Francesco Paolo Russo

Francesco Paolo Russo

Associate Professor

Telefono: +39 0498217024



- DIPLOMA: Leonardo Da Vinci Scientific High School 1991, Catania
- Visiting medical student: Indiana University Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology, University Hospital, Indianapolis, USA. August-September 1995
- Visiting medical student: Academic Medical Center, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. August 1996
- MEDICAL DEGREE: School of Medicine, University of Padua, conferred on October 1997


- Observer at Liver Transplantation and Hepato-Biliary Unit, Royal Free Hospital, London, 07.1998
- Residency in Gastroenterology, conferred on December 2002 University Hospital Padua, Italy
-  PhD in Hepatological Sciences, University of Padua, Italy (1.11.02- 19.12.05)
- Visiting Research Fellow Imperial College London and Cancer Research UK (20.01.03-30.09.05)
- Lecturer in Medicine/Specialist Registrar in Hepatology, Department of Medicine, St. Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College London (01.10.05-30.09.06)
- Observer, Division of Liver Disease/Laboratory of Liver Fibrosis, Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York (07.2008)
- Honorary Diploma Transplant Medicine, Modules 1,4
- Visiting professor, (Erasmus plus, Staff mobility for teaching, 2017-18 University of Edinburgh)

Assistant/Adjunct Professor of Gastroenterology/Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist since 15.12.2006

Prof. Francesco Paolo Russo is the Director of the Viral Hepatitis and Liver Fibrosis and Regeneration Research Groups, and he is involved in the Liver Transplant Program.

He has performed pioneering research into the underlying origin of scarring, or fibrosis associated with chronic liver disease. In particular he has showed for the first time, the contribution of the bone marrow derived cells during liver fibrosis.

Being a Physician Scientist, and thanks to the Padova Unievrsity Hospital and the Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology (Discog) that is a state of the art research pole, he is uniquely positioned to translate scientific knowledge to the clinic.

He has been always involved in basic and clinical liver research, since he was a resident in Gastroenterology, studying the xenoperfusion of a rat liver with human blood by intravital microscopy or the possibility to support parenchymal liver cells by acellular matrix. During his Phd he performed his research in the UK at Imperial College London, with the group of Prof. Stuart J Forbes and Prof. Malcolm R. Alison and they showed for the first time, in liver transplant patients of diverse disease etiology, a circulating population of cells of recipient origin that were present within the fibrotic liver that had a myofibroblast phenotype. After Prof. Russo came back to Italy, he set up his own laboratory as PI, and during these years he kept studying liver regeneration and repair after acute and chronic liver injury in mice and human model.

In particular he recently showed for the first time a sex-dependent difference in inflammatory responses during liver regeneration in a murine model of acute liver injury.

He thinks that gender is a modulator of disease risk and response to treatment. Women live longer than men and this difference in life expectancy is a worldwide phenomenon indicating that human longevity seems to be strongly influenced by gender, defined as the combination between biological and sexual characteristics and factors related to behavior. He uses a variety of both in vivo and in vitro models to identify key inflammatory mediators, signaling molecules regulating the activation of all the cells involved in liver repair (hepatic stellate cells, the principle fibrogenic cells in liver, hepatic progenitor cells, inflammatory cells and macrophages and endothelial cells) and the coagulation cascade.

Regarding clinical research, he is interested in clinical outcomes, translational studies, and therapeutic clinical trials for chronic hepatitis B and  C and liver transplant-related issues.


Specific Basic and Clinical/Research Interests:

- Natural history of viral hepatitis and new antiviral treatments
- Liver Transplantation
- Non-invasive methods in hepatology
- Coagulopathy and liver disease
- Gender dimorphism during acute and chronic liver injury
- Liver Regeneration and Fibrosis
- Cell therapy


ScopusAuthor ID: 36341243900
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Referee for numerous authoritative international Journals including Nature Regenerative Medicine, British Journal of Cancer, Am.J Transplantation, Transplantation, Liver Transplantation, Hepatology, J.Hepatol, Stem Cell Research and Therapy, PloSone and others.


Research prize/Award

September 1999-December 1999
European Society of Organ Transplantation Novartis Study Grant. Visitor at the Institute of Experimental Surgery in Munich. Supervisor: Prof C. Hammer. Field of interest: Xenotransplantation

AIGO-SIED-SIGE in collaboration with Ravizza, Abbott Division SPA “Stem cell for the treatment of HBV related liver disease in murine models”

June 2003 – June 2005
Sheila Sherlock Fellowship. European Association Study of the Liver. Visiting Research Fellow Department of Medicine, Section of Hepatology Imperial College London. Head of Department Prof. Howard Thomas. Supervisors: Dr. Stuart J Forbes, Prof. Malcolm R Alison. Field of interest: Stem cells in liver scaring and regeneration

November 2009
Rising star in Gastroenterology, nominated during the European Gastroenterology Conference


1. Forbes SJ* and Russo FP*, Rey V, Burra P, Rugge M, Wright NA, Alison MR. A significant proportion of myofibroblasts are of bone marrow origin in human liver fibrosis. Gastroenterology. 2004 Apr;126(4):955-63 (I.F. 12.591) *the first two authors contributed equally to this work

2. Vig P, Russo FP, Edwards RJ, Tadrous PJ, Wright NA, Alison MR, Forbes SJ. The sources of parenchymal regeneration after chronic hepatocellular liver injury in mice. Hepatology 2006;43(2):316-24.

