Dr. Roberto Furlan MD, PhD

Roberto Furlan graduated in medicine at the University of Milano in 1991
After the MD degree, in 1992 he was visiting scientist in the Department of Neurology from the University of Chicago, working on HTLV-I.
The following year (1993) he completed e research project on HTLV-I in the Clinical Laboratories of the Sao Rafael Hospital in Salvador-Bahia, in Brazil.
From 1994 to 1995 he worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, U.S.A. on HSV-1-mediated gene therapy of the central nervous system.

Using HSV-1-derived vectors he performed gene therapy studies in multiple sclerosis models and in 2001 he obtained his PhD at the Open University of London working in the Neuroimmunology Unit of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

Since 2001 tenure-track research assistant Senior scientist in the Neuroimmunology Unit of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, he completed in 2007 the residency in neurology.
Since 2004, non-tenured professor at Vita e Salute San Raffaele University, Milan.
Since 2009, Group leader and then Head of Unit of the Clinical Neuroimmunology Unit, Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan.
Since 2011 Secretary treasurer of the International Society of NeuroImmunology.
Since 2013 Academic Editor for Plos One.
Since 2017 Deputy Director of the Institute of Experimental Neurology – INSpe, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan.

He has published over 140 papers on peer reviewed international journals. Current H-index = 49, 35 in the last five years.

Selected publications:

