skip to content

MRC Toxicology Unit


Gerry Melino is Programme Lead for the The p53/p73 family and cytotoxicity programme



Gerry, following his MD (Rome), PhD (London) and Honorary Dr Sci (St Petersburg), working both at the Cambridge’s MRC Toxicology Unit and at the University Tor Vergata of Rome, has created a scientific interest on programmed cell death in epidermal and cancer models, and in particular on the p53 family - p63 and p73, where his contribution has been fundamental.  Awarded several prizes (in Rome, Shanghai, New Orleans, Cyprus, St Petersburg, Honolulu), his work has generated 43203 citations (GS: H-index 96; Scopus: 28159 cites, 79 H-index). Since 1994, Gerry has created three highly respected scientific journals as CDDpress, within Springer Nature.

Understanding the molecular mechanisms of cancer is a major challenge for Dr Melino, focusing on the family members of the tumour suppressor p53, namely p73 and p63. He identified 8 splicing isoforms of p73, its involvement in DNA damage response, transcriptional regulation, degradation pathways, and mechanisms of killing. His group has developed knockout mouse models to understand the biology of TAp73 and DNp73 isoforms, allowing the understanding of their neuronal involvement as well as in infertility. Concerning the characterization of the evolutionarily-conserved p63 gene, Gerry’s pioneering work focuses on skin development, apoptosis, transcriptional regulation, degradation pathway, infertility, senescence and cancer metastasis.


Key publications: 

GM has over 500 publications in Nature (6x), PNAS-USA (27x), Oncogene (33x), Genes Dev (5x), Nature Reviews (3x), TiBS/TCB (5x), J Cell Biol (1x), Nature Commun (2x), Nature Med (1x), Cancer Cell (2x), Embo J (3x), J Exp Med (4x), J Invest Dermatol (16x), Cancer Res (7x), Cell Death Differ (69x), Cell Death Dis (22x), Cell Cycle (29x), Oncotarget (22x), Aging (Albany NY) (8x), FEBS Lett (6x), Biochem Pharmacol (7x), Biochem J (3x), Diabetes (2x), Hum Mutat (2x), Biochem Biophys Res Commun (46x), Autophagy (3x), Stem Cells (1x), Embo Mol Med (1x), J Cell Sci (4x), Mol Neurobiol (6x), Gastroenterology (1x), Circulation (1x), J Immunol (4x), Int J Cancer (4x), …. Others

Other publications: 

Amelio I, Mancini M, Petrova V, Cairns RA, Vikhreva P, Nicolai S, Marini A, Antonov AA, Le Quesne J, Acevedo JDB, Dudek K, Sozzi G, Pastorino U, Knight RA, Mak TW, Melino G.
p53 mutants co-operate with HIF-1 in transcriptional regulation of extracellular matrix components to promote tumour progression.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2018.  Submitted


Pieraccioli M, Nicolai S, Pitolli C, Agostini M, Antonov A, Malewicz M, Knight RA, Raschellà G, Melino G.
ZNF281 inhibits neuronal differentiation and is a prognostic marker for neuroblastoma
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2018.  In press


Marini A, Rotblat B, Sbarrato T, Niklison-Chirou MV, Knight JRP, Dudek K, Jones C, Bushell M, Knight RA, Amelio I, Willis AE, Melino G.
TAp73 contributes to the oxidative stress response by regulating protein synthesis
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2018.  In press


Di Rita A, Peschiaroli A, Gruber J, Dötsch V, Nygaard M, Lambrughi M, Papaleo E, Dengjel J, El Alaoui S, Youle R, Rogov VV, Melino G, Strappazzon F, Cecconi F
The E3 ubiquitin ligase HUWE1 promotes PINK1/PARKIN-independent mitophagy by regulating AMBRA1 activation, through IKKa.
Nature Comms. 2018.  In press


Sanarico AG, Ronchini C, Croce A, Memmi EM, Cammarata UA, De Antoni A, Lavorgna S, Divona M, Giacò L, Melloni GEM, Brendolan A, Simonetti G, Martinelli G, Mancuso P, Bertolini F, Coco FL, Melino G, Pelicci PG, Bernassola F.
The E3 ubiquitin ligase WWP1 sustains the growth of acute myeloid leukaemia.
Leukemia. 2018. doi: 10.1038/leu.2017.342.


Melino G.
Order must spring from chaos in Italy.
Nature. 2018. 436:556.


Compagnone M, Gatti V, Presutti D, Ruberti G, Fierro C, Markert EK, Vousden KH, Zhou H, Mauriello A, Anemone L, Bongiorno-Borbone L, Melino G, Peschiaroli A.
ΔNp63-mediated regulation of hyaluronic acid metabolism and signaling supports HNSCC tumorigenesis.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2017 Dec 12;114(50):13254-13259. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1711777114.


Niklison-Chirou MV, Erngren I, Engskog M, Haglöf J, Picard D, Remke M, McPolin PHR, Selby M, Williamson D, Clifford SC, Michod D, Hadjiandreou M, Arvidsson T, Pettersson C, Melino G, Marino S.
TAp73 is a marker of glutamine addiction in medulloblastoma.
Genes Dev. 2017. 31(17):1738-1753. doi: 10.1101/gad.302349.117.

Programme Leader - The p53/p73 family and cytotoxicity

Telephone and Email

Department of Pathology
University of Cambridge
Tennis Court Road