3. Henderson NC, Mackinnon AC, Farnworth SL, Poirier F, Russo FP, Iredale JP, Haslett C, Simpson KJ, Sethi T. Galectin-3 regulates myofibroblast activation and hepatic fibrosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2006; 103(13): 5060-5065

4. F.P.Russo, MR Alison, BW Bigger, E.Amofah, A.Florou, G. Bou-Gharios, JP Iredale, SJ Forbes. The bone marrow functionally contributes to liver fibrosis. Gastroenterology. 2006 May;130(6):1807-21

5. Burra P, Arcidiacono D, Bizzaro D, Chioato T, Di Liddo R, Banerjee A, Cappon A, Bo P, Conconi MT, Parnigotto PP, Mirandola S, Gringeri E, Carraro A, Cillo U, Russo FP. Systemic administration of a novel human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells population accelerates the resolution of acute liver injury. BMC Gastroenterol. 2012 Jul 12;12:88.

6. Burra P, Germani G, Adam R, Karam V, Marzano A, Lampertico P, Salizzoni M, Filipponi F, Klempnauer JL, Castaing D, Kilic M, Carlis LD, Neuhaus P, Yilmaz S, Paul A, Pinna AD, Burroughs AK, Russo FP. Liver transplantation for HBV-related cirrhosis in Europe: an ELTR study on evolution and outcomes. J Hepatol. 2013 Feb;58(2):287-96.

7. Secchi MF, Crescenzi M, Masola V, Russo FP*, Floreani A, Onisto M. Heparanase and macrophage interplay in the onset of liver fibrosis. Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 2;7(1):14956. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14946-0. *Corresponding author

8. Zanetto A, Shalaby S, Vitale A, Mescoli C, Ferrarese A, Gambato M, Franceschet E, Germani G, Senzolo M, Romano A, Angeli P, Rugge M, Farinati F, Forton DM, Cillo U, Burra P, Russo FP. Dropout rate from the liver transplant waiting list because of hepatocellular carcinoma progression in hepatitis C virus-infected patients treated with direct-acting antivirals. Liver Transpl. 2017 Sep;23(9):1103-1112.

9. Bizzaro D, Crescenzi M, Di Liddo R, Arcidiacono D, Cappon A, Bertalot T, Amodio V, Tasso A, Stefani A, Bertazzo V, Germani G, Frasson C, Basso G, Parnigotto P, Alison MR, Burra P, Conconi MT, Russo FP. Sex-dependent differences in inflammatory responses during liver regeneration in a murine model of acute liver injury. Clin Sci (Lond). 2018 Jan 25;132(2):255-272.

10. Russo FP, Zanetto A, Campello E, Bulato C, Shalaby S, Spiezia L, Gavasso S, Franceschet E, Radu C, Senzolo M, Burra P, Lisman T, Simioni P. Reversal of hypercoagulability in patients with HCV-related cirrhosis after treatment with direct-acting antivirals. Liver Int. 2018 May 8. doi: 10.1111/liv.13873.

Clinical Trials

2009-2012 Global Observational Cohort Study on the prediction of unwanted adverse effects in individuals infected with chronic hepatitis C receiving a long-acting interferon plus ribavirin (GUARD-C, Studio MV22255)

2010-2012 Prescription patterns of Sebivo in selected European countries

2013 A phase 4, blood sample collection study for exploratory evaluation of the association on single nucleotide polymorphism with treatment responses from subjects with HBe-antigen positive or negative chronic hepatitis B, who received therapy for hepatitis B, with peginterferon alfa-2a 40KD (PEG-IFN)+nucleos(t)ide analogue (studio ML28470, EUDRACT: 2013-001141)

2012 Cross-sectional multicentre study evaluating the IL28B polymorphism in patients with HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B treated with pegylated interferon alfa-2a in the course of Peg.Be Liver study. (Studio ML28470, Eudract: 2010-002777-56)

2011-2014 Multicenter, open-label, early access program of telaprevir in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin in genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C subjects with severe fibrosis and compensated cirrhosis (Studio VX-950HEP3002, EudraCT: 2010-023669-23)

2014-2015 An observational Study to evaluate effectiveness, safety and associated costs in patients with chronic hepatitis C, treated with telaprevir-based regimen, according to the clinical practice in Italy-STIly         

Industrial funding

Evaluation of new circulating biomarkers in patients with HCV-related disease undergoing IFNfree

Therapy (Abbvie).