory of Prof. Eva Surmacz.
Her research interests have always been focused on the growth factors activated pathways both in breast solid tumors and metastases.

Since 2007, Dr. Morelli established interdisciplinary collaborations with Prof. Luigi Pasqua and Prof. Antonella Leggio, by studying the biological effects of anti-cancer strategies based on the use of nanostructured materials, designed as potential platforms for targeted drug therapy.

  1. Role in company

    Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

    • design and coordinating in vitro and in vivo experiments, in order to define biocompatibility, bio-distribution, pharmacokinetics and efficacy of functionalized MSNs;
    • planning, supervising and to coordinating the various operating steps, studying how to improve products’ quality;
    • organizing and supporting the team, by solving problems related to experimental and production processes
  2. Publications #1

    Parisi O.I, Morelli C., Puoci F., Saturnino C., Caruso A., Sisci D., Trombino, G.E., Picci N. and Sinicropi M.S. Magnetic molecularly imprinted polymers (MMIPs) for carbazole derivative release in targeted cancer therapy. Journal of Materials Chemistry B 2014.

    Sisci D, Maris P, Cesario MG, Anselmo W, Coroniti R, Trombino GE, Romeo F, Ferraro A, Lanzino M, Aquila S, Maggiolini M, Mauro L, Morelli C*, Andò S*. The estrogen receptor ? is the key regulator of the bifunctional role of FoxO3a transcription factor in breast cancer motility and invasiveness. Cell Cycle. 2013 Sep 17;12(21) (*CM and SA are joint senior authors)

    Lanzino M, Maris P, Sirianni R, Barone I, Casaburi I, Chimento A, Giordano C, Morelli C, Sisci D, Rizza P, Bonofiglio D, Catalano S, Andò S. DAX-1, as an androgen-target gene, inhibits aromatase expression: a novel mechanism blocking estrogen-dependent breast cancer cell proliferation. Cell Death Dis. 2013 Jul 11;4:e724

    De Amicis F., Perrotta I., Santoro M., Guido C., Morelli C., Cesario M.G., Bruno R. and Aquila S. Human sperm anatomy: different expression and localization of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase in normal and varicocele human spermatozoa. Ultrastructural Pathology. 2013 May;37(3):176-82. doi: 10.3109/01913123.2013.763881. Epub 2013 May 1.

    Aquila S, Santoro M, De Amicis F, Guido C, Bonofiglio D, Lanzino M, Cesario MG, Perrotta I, Sisci D, Morelli C. Red wine consumption may affect sperm biology: The effects of different concentrations of the phytoestrogen Myricetin on human male gamete function. Mol Reprod Dev. 2013 Feb;80(2):155-65. doi: 10.1002/mrd.22145. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

    Casaburi I., Avena P., Lanzino M., Sisci D., Giordano F., Maris P., Catalano S., Morelli C., Andò S. Chenodeoxycholic acid through a TGR5-dependent CREB signaling activation enhances Cyclin D1 expression and promotes human endometrial cancer cell proliferation. Cell Cycle. 2012 Jul 15;11(14): 2699-710. Epub 2012 Jul 15.

    Puoci F., Morelli C., Cirillo G., Curcio M., Parisi O.I., Maris P., Sisci D. and Picci N. Anticancer Activity of a Quercetin-based Polymer Towards HeLa Cancer Cells. Anticancer Res. 2012 Jul;32(7):2843-7

    Morelli C., Maris P, Sisci D, Perrotta E, Brunelli E, Perrotta I, Panno ML, Tagarelli A, Versace C, Casula MF, Testa F, Andò S, Nagy JB, Pasqua L. PEG-templated mesoporous silica nanoparticles exclusively target cancer cells. Nanoscale. 2011 Aug;3(8):3198-207. Epub 2011 Jul 4

    Lanzino M., Diego S., Morelli C., Garofalo C., Catalano S., Casaburi I., Capparelli C., Giordano C., Giordano F., Maggiolini M., Andò S. Inhibition of cyclin D1 expression by androgen receptor in breast cancer cells. Identification of a novel androgen response element. Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Sep;38(16):5351-65. Epub 2010 Apr 26

    Sisci D., Middea E., Morelli C., Lanzino M., Aquila S., Rizza P., Catalano S., Casaburi I., Maggiolini M., Andò S. 17b-Estradiol enhances a5 integrin subunit gene expression through ERa–Sp1 interaction and reduces cell motility and invasion of ERa-positive breast cancer cells. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Nov;124(1):63-77. Epub 2010 Jan 6

    Morelli C, Lanzino M, Garofalo C, Maris P, Brunelli E, Casaburi I, Catalano S, Bruno R, Sisci D, Andò S. Akt2 inhibition enables the forkhead transcription factor FoxO3a to have a repressive role in estrogen receptor alpha transcriptional activity in breast cancer cells. Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Feb;30(3):857-70. Epub 2009 Nov 23

