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Michele Vacca, MD, PhD, Research Fellow

+44 (0) 1223 437556


Michele is a Senior Clinician Scientist at the Medical Research Council – Human Nutrition Research (MRC-HNR) and research fellow in the TVP Lab. After his medical studies at the University of Bari (Italy, 2002), Michele specialised in Internal Medicine (2008) and completed his PhD in Oncology and Molecular and Clinical Pathology at the University of Chieti-Pescara (Italy) in 2012 (Topic: Nor-1 is a primary hepatic mitogen).  From 2008 to 2014 Michele was also research fellow of the Consorzio Mario Negri Sud (Italy), and visiting clinician at the Ambulatory of Clinical Nutrition, Clinica Medica Murri, University of Bari.

Michele’s main clinical interest lies in the area of obesity, particularly the interaction between nutrition, obesity and the development of cardio-metabolic disease. His main scientific interest is the role of Nuclear Receptors and miRNAs in the modulation of metabolism, metabolic disease, cell proliferation and cancer.


Key Publications and Reviews:

1. Vacca M, Murzilli S, Salvatore L, Di Tullio G, D’Orazio A, Lo Sasso G, Graziano G, Pinzani M, Chieppa M, Mariani-Costantini R, Palasciano G, Moschetta A. Neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 promotes proliferation of quiescent hepatocytes. Gastroenterology 2013;144:1518-1529. (IF2012: 12.821) – PMID: 23462179

2. Vacca M, Degirolamo C, Massafra V, Polimeno L, Mariani-Costantini R, Palasciano G, Moschetta A. Nuclear receptors in regenerating liver and hepatocellular carcinoma. Mol Cell Endocrinol 2013;368:108-119. (IF2012: 4.039) – PMID: 22789748

3. D’Amore S, Vacca M, Graziano G, D’Orazio A, Cariello M, Martelli N, Di Tullio G, Salvia R, Grandaliano G, Belfiore A, Pellegrini F, Palasciano G, Moschetta A. Nuclear receptors expression chart in peripheral blood mononuclear cells identifies patients with Metabolic Syndrome. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Dec;1832 (12):2289-301. (IF2012: 4.910) – PMID: 24060638

4. Cama A, Verginelli F, Lotti LV, Napolitano F, Morgano A, D’Orazio A, Vacca M, Perconti S, Pepe F, Romani F, Vitullo F, di Lella F, Visone R, Mannelli M, Neumann HPH, Raiconi G, Paties C, Moschetta A, Tagliaferri R, Veronese A, Sanna M, Mariani-Costantini R. Integrative Genetic, Epigenetic And Pathological Analysis Of Paraganglioma Reveals Complex Dysregulation Of Notch Signaling. Acta Neuropathologica 2013; 126(4): 575-94. (IF2012: 9.734) – PMID: 23955600

5. Lo Sasso G, Bovenga F, Murzilli S, Salvatore L, Di TG, Martelli N, D’Orazio A, Rainaldi S, Vacca M, Mangia A, Palasciano G, Moschetta A. Liver x receptors inhibit proliferation of human colorectal cancer cells and growth of intestinal tumors in mice. Gastroenterology 2013;144:1497-1507. (IF2012: 12.821) – PMID: 23419360

6. Lo Sasso G, Celli N, Caboni M, Murzilli S, Salvatore L, Morgano A, Vacca M, Pagliani T, Parini P, Moschetta A. Down-regulation of the LXR transcriptome provides the requisite cholesterol levels to proliferating hepatocytes. Hepatology 2010;51:1334-1344. (IF2010: 11.044) – PMID: 20044803

7. Vacca M, Degirolamo C, Mariani-Costantini R, Palasciano G, Moschetta A. Lipid-sensing nuclear receptors in the pathophysiology and treatment of the metabolic syndrome. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med 2011;3:562-587. (IF2011: 2.941) – PMID: 21755605

8. Vacca M, Krawczyk M, Petruzzelli M, Sasso RC, Van Erpecum KJ, Palasciano G, van Berge-Henegouwen GP, Moschetta A, Portincasa P. Current treatments of primary sclerosing cholangitis. Curr Med Chem 2007;14:2081-2094. (IF2007: 4.944) – PMID: 17691949


Key oral Presentations:

1. Vacca M, Di Eusanio M, Graziano G, Petridis FD, D’Orazio A, Salvatore L, Tamburro A, Folesani G, D’Amore S, Pellegrini F, Di Bartolomeo R, Palasciano G, Moschetta A. Epicardial Adipose Tissue Transcriptomics in Coronary Atherosclerosis. 54th International Conference on the Biosciences of Lipids (ICBL) – Bari (Italy). 19 September 2013

2. Vacca M. Neuron-Derived Orphan Receptor 1 Acts as a Switch that Allows Proliferation in Quiescent Hepatocytes. Keystone Symposium “Nuclear Receptors and Friends: Roles in Energy Homeostasis and Metabolic Dysfunction (D3)” – Alpbach Congress Centrum • Alpbach, Austria – 5 April 2013

3.  Vacca M, Di Eusanio M, Petridis FD, Graziano G, D’Orazio A, Folesani G, D’Amore S, Di Bartolomeo R, Palasciano G, Moschetta A. Gene expression analysis of epicardial adipose tissue identifies lipid-sensing nuclear receptor pathways in coronary artery disease. In: 26° National Congress S.I.S.A (Italian Society for the study of Atherosclerosis), Roma, Italy. 28-30 November 2012 (“Best presentation” Prize)

4. Vacca M, Lo Sasso G, Murzilli S, D’Orazio A, Salvatore L, Morgano A, Graziano G, Palasciano G, Mariani-Costantini R & Moschetta A. “Signature of nuclear receptors transcriptome during liver regeneration”. Young investigator Award presentation during The 5th Congress of the International Society of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics (ISNN). Beijing, China, October 16-18/10/2011


Fellowships, Honours, and Awards:

(2014) Post-Doctoral Fellowship of the Fondazione Umberto Veronesi;

(2013) “Best presentation” award at the National Congress of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine (SIMI). Rome, Italy;

(2012) Uliveto Research Prize of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine (SIMI), Rome, Italy;

(2012) “Best presentation” award at the annual meeting of the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis (SISA). Rome, Italy;

(2011) Young investigator Award, International Society of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics (ISNN),  Beijing, China;

(2009) Young Investigator Award of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine (SIMI), Rome, Italy;

(2008) Travel grant of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine (SIMI) for the  European School of Internal Medicine (Lisboa, Portugal);

(2007) Travel Grant for the Annual Meeting of the European Society Clinical Investigation. Uppsala, Sweden;



Funding acknowledgements: