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.

Key Publications

  1. 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.
  2. di Giovine FS, Nuki G, Duff GW (1988) "Tumor necrosis factor in synovial exudates" ANN RHEUM DIS, 47: 768-772.
  3. Symons JA, Wood NC, di Giovine FS, Duff GW (1988) "Soluble interleukin 2 receptor in rheumatoid arthritis: correlation with disease activity and interleukin 2 inhibition" J IMMUNOL, 141: 2612-2618.
  4. Eastgate JA, Symons JA, Wood NC, Grinlinton FM, di Giovine FS, Duff GW (1988)"Correlation of plasma interleukin 1 with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis" LANCET, i, 706-709.
  5. di Giovine FS, Duff GW (1990) "Interleukin 1: the first interleukin" (Review) IMMUNOL TODAY, 11:13-20.
  6. di Giovine, FS, Malawista, SE, Thornton, E, Duff, GW (1991) "Urate crystals stimulate -production of Tumour Necrosis Factor Alpha from human blood monocytes and synovial cells Cytokine mRNA and Protein kinetics, and cellular distribution" J. CLIN. INV., 87: 1375-1381.
  7. di Giovine, FS, Takhsh, E, Blakemore, AIF, Duff GW (1992) "Single base polymorphism at -511 in the human Interleukin 1 beta gene" HUMAN MOL. GENETICS, 1, 450.
  8. Wilson A G, de Vries,N., Pociot F, di Giovine F S, Van de Putte L., Duff G W (1993) "An allelic polymorphism within the human necrosis factor alphas promoter region is strongly associated with HLA A1, B8, and Dr3 alleles" J. EXP. MED, 177, 557.
  9. di Giovine, FS, Bailly S., Bootman J., Almond N., Duff, GW (1994) "Absence of lentiviral and HTLV sequences in patients with rheumatoid arthritis" ARTHRITIS RHEUM., 37, 349-358.
  10. Cox, A., Camp, NJ, Nicklin, MJH, 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: 1180-1188.
  11. Korman, KS, di Giovine, FS (1998) (Review) "Genetic Variations In Cytokine Expression: A Risk Factor For Severity Of Adult Periodontitis" ANNALS PERIODONTOL, 3: 327-338.
  12. Tazi-Ahnini R, Camp J.C., Cork, M.J., Mee J.B., Duff, G.W. , di Giovine, FS (1999) "Novel Genetic Association between the Corneodesmosin (MHC S) Gene and susceptibility to Psoriasis" HUM. MOL. GEN. 8, 1135-1140.
  13. 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 Polymialgia Rheumatica" CLIN. EXP. RHEUMATOLOGY 18, 591-5.
  14. Colasante A., Aiello FB, Brunetti M, di Giovine FS (2003). "Gene expression of TGF beta receptors I and II in non-small-cell lung tumours" CYTOKINE 24, 182-189.
  15. Carter MJ., Jones S, Camp NJ, Cox A. Mee J, Warren B, Duff GW, di Giovine FS (2004). "Functional Correlates Of The Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Gene Polymorphism In The Colonic Mucosa In Ulcerative Colitis" GENES AND IMMUNITY, 5, 8-15.
  16. 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 AND IMMUNITY, 6, 467-471.