Dr Francesco S di Giovine

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Medicine

Department of Infection and ImmunityPhotograph of Dr Franco di Giovine
Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Medical Research
L Floor
The University of Sheffield Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX
United Kingdom

Tel: +44(0) 114 271 2638
Fax: +44(0) 114 226 8898
Email: f.digiovine@sheffield.ac.uk
Secretary - Ms Jean Lazenby
Tel: +44 (0)114 271 2237
Email: j.lazenby@sheffield.ac.uk


I graduated in Medicine in the University of Florence (Italy) in 1982, and then entered Internal Medicine training. I was then a PhD student in the University of Edinburgj, where I gained a Ph.D (1988) in the Molecular Immunology Group, directed by Prof. Sir. Gordon W. Duff. Thesis title: The role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in Rheumatoid Arthritis (TNF and IL-1).

After a two years post-doctoral experience, in 1990 I was appointed Lecturer in the University of Sheffield and later Senior Lecturer. In year 2000 I have had a sabbatical experience in Prof. Phil Ingham´s lab, studying conditional transgenesis in zebrafish. Since year 2001 I have been the Director of the Genomic Facilities in this Faculty.

In the past I have worked on the biology, molecular biology and genetics of IL-1 and TNF in diseases. We first reported the presence of bioactive TNF in Rheumatoid joints in 1986 , and first reported a cytokine gene polymorphism in 1990. Our work pioneered the field of cytokine genetics, and established important genetic associations between IL-1 and TNF gene variants and several important inflammatory diseases. Of particular interests, we have reported association and/or linkage between the IL-1 gene cluster and periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and R.A. I am consequently a co-inventor of several international patents, based on clinical use of the predictive value of these haplotypes.

Research Interests

My research interests now lay mainly in three areas:

• Long-range mechanisms involved IL-1 locus co-regulation
• Functional implications of IL-1 locus variations.
• Novel technologies for allelic discrimination.

We have recently proved that Il-1 genes on chromosome 2 come in physical proximity during macrophage stimulation. We have identified putative Locus Control regions and will soon be testing locus function and possible epigenetic influence on activation.

Teaching Interests

I teach biochemistry to medical undergraduates, and human genetic diseases, cytokine biology and high-throughput technology to our graduate students.


For Key Publications see below. For a full list of publications click here.

Journal articles

  • Camp NJ, Cox A, di Giovine FS, McCabe D, Rich W & Duff GW (2005) Evidence of a pharmacogenomic response to interleukin-l receptor antagonist in rheumatoid arthritis.. Genes Immun, 6(6), 467-471.
  • Carter MJ, Jones S, Camp NJ, Cox A, Mee J, Warren B, Duff GW, Lobo AJ & di Giovine FS (2004) Functional correlates of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist gene polymorphism in the colonic mucosa in ulcerative colitis.. Genes Immun, 5(1), 8-15.
  • Colasante A, Aiello FB, Brunetti M & di Giovine FS (2003) Gene expression of transforming growth factor beta receptors I and II in non-small-cell lung tumors.. Cytokine, 24(5), 182-189.
  • Salvarani C, Boiardi L, Timms JM, Silvestri T, Ranzi A, Macchioni PL, Pulsatelli L & di Giovine FS (2000) Absence of the association with CC chemokine receptor 5 polymorphism in polymyalgia rheumatica.. Clin Exp Rheumatol, 18(5), 591-595.
  • Tazi Ahnini R, Camp NJ, Cork MJ, Mee JB, Keohane SG, Duff GW & di Giovine FS (1999) Novel genetic association between the corneodesmosin (MHC S) gene and susceptibility to psoriasis.. Hum Mol Genet, 8(6), 1135-1140.
  • Kornman KS & di Giovine FS (1998) Genetic variations in cytokine expression: a risk factor for severity of adult periodontitis.. Ann Periodontol, 3(1), 327-338.
  • Cox A, Camp NJ, Nicklin MJ, di Giovine FS & Duff GW (1998) An analysis of linkage disequilibrium in the interleukin-1 gene cluster, using a novel grouping method for multiallelic markers.. Am J Hum Genet, 62(5), 1180-1188.
  • di Giovine FS, Bailly S, Bootman J, Almond N & Duff GW (1994) Absence of lentiviral and human T cell leukemia viral sequences in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.. Arthritis Rheum, 37(3), 349-358.
  • Wilson AG, de Vries N, Pociot F, di Giovine FS, van der Putte LB & Duff GW (1993) An allelic polymorphism within the human tumor necrosis factor alpha promoter region is strongly associated with HLA A1, B8, and DR3 alleles.. J Exp Med, 177(2), 557-560.
  • di Giovine FS, Takhsh E, Blakemore AI & Duff GW (1992) Single base polymorphism at -511 in the human interleukin-1 beta gene (IL1 beta).. Hum Mol Genet, 1(6), 450.
  • di Giovine FS, Malawista SE, Thornton E & Duff GW (1991) Urate crystals stimulate production of tumor necrosis factor alpha from human blood monocytes and synovial cells. Cytokine mRNA and protein kinetics, and cellular distribution.. J Clin Invest, 87(4), 1375-1381.
  • di Giovine FS & Duff GW (1990) Interleukin 1: the first interleukin.. Immunol Today, 11(1), 13-20.
  • Di Giovine FS, Nuki G & Duff GW (1988) Tumour necrosis factor in synovial exudates.. Ann Rheum Dis, 47(9), 768-772.
  • Symons JA, Wood NC, Di Giovine FS & Duff GW (1988) Soluble IL-2 receptor in rheumatoid arthritis. Correlation with disease activity, IL-1 and IL-2 inhibition.. J Immunol, 141(8), 2612-2618.
  • Eastgate JA, Symons JA, Wood NC, Grinlinton FM, di Giovine FS & Duff GW (1988) Correlation of plasma interleukin 1 levels with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis.. Lancet, 2(8613), 706-709.
  • Di Giovine FS, Malawista SE, Nuki G & Duff GW (1987) Interleukin 1 (IL 1) as a mediator of crystal arthritis. Stimulation of T cell and synovial fibroblast mitogenesis by urate crystal-induced IL 1.. J Immunol, 138(10), 3213-3218.