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Ennio Tasciotti, PhD

Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Academic Institute
Full Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


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. Dr. Tasciotti research as a PhD student focused on gene and stem cell therapy of cancer. 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. As a postdoctoral fellow he carried his research in molecular imaging of angiogenesis and cancer development at the Center of Molecular Medicine and in cancer nanomedicine at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas Health Science Center. There, he laid the groundwork of two nanotechnology platforms: protein nanochips for the early detection of diseases, and nanoporous silicon particles for the targeted delivery of therapeutics. The latter was featured on the cover of Nature Nanotechnology and paved the way for a 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.

In 2008, Dr. Tasciotti was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Nanomedicine at the University of Texas Medical School. There, he conceived and coordinated the research project: “BioNanoScaffold for post-traumatic osteo-regeneration”, and developed multifunctional biomaterials that provide immediate mechanical stabilization to bone fractures and promote bone tissue regeneration. This project was funded within the Fracture Putty program of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency and has involved over 60 investigators from multiple institutions over the course of the last 5 years. 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 2010, he joined the Department of Nanomedicine at Houston Methodist Research Institute, where he serves as Co-Chair of the Department of Nanomedicine, Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine, and Scientific Director of the Surgical Advanced Technology Lab. There, Dr. Tasciotti directs a large research operation, with 25 research staff and trainees involved in the development of innovative nanotechnology platforms and biomaterials for drug delivery and regenerative medicine. Dr. Tasciotti is an inventor on six U.S. patents, serves as reviewer for more than 20 scientific journals and is a frequent speaker at international meetings. He served from 2010 to 2012 as the president of the council of reviewers for the Italian Ministry of Health and is a regular member of National Institute of Health, US Department of Defense and NCI Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) study sections. 

Description of Research

-Biomimetic materials to improve tissue regeneration and modulate the immune response.
-Artificial biomimetic extracellular matrices for musculoskeletal drug delivery and regenerative medicine.
-Bio-inspired and cell-based delivery platforms for the active targeting of inflammation.
-Nanostructured hydrogels for the localized sustained release of clinically approved drugs.
-Development of new surgical procedures and clinical approaches using nano-based therapeutics.

Areas Of Expertise

Cancer Regenerative medicine Nanotechnology Drug delivery Bioengineering
Education & Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Institute for Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Molecular Medicine Laboratory, International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Trieste
MSc, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
PhD, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
MSc, University of Pisa

A biomimetic 3D model of hypoxia-driven cancer progression
Liverani, C, De Vita, A, Minardi, S, Kang, Y, Mercatali, L, Amadori, D, Bongiovanni, A, La Manna, F, Ibrahim, T & Tasciotti, E 2019, Scientific reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 12263.

Nanotechnology in the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Giron, F, Pastó, A, Tasciotti, E & Abraham, BP 2019, Inflammatory bowel diseases, vol. 25, no. 12, pp. 1871-1880.

Rapamycin-Loaded Leukosomes Reverse Vascular Inflammation
Boada, C, Zinger, A, Tsao, C, Zhao, P, MARTINEZ JONATHAN, O, Hartman, KA, Naoi, T, Sukhovershin, R, Sushnitha, M, Molinaro, R, Trachtenberg, BH, Cooke, JP & Tasciotti, E 2019, Circulation Research.

Macrophage-derived nanovesicles exert intrinsic anti-inflammatory properties and prolong survival in sepsis through a direct interaction with macrophages
Molinaro, R, Pastò, A, Corbo, C, Taraballi, F, Giordano, F, Martinez, JO, Zhao, P, Wang, X, Zinger, A, Boada, C, Hartman, KA & Tasciotti, E 2019, Nanoscale, vol. 11, no. 28, pp. 13576-13586.

Helix-A peptide prevents gp120-mediated neuronal loss
Avdoshina, V, Taraballi, F, Tasciotti, E, Üren, A & Mocchetti, I 2019, Molecular Brain, vol. 12, no. 1, 61.

P65BTK is a novel potential actionable target in KRAS-mutated/EGFR-wild type lung adenocarcinoma
Giordano, F, Vaira, V, Cortinovis, D, Bonomo, S, Goedmakers, J, Brena, F, Cialdella, A, Ianzano, L, Forno, I, Cerrito, MG, Giovannoni, R, Ferri, GL, Tasciotti, E, Vicent, S, Damarco, F, Bosari, S, Lavitrano, M & Grassilli, E 2019, Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 38, no. 1, 260.

