Associate prof. @ dept. of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Torino, Italy
My scientific path started with the characterization of anabolic and catabolic circulating factors that associate with muscle wasting in several animal models of cancer cachexia, finding reduced IGF-1 and increased myostatin as common signs induced by tumor growth. My research provided the first evidence that tumor growth impairs the myogenic potential and that ERK inhibition rescues the myogenic capacity and partially prevents muscle depletion in tumor hosts. In parallel, I described the specific effects of tumor growth on muscle mitochondria and the ability of training exercise to revert such alterations in order to move the scientific interest from muscle mass to muscle quality, function, and metabolism. The current focus of my research has moved from a muscle centric perspective to a broad host metabolism approach, in order to understand cancer as a systemic host disease.