    Lanzino M., Morelli C., Garofalo C., Panno M.L., Mauro L., Andò S., Sisci D. Interaction between estrogen receptor alpha and insulin/IGF signaling in breast cancer. Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2008 Nov; 8(7):597-610. Review
    Lanzino M., Garofalo C., Morelli C, Le Pera M., Zupo S., McPhaul M.J., Surmacz E., Andò S. and Sisci D. Insulin Receptor Substrate 1 modulates the transcriptional activity and the stability of androgen receptor in breast cancer cells. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2009 May;115(2):297-306. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

    Sisci D*, Morelli C*, Cascio S*, Lanzino M, Garofalo C, Reiss K, Garcia M, Russo A, Andò S and Surmacz E. The estrogen receptor :insulin receptor substrate 1 complex in breast cancer: structure-function relationships. Ann Oncol. 2007 Jun;18 Suppl 6:vi81-5. (*SD, MC and CS contributed equally to the work)

    Sisci D, Morelli C*, Garofalo C, Romeo F, Morabito L, Casaburi F, Middea E, Cascio S, Brunelli E, Ando’ S, Surmacz E. Expression of nuclear insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1) in breast cancer. J Clin Pathol. 2007 Jun;60(6):633-41. Epub 2006 Aug 1. (*SD, MC and CS contributed equally to the work)

    Bonofiglio D, Aquila S, Catalano S, Gabriele S, Belmonte M, Middea E, Hongyan Q, Morelli C, Gentile M, Maggiolini M, Andò S. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor (PPAR) gamma activates p53 gene promoter binding to the NFkB sequence in human MCF7 breast cancer cells. Mol Endocrinol. 2006 Dec;20(12):3083-92. Epub 2006 Aug 3.

    Panno ML, Giordano F., Mastroianni F., Morelli C., Brunelli E., Palma MF, Pellegrino M., Aquila S., Miglietta A., Mauro L., Andò S. Evidence that low doses of Taxol enhance the functional transactivatory properties of p53 on p21 waf promoter in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. FEBS Letters 2006 Mar; 580:2371-2380.

    Panno M.L., Mauro L., Marsico S., Bellizzi D., Rizza P., Morelli C., Salerno M., Giordano F., Andò S. Evidence that the mouse insulin receptor substrate-1 belongs to the gene family on which the promoter is activated by estrogen receptor alpha through its interaction with Sp-1. J Mol Endocrinol. 2006 Feb;36(1):91-105.

    Aquila S., Gentile M., Middea E., Catalano S., Morelli C., Pezzi V., Andò S. Leptin secretion by human ejaculated spermatozoa. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Aug 90(8):4753-61. Epub 2005 Jun 8 (IF: 6.020).

    del Rincon S.V., Guo Q., Morelli C., Shiu H.Y., Surmacz E., Miller W.H. Retinoic acid mediates degradation of IRS-1 by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, via a PKC-dependant mechanism. Oncogene. 2004 Dec 9;23(57):9269-79.

    Morelli C., Garofalo C., Sisci D., del Rincon S., Cascio S., Tu X., Vecchione A., Sauter E.R., Miller W.H Jr, Surmacz E. Nuclear insulin receptor substrate 1 interacts with estrogen receptor alpha at ERE promoters. Oncogene. 2004 Sep 30;23(45):7517-26.

    Sauter, E. R., Garofalo, C., Hewett, J., Morelli, C., Surmacz, E. Leptin expression in breast nipple aspirate fluid (NAF) is influenced by body mass index (BMI) in premenopausal women. . Horm Metab Res. 2004 May; 36(5):336-40.
    Morelli C., Garofalo C., Bartucci M., Surmacz E. Estrogen Receptor- Regulates the Degradation of Insulin Receptor Substrates 1 and 2 in Breast Cancer Cells. Oncogene 2003 Jun 26; 22(26):4007-16.

    Mauro L., Salerno M., Morelli C., Boterberg T., Bracke M.E., Surmacz E. Role of the IGF-I Receptor in the Regulation of Cell-Cell Adhesion. Implications in Cancer Development and Progression. J Cell Physiol. 2003 Feb;194(2):108-16. Review.

    Mauro L., Bartucci M., Morelli C., Ando’ S., Surmacz E. IGF-1 receptor-induced cell-cell adhesion of MCF-7 breast cancer cells requires the expression of a junction protein ZO-1. J Biol Chem. 2001 Oct 26;276(43):39892-7.

    Bartucci M., Morelli C., Mauro L., Ando’ S., Surmacz E. Differential insulin-like growth factor I receptor signaling and function in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive MCF-7 and ER-negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2001 Sep15;61(18):6747-54