Lab members
  • Armando Genazzani
  • Salvatore Terrazzino
  • Dmitry Lim
  • Ambra Grolla
  • Cristina Travelli
  • Sarah Cargnin
  • Simone Torretta
  • Beatrice Riva
  • Roberta Zaninetti
  • Laura Tapella
  •   Research

    Ambra Grolla
    Ambra Grolla



    • Neuropharmacology: neuronal-glial cells in neurodegeneration
    • Cancer biology: tumour microenvironment and NAD metabolism

    Neuropharmacology, neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's disease. I've studied for 3 years of my PhD the contribution of astrocytes and microglia in neuroinflammation, mainly the role of these cells in two specific area of the brain strongly involved during Alzheimer pathology, hyppocampus and entorhinal cortex. I improved my expertise about brain cells and calcium signalling during my last year of PhD, that I spent at University of Manchester "Faculty of Life Sciences", at Alexeij Verkhratsky laboratory.

    Cancer Biology. Currently, I'm focusing on NAMPT (nicotinamide phosphoribosyl-transferase), a key enzyme of NAD metabolism. It's known that NAMPT is a pleiotropic enzyme, due to the double face of this enzyme: it has an intracellular form, iNAMPT, with a confirmed enzyme activity, and an extracellular form, eNAMPT or visfatin, with a supposed cytokine activity. In general, NAMPT contributes to NAD biosynthesis, but also is involved in a variety of inflammation and metabolism disorders, including cancer. I'm trying to characterize visfatin role in tumour microenvironment, with the objective to find a new pharmacological approach for treatment of cancer pathology.


    2009-2012: PhD in "Biotecnologie Farmaceutiche e Alimentari" at the Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Novara

    2007-2009: 2-year degree in "Pharmaceutical and Medical Biotechnologies" (equivalent to a Master degree) at the University of Piemonte Orientale "A. Avogadro" (106/110)

    2004-2007: 3-year degree in Biotechnology at the University of Piemonte Orientale "A. Avogadro" (104/110) 

    Research Experiences:

    2007-2009: Research experience in Pharmacology Lab of Armando Genazzani, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Novara (ITALY) on NAADP/NAD metabolism;

    2008-2009: Research experience in the lab of Valeria Polzonetti (University of Camerino, Marche Italy) on protein purification and isolation by chromatography columns;

    2009-2010: Research experience in Monica Di Luca’s Laboratory in Department of Pharmaceutical Science, Milan (ITALY) on neuropharmacology;

    2011-2012: 1-year research experience in Alexej Verkhratsky’s Laboratory in Manchester (UK), “Faculty of Life Sciences “, on calcium signaling in glial cells and neurodegeneration.

    2013-2014: Post-Doc at Pharmacology Lab of Armando Genazzani, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Novara (ITALY), working on NAD metabolism in tumour microenvironment

    General Laboratory skills:

    Competences and skills in:

    • techniques and skills in Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology and Cell Culture, both cell lines and primary cultures of neurons and glia
    • handling experience with rats and mice; in vivo tumour models (syngeneic of melanoma)
    • calcium imaging and immuno-fluorescence techniques
    • usage of radioactive (32P) compounds

    Prize and Fellowship

    Prize SIF-Farmindustria for Pharmacological Research, October 2013

    Prize for best poster at bi-annual national meeting of the Society of Pharmacology, 35th SIF (Società Italiana di Farmacologia) Congress Bologna, 14th-17th September 2011.

    Short-term Fellowship for members of the Italian Society of Pharmacology that go abroad (Società Italiana di Farmacologia), October 2011.

