Francesco Giorgianni, PhD
Francesco Giorgianni, PhD, is assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis, TN. He completed his postdoctoral studies in the field of molecular pharmacology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with Dr. Raymond Blakley. He worked on the development of enhanced forms of enzymes to be used in gene therapy treatment of pediatric cancers. After his training at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Dominic Desiderio, one of the pioneers and world experts in the field of biological mass spectrometry applied to the study of the regulatory mechanisms of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and neuroendocrine cancers. In Dr. Desiderio’s laboratory, Dr. Giorgianni developed new methods for the analysis of complex protein samples by LC-MS/MS. His work led to the discovery of various post-translationally modified forms of important hormones, including human growth hormone. As the assistant director of the UTHSC mass spectrometry core facility, Dr. Giorgianni became involved with several interdisciplinary research projects focusing on retinal degenerative disorders, including AMD. One of these collaborative projects with Dr. Alex Iannaccone, a prominent physician-scientist in the field of degenerative retinal diseases, became a turning point in Dr. Giorgianni’s scientific career. Together, they formed a multidisciplinary, synergistic partnership to tackle the mechanistic complexities of AMD and to translate new discoveries into clinical applications.