Institutional leadership and activities coordination

Management and Governance

Scientific Director

Alberto Auricchio

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Starting from April 2024, Alberto Auricchio is the Scientific Director of the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM) in Naples, Italy. He is also Professor of Medical Genetics at the Department of Advanced Biomedicine, University in Naples “Federico II”.
His research is focused on gene therapy of retinal and metabolic diseases using adeno-associated viral vectors. His group has contributed to the phase I/II clinical trial of Luxturna, the first approved gene therapy drug for an ocular disease, and to the development of gene therapy for mucopolysaccharidosis VI in an ongoing phase I/II trial.

Prof. Auricchio is co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in international scientific journals and inventor of several international patents on the use of viral vectors for gene therapy. Prof. Auricchio is founder, shareholder and consultant of InnovaVector and AAVantgarde Bio spin-offs. He is a member on the editorial boards of various journals and of the Executive Board of the European Society of Cell and Gene Therapy. Prof. Auricchio has received the Outstanding New Investigator Award of the American Society of Gene Therapy and the International Prize for Scientific Research “Arrigo Recordati”. Prof. Auricchio is a multi-grantee of the European Research Council.

The overall scientific management of the Institute is the primary responsibility of the Director. Prof. Auricchio oversees all the activities of the Institute and is responsible for improving and maintaining the scientific quality of TIGEM’s personnel and of the science being pursued.

Operation Manager

Flavio Castellacci

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Flavio Castellacci is TIGEM’s Operations Manager. He received an Engineering degree from the University of Naples "Federico II" and has since held various managerial roles in the automobile industry, the production of protective films, and manufacturing of instruments for both commercial construction and shipbuilding.

At TIGEM, he manages the administrative, purchasing, maintenance, general services, and safety teams.

His overall duties are
− leading, implementing and supervising the activities of the Administration and Technical Support;
− administrating and safeguarding all of TIGEM’s assets (physical assets, including facilities and equipment);
− assuming contractual responsibility for all personnel matters;
− ensuring compliance with applicable legal regulations;
− implementing improvements for administrative policies, processes and tools;
− supervision of Animal house procedures;
− liaising with Telethon Foundation administrative offices.

Chief Scientific Officer 

Graciana Diez-Roux

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After over 10 years working as a scientist in biomedicine in Argentina, US and Italy, Graciana Diez-Roux decided to tackle a new challenge to become Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at the TIGEM. Dr. Diez-Roux graduated from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina with a degree in Biology, she then moved to USA and obtained her Ph.D. from New York University in 1998.

After receiving her Ph.D., she was awarded an EMBO long-term post-doctoral fellowship to work in the Department of Molecular Biology and Pathology at the Università degli Studi di Napoli. Since 2001, Dr. Diez Roux joined TIGEM, first as a group leader, and since 2003 as Chief Scientific Officer. As CSO, Dr. Diez Roux set-up and now directs TIGEM’s Scientific office (SO), a unique structure whose main role is to facilitate and promote TIGEM’s mission and research activities. She plays a key role in creating opportunities for international and interdisciplinary collaborations, and by facilitating and enhancing partnerships and collaborations with governmental organizations, foundations and industries. She develops implements strategies to improve TIGEM’s scientific organization and to ensure that research and scientific priorities are aligned with the overall mission and goals of the organization.

Internal Advisory Board

The Internal Advisory Board (IAB) is composed of the three current Program Coordinators (Nicola Brunetti-Pierri, Antonella De Matteis and Diego di Bernardo), three Young Principal Investigators (Davide CacchiarelliPasquale Piccolo and Carmine Settembre), the Chief Scientific Officer, and chaired by the Director. This board meets monthly to address specific issues related to the Institute regarding scientific strategy, new recruitments, and management.

The IAB also advises the Director on the management of resources, purchasing of large equipment, and administrative issues. In addition, the Director may request non-permanent members who are part of the TIGEM staff to address specific issues on an ad hoc basis.

Alberto Auricchio

Scientific Director

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Nicola Brunetti- Pierri

Molecular Therapy Program Coordinator

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Graciana Diez-Roux

Chief Scientific Officer

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Davide Cacchiarelli

Associale Investigator

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Diego di Bernardo

Genomic Medicine Program Coordinator

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Pasquale Piccolo

Assistant Investigator

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Antonella De Matteis

Cell Biology & Molecular Mechanisms Program Coordinator

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Carmine Settembre

Associate Investigator

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