  1. Furlan R, Martino G, Galbiati F, Poliani PL, Smiroldo S, Bergami A, Desina G, Comi G, Flavell R, Su MS, Adorini L. Caspase-1 regulates the inflammatory process leading to autoimmune demyelination. J. Immunol. 1999 163:2403-2409
  2. Del Maschio A, De Luigi A, Martin-Padura I, Brockhaus M, Bartfai T, Fruscella P, Adorini L, Martino G, Furlan R, De Simoni MG, Dejana E. Leukocyte recruitment in the cerebrospinal fluid of mice with experimental meningitis is inhibited by an antibody to Junctional Adhesion Molecule (JAM). J. Ex. Med. 1999;190:1351-1356
  3. Furlan R, Brambilla E, Ruffini F, Poliani PL, Bergami A, Marconi PC, Franciotta DM, Penna G, Comi G, Adorini L, Martino G. Intrathecal delivery of IFNg protects C57BL/6 mice from chronic-progressive experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by increasing apoptosis of CNS-infiltrating lymphocytes. J. Immunol. 2001; 167:1821-1829
  4. Martino G, Furlan R, Comi G, Adorini L. The ependymal route to access the central nervous system: an emerging immuno-gene therapy approach to multiple sclerosis. Trends Immunol. 2001; 22:483-490
  5. Furlan R, Brambilla E, Sanvito F, Roccatagliata L, Olivieri S, Bergami A, Pluchino S, Uccelli A, Comi G, Martino G. Vaccination with amyloid-beta peptide induces autoimmune encephalomyelitis in C57BL/6 mice. Brain. 2003; 126:285-291.
  6. Pluchino S, Quattrini A, Brambilla E, Gritti A, Salani G, Dina G, Galli R, Bergami A, Furlan R, Delcarro U, Amadio S, Comi G, Vescovi Al, Martino G. Intravenous and intracerebroventricular injection of adult neurospheres induces clinical recovery in a chronic model of multiple sclerosis. Nature 2003; 422:688-694
  7. Furlan R, Bergami A, Cantarella D, Brambilla E, Taniguchi M, Dellabona P, Casorati G, Martino G. Activation of invariant NKT cells by a-GalCer administration protects mice from MOG35-55-induced EAE: a critical role for administration route and IFNg. Eur J Immunol. 2003; 33:1830-1838.
  8. Furlan R. MBP-specific experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in C57BL/6 mice. J Immunol. 2004 173:5
  9. Pluchino S, Zanotti L, Rossi B, Brambilla E, Ottoboni L, Salani G, Martinello M, Cattalini A, Bergami A, Furlan R, Comi G, Constantin G, Martino G. Neurosphere-derived multipotent precursors promote long-lasting neuroprotection by an immunomodulatory mechanism. Nature 2005 436:266-271
  10. Rovaris M, Confavreux C, Furlan R, Kappos L, Comi G, Filippi M. Secondary progressive MS: current knowledge and future challenges. Lancet Neurol. 2006 5:343-354.
  11. Furlan R, Bergami A, Brambilla E, Butti E, De Simoni Mg, Campagnoli M, Marconi PC, Comi G, Martino G. HSV-1-mediated IL-1 receptor antagonist gene therapy ameliorates MOG35-55 induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in C57BL/6 mice. Gene Ther. 2007 14:93-98.
  12. Centonze D, Bari M, Rossi S, Prosperetti C, Furlan R, Fezza F, De Chiara V, Battistini L, Bernardi G, Bernardini S, Martino G, Maccarrone M. The endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in multiple sclerosis and in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Brain 2007 30:2543-2553. (
  13. Butti E, Bergami A, Recchia A, Brambilla E, Franciotta D, Cattalini A, Stornaiuolo A, Comi G, Mavilio F, Martino G, Furlan R. Absence of an intrathecal immune reaction to a HD adenoviral vector delivered into the cerebrospinal fluid of non-human primates. Gene Ther. 2008 15: 233-238.
  14. Centonze D, Muzio L, Rossi S, Cavasinni F, De Chiara V, Bergami A, Musella A, D’amelio M, Cavallucci V, Martorana A, Bergamaschi A, Cencioni Mt, Butti E, Comi G, Bernardi G, Cecconi F, Battistini L, Furlan R, Martino G. Inflammation triggers synaptic alteration and degeneration in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Neurosci. 2009 29:3442-52.
  15. Esposito M, Ruffini F, Bergami A, Garzetti L, Borsellino G, Battistini L, Martino G, Furlan R. IL-17 and IFN-g secreting FoxP3+ T cells infiltrate the target tissue in experimental autoimmunity. J Immunol. 2010 185:7467-73
  16. Dalla Libera D, Di Mitri D, Bergami A, Centonze D, Gasperini C, Grasso MG, Galgani S, Martinelli V, Comi G, Martino G, Borsellino G, Sallusto F, Battistini L, Furlan G. T regulatory cells are markers of disease activity in MS patients. PloS One. 2011 6:e21386
  17. Verderio C, Muzio L, Turola E, Bergami A, Novellino L, Ruffini F, Riganti L, Corradini I, Francolini M, Garzetti L, Maiorino C, Servida F, Vercelli A, Dalla Libera D, Martinelli V, Comi G, Martino G, Matteoli M, Furlan R. Myeloid microvesicles are a marker and therapeutic target for neuroinflammation. Ann. Neurol. 2012 72:610-624
  18. Maiorino C, Khorooshi RMH, Ruffini F, Løbner M, Bergami A, Garzetti L, Martino G, Owens T, Furlan R. IL-25 protects from neuroinflammation by modulating microglia. Gene Ther. 2013 20:487-496
  19. Joshi P, Turola E, Ruiz A, Bergami A, Dalla Libera D, Benussi L, Giussani P, Magnani G, Comi G, Ghidoni R, Legname G, Furlan R, Matteoli M, Verderio C. Microglia convert aggregated amyloid-β into neurotoxic forms through the shedding of microvesicles. Cell Death Differ. 2013 doi: 10.1038/cdd.2013.180
  20. Garzetti L, Menon R, Finardi A, Bergami A, Sica A, Martino G, Comi G, Verderio C, Farina C, Furlan R. Activated macrophages release microvesicles containing polarized M1 or M2 mRNAs. J Leuk Biol. 2013 PMID: 24379213
  21. Agosta F, Dalla Libera D, Gioele Spinelli E, Finardi A, Canu E, Bergami A, Bocchio Chiavetto L, Baronio M, Comi G, Martino G, Matteoli M, Magnani G, Verderio C, Furlan R. Myeloid microvesicles in CSF are associated with myelin damage and neuronal loss in mild cognitive impairment and alzheimer disease. Ann. Neurol. 2014 doi: 10.1002/ana.24235
  22. Arnò B, Grassivaro F, Rossi C, Bergamaschi A, Castiglioni V, Furlan R, Greter M, Favaro R, Comi G, Becher B, Martino G, Muzio L. Neural progenitor cells orchestrate microglia migration and positioning into the developing cortex. Nat Commun. 2014 Nov 26;5:5611. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6611.
  23. Graziano F, Desdouits M, Garzetti L, Podini P, Alfano M, Rubartelli A, Furlan R, Benaroch P, Poli G. Extracellular ATP induces the rapid release of HIV-1from virus containing compartments of human macrophages. PNAS. 2015 112(25):E3265-73. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1500656112
  24. Casella G, Finardi A, Descamps H, Colombo F, Maiorino C, Ruffini F, Patrone M, Degano M, Martino G, Muzio L, Becher B, Furlan R. IL-27, but not IL-35, inhibits neuroinflammation through modulating GM-CSF expression. Scientific Reports. 2017 7:16547. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-16702-w
  25. Colombo F, Bastoni M, Nigro A, Podini P, Finardi A, Casella G, Ramesh M, Farina C, Verderio C, Furlan R. Cytokines stimulate the release of microvesicles from myeloid cells independently from the P2X7-receptor/acid sphingomyelinase pathway. Front. Immunol. In press.