    16Synthesis and Degradation of Adenosine 5'-Tetraphosphate by Nicotinamide and Nicotinate Phosphoribosyltransferases.
    Amici A(1), Grolla AA(2), Del Grosso E(2), Bellini R(2), Bianchi M(2), Travelli C(2), Garavaglia S(2), Sorci L(1), Raffaelli N(3), Ruggieri S(3), Genazzani AA(4), Orsomando G(5).
    Cell Chem Biol. 2017 May 18;24(5):553-564.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2017.03.010. Epub 2017 Apr 13.
    [Show abstract ]  
    15Identification of Novel Triazole-Based Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) Inhibitors Endowed with Antiproliferative and Antiinflammatory Activity.
    Travelli C(1), Aprile S(1), Rahimian R(2)(3), Grolla AA(1), Rogati F(1), Bertolotti M(1), Malagnino F(1), di Paola R(4), Impellizzeri D(4), Fusco R(4), Mercalli V(1), Massarotti A(1), Stortini G(5), Terrazzino S(1), Del Grosso E(1), Fakhfouri G(2), Troiani MP(6), Alisi MA(6), Grosa G(1), Sorba G(1), Canonico PL(1), Orsomando G(7), Cuzzocrea S(4), Genazzani AA(1), Galli U(1), Tron GC(1).
    J Med Chem. 2017 Mar 9;60(5):1768-1792. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b01392. Epub 2017 Feb 22.
    [Show abstract ]  
    14Increased plasma nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase is associated with a hyperproliferative phenotype and restrains disease progression in MPN-associated myelofibrosis.
    Rosti V(1), Campanelli R(1), Massa M(2), Viarengo G(3), Villani L(1), Poletto V(1), Bonetti E(1), Catarsi P(1), Magrini U(1), Grolla AA(4), Travelli C(4), Genazzani AA(4), Barosi G(1).
    Am J Hematol. 2016 Jul;91(7):709-13. doi: 10.1002/ajh.24388. Epub 2016 May 26.
    [Show abstract ]  
    13Extracellular Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltrasferase (eNAMPT), A New Cancer Metabokine.
    Grolla AA(1), Travelli C(1), Genazzani AA(1), Sethi JK(1).
    Br J Pharmacol. 2016 Apr 29. doi: 10.1111/bph.13505. [Epub ahead of print]
    [Show abstract ]  
    12Triazole-curcuminoids: A new class of derivatives for 'tuning' curcumin bioactivities?
    Caprioglio D(1), Torretta S(1), Ferrari M(1), Travelli C(1), Grolla AA(1), Condorelli F(1), Genazzani AA(2), Minassi A(3).
    Bioorg Med Chem. 2016 Jan 15;24(2):140-52. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2015.11.044. Epub 2015 Nov 30.
    [Show abstract ]  
    11Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT/PBEF/visfatin) is a tumoural cytokine released from melanoma.
    Grolla AA(1), Torretta S(1), Gnemmi I(1), Amoruso A(1), Orsomando G(2), Gatti M(1), Caldarelli A(1), Lim D(1), Penengo L(1,)(3), Brunelleschi S(1), Genazzani AA(1), Travelli C(1).
    Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2015 Sep 10. doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12420.
    [Show abstract ]  
    10Glial Calcium Signalling in Alzheimer's Disease.
    Lim D(1), Ronco V, Grolla AA, Verkhratsky A, Genazzani AA.
    Rev Physiol Biochem Pharmacol. 2014 Jun 17. [Epub ahead of print]
    [Show abstract ]  
    9Differential deregulation of astrocytic calcium signalling by amyloid-b, TNFa, IL-1b and LPS.
    Ronco V, Grolla AA, Glasnov TN, Canonico PL, Verkhratsky A, Genazzani AA, Lim D.
    Cell Calcium. 2014 Apr;55(4):219-29.
    [Show abstract ]  
    8Differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells into Schwann cell phenotype induces expression of P2X receptors that control cell death.
    Faroni A(1), Rothwell SW, Grolla AA, Terenghi G, Magnaghi V, Verkhratsky A.
    Cell Death Dis. 2013 Jul 25;4:e743. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2013.268.
    [Show abstract ]  
    7Amyloid-b and Alzheimer´s disease type pathology differentially affects calcium signalling toolkit in astrocytes from different brain regions.
    Grolla AA, Sim JA, Lim D, Rodriguez JJ, Genazzani AA, Verkhratsky A.
    Cell Death Dis. 2013 May 9;4:e623. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2013.145.
    [Show abstract ]  
    6Amyloid beta deregulates astroglial mGluR5-mediated calcium signaling via calcineurin and NF-kB.
    Lim D, Iyer A, Ronco V, Grolla A, Canonico PL, Aronica E, Genazzani AA.
    Glia, 2013 Apr 25. doi: 10.1002/glia.22502.
    [Show abstract ]  
    5Abeta leads to Ca(2+) signaling alterations and transcriptional changes in glial cells.
    Grolla AA, Fakhfouri G, Balzaretti G, Marcello E, Gardoni F, Canonico P, Diluca M, Genazzani AA, Lim D.
    Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Feb;34(2):511-22.[Epub ahead of print 2012 Jun 4.]
    [Show abstract ]  
    4WIN55212-2 attenuates amyloid-beta-induced neuroinflammation in rats through activation of cannabinoid receptors and PPAR-gamma pathway.
    Fakhfouri G, Ahmadiani A, Rahimian R, Grolla AA, Moradi F, Haeri A.
    Neuropharmacology. 2012 Sep;63(4):653-66.
    [Show abstract ]  
    3Synthesis, molecular docking and biological evaluation as HDAC inhibitors of cyclopeptide mimetics by a tandem three-component reaction and intramolecular [3+2] cycloaddition.
    Pirali T, Faccio V, Mossetti R, Grolla AA, Di Micco S, Bifulco G, Genazzani AA, Tron GC.
    Mol Divers. 2010 Feb;14(1):109-21. Epub 2009 May 28.
    [Show abstract ]  
    2Synthesis, biological evaluation, and molecular docking of Ugi products containing a zinc-chelating moiety as novel inhibitors of histone deacetylases.
    Grolla AA, Podestà V, Chini MG, Di Micco S, Vallario A, Genazzani AA, Canonico PL, Bifulco G, Tron GC, Sorba G, Pirali T.
    J Med Chem. 2009 May 14;52(9):2776-85.
    [Show abstract ]  
    1Characterization of NAD uptake in mammalian cells.
    Billington RA, Travelli C, Ercolano E, Galli U, Roman CB, Grolla AA, Canonico PL, Condorelli F, Genazzani AA.
    J Biol Chem. 2008 Mar 7;283(10):6367-74. Epub 2008 Jan 7.
    [Show abstract ]  

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