Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Ennio Tasciotti Ph.D.

Ennio Tasciotti, Ph.D.

Ennio Tasciotti, Ph.D.

Associate Member
Co-Chair, Department of Nanomedicine
Scientist, Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine Program
Scientific Director, The Surgical Advanced Technology Laboratory
Houston Methodist Research Institute

E-mail: etasciotti@houstonmethodist.org
Phone: 713-441-7319
Fax: 713-793-1607


M.Sc.   University of Pisa, Italy (Biological Sciences)
M.Sc.   Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa, Italy (Molecular Biology)
Ph.D.   Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa, Italy (Molecular Medicine)

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Medicine Laboratory, International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Trieste, Italy

Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanomedicine Laboratory, Institute for Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston



Dr. Tasciotti earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences and his M.S. in Molecular Biology at Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa, Italy and a Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from a joint program of the Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa with the International Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (ICGEB) in 2004. His research focused on AAV based gene therapy and stem cell therapy for various diseases and applications (cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and cancer). As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Molecular Medicine of ICGEB, he carried his research in the area of molecular imaging for the assessment of targeted drug delivery, bio-distribution of injected agents (viral vectors, genes, particulate) and to follow the functionality of different tissues in vivo. He then moved into the private sector as project manager of the Center for Molecular Biomedicine in the Area Science Park where he established and then managed the Molecular Imaging Unit in collaboration with major pharmaceutical companies.

He moved to the United States in 2006 as a senior postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. There, Dr. Tasciotti expanded his research to material science and nanotechnology and to their applications in the fields of early diagnostics, drug delivery and regenerative medicine. He laid the groundwork for two major nanotechnology platforms: protein nano-chips for the early detection of disease onset, and mesoporous silicon particles for the targeted delivery of therapeutics and contrast agents. The latter was featured on the cover of Nature Nanotechnology and paved the way for a new field of investigation called the Multistage Delivery Approach, which was selected as one of the Five big ideas for nanotechnology by Nature Medicine in 2008. He accepted an appointment to Assistant Professor in the same department in 2008, where he conceived the idea of Fracture Putty, a material that could provide immediate mechanical stabilization to bone fractures and promote bone tissue regeneration over time. This concept formed the basis for a grant award from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. Since then, Dr. Tasciotti has been leading this project, BioNanoScaffold for post-traumatic osteo-regeneration, with more than 60 other investigators from multiple institutions. Thanks to this project, Dr. Tasciotti established strong ties within the community of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, particularly in the clinical fields of orthopedic, spine, maxillofacial, oral and dental surgery, and is now formalizing the clinical translation of this technology.

In 2009, Dr. Tasciotti was appointed to the first Assistant Professorship in the first Department of NanoMedicine in a US medical school. In 2010, he joined Houston Methodist Research Institute Department of Nanomedicine. He is an inventor on six U.S. patents in nanotechnology,a  prolific author of scietific publications, and a frequent speaker at international and national meetings including the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in 2010. Dr. Tasciotti also holds the privilege of serving on the R21 NIH IMAT Review Panel for Innovative Technologies Development, and is a Scientific Review Officer for R21/R33 NIH/NCI grants, a reviewer for The French National Cancer Institute, and a reviewer for more than eight scientific journals.

Description of Research

Dr. Tasciotti's research program focuses on:

  • the application of nanoporous silica chip technology to the early detection of diseases and the real time assessment of therapeutic efficacy
  • the development of novel materials for enhanced polymeric scaffold reinforcement
  • synthesis and functionalization of theranostic nanoparticles for targeted cancer drug delivery and imaging
  • the modulation of the functions and properties of materials that promote cell survival and differentiation in tissue engineering
  • the creation of unconventional multistage, multifunctional delivery vectors inspired by nature
  • the understanding of the basic mechanisms of reaction of the cell to the exposure to and integration of nanoparticulates

Major Areas of Research

Cancer, nanotechnology, regenerative medicine, bioengineering, drug delivery

Recent Publications

Hu Y, Fine DH, Tasciotti E, Bouamrani A, Ferrari M. Nanodevices in diagnostics. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2011 Jan-Feb;3(1):11-32. PMID: 20229595

Murphy MB, Blashki D, Buchanan RM, and Tasciotti E. Engineering a Better Way to Heal Broken Bones. Chemical Engineering Progress. 2010 Nov; 106(11):37-43.

Godin B, Gu J, Serda RE, Bhavane R, Tasciotti E, Chiappini C, Liu X, Tanaka T, Decuzzi P, Ferrari M. Tailoring the degradation kinetics of mesoporous silicon structures through PEGylation. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2010 Sep 15;94(4):1236-43. PMID: 20694990

Ranganathan SI, Yoon DM, Henslee AM, Nair MB, Smid C, Kasper FK, Tasciotti E, Mikos AG, Decuzzi P, Ferrari M. Shaping the micromechanical behavior of multi-phase composites for bone tissue engineering. Acta Biomater. 2010 Sep;6(9):3448-56. PMID: 20346422

Parmar BJ, Longsine W, Sabonghy EP, Han A, Tasciotti E, Weiner BK, Ferrari M, Righetti R. Characterization of controlled bone defects using 2D and 3D ultrasound imaging techniques. Phys Med Biol. 2010 Aug 21;55(16):4839-59. PMID: 20679698

Sakamoto JH, van de Ven AL, Godin B, Blanco E, Serda RE, Grattoni A, Ziemys A, Bouamrani A, Hu T, Ranganathan SI, De Rosa E, Martinez JO, Smid CA, Buchanan RM, Lee SY, Srinivasan S, Landry M, Meyn A, Tasciotti E, Liu X, Decuzzi P, Ferrari M. Enabling individualized therapy through nanotechnology. Pharmacol Res. 2010 Aug;62(2):57-89. PMID: 20045055

Chiappini C, Tasciotti E, Fakhoury JR, Fine D, Pullan L, Wang YC, Fu L, Liu X, Ferrari M. Tailored porous silicon microparticles: fabrication and properties. Chemphyschem. 2010 Apr 6;11(5):1029-35. PMID: 20162656

Bouamrani A, Hu Y, Tasciotti E, Li L, Chiappini C, Liu X, Ferrari M. Mesoporous silica chips for selective enrichment and stabilization of low molecular weight proteome. Proteomics. 2010 Feb;10(3):496-505. PMID: 20013801

Hu Y, Bouamrani A, Tasciotti E, Li L, Liu X, Ferrari M. Tailoring of the nanotexture of mesoporous silica films and their functionalized derivatives for selectively harvesting low molecular weight protein. ACS Nano. 2010 Jan 26;4(1):439-51. PMID: 20014864