Assessment of the long bone inter-fragmentary gap size in ultrasound strain elastograms
Tang, S, Sabonghy, EP, Tauhidul Islam, M, Shafeeq Shajudeen, P, Chaudhry, A, Tasciotti, E & Righetti, R 2019, Physics in Medicine and Biology, vol. 64, no. 2, 025014.

Targeting infiltrating immune cells to improve articular cartilage regeneration
Taraballi, F, Bauza, G, Francis, L, Zhang, A, Hopson, M, Shaikh, S, Cabrera, F, Wang, X, Shi, A, Hamilton, DJ, McCulloch, P & Tasciotti, E 2019, . in Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting and Exposition 2019: The Pinnacle of Biomaterials Innovation and Excellence - Transactions of the 42nd Annual Meeting. vol. 40, Society for Biomaterials, 42nd Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting and Exposition 2019: The Pinnacle of Biomaterials Innovation and Excellence, Seattle, United States, 4/3/19.

Biomimetic Targeting of Neural Cells With Nanoparticles
Cvetkovic, C, Zinger, A, Tasciotti, E & Krencik, RC 2019, .

Electrospun Patch Functionalized with Nanoparticles Allows for Spatiotemporal Release of VEGF and PDGF-BB Promoting in Vivo Neovascularization
Tsao, CJ, Pandolfi, L, Wang, X, Minardi, S, Lupo, C, Evangelopoulos, M, Hendrickson, T, Shi, A, Storci, G, Taraballi, F & Tasciotti, E 2018, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol. 10, no. 51, pp. 44344-44353.

Controlled release of small molecules for cardiac differentiation of pluripotent stem cells
Tsao, C, Taraballi, F, Pandolfi, L, Velasquez-Mao, AJ, Ruano, R, Tasciotti, E & Jacot, JG 2018, Tissue Engineering - Part A, vol. 24, no. 23-24, pp. 1798-1807.,

Trends towards biomimicry in theranostics
Evangelopoulos, M, Parodi, A, Martinez, JO & Tasciotti, E 2018, Nanomaterials, vol. 8, no. 9, 637.

Exosome-like nanovectors for drug delivery in cancer
Arrighetti, N, Corbo, C, Evangelopoulos, M, Pasto, A, Zuco, V & Tasciotti, E 2018, Current Medicinal Chemistry.

A model-based approach to investigate the effect of a long bone fracture on ultrasound strain elastography
Tang, S, Sabonghy, EP, Chaudhry, A, Shajudeen, PS, Islam, MT, Kim, N, Cabrera, FJ, Reddy, JN, Tasciotti, E & Righetti, R 2018, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging.

Smart cancer therapy with DNA origami
Tasciotti, E 2018, Nature Biotechnology, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 234-235.

Corrigendum: Heparan Sulfate: A Potential Candidate for the Development of Biomimetic Immunomodulatory Membranes
Corradetti, B, Taraballi, F, Giretti, I, Bauza, G, Pistillo, RS, Niclot, FB, Pandolfi, L, Demarchi, D & Tasciotti, E 2018, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, vol. 5, no. JAN, 86, pp. 86.

A new method for estimating the effective Poisson’s ratio in ultrasound poroelastography
Islam, MT, Chaudhry, A, Tang, S, Tasciotti, E & Righetti, R 2018, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging.

Bone surface enhancement in ultrasound images using a new Doppler-based acquisition/processing method
Yang, X, Tang, S, Tasciotti, E & Righetti, R 2018, Physics in Medicine and Biology, vol. 63, no. 2, 025035.

Biomimetic nanoparticles with enhanced affinity towards activated endothelium as versatile tools for theranostic drug delivery
Martinez, JO, Molinaro, R, Hartman, KA, Boada, C, Sukhovershin, R, De Rosa, E, Kirui, D, Zhang, S, Evangelopoulos, M, Carter, AM, Bibb, JA, Cooke, JP & Tasciotti, E 2018, Theranostics, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 1131-1145.

Microfluidic assembly of liposomes with tunable size and coloading capabilities
Hoffman, JR, Tasciotti, E & Molinaro, R 2018, . in Methods in Molecular Biology. vol. 1792, Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 1792, Humana Press, pp. 205-214.

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