You are here:Home / Research / Piergiuseppe De Berardinis

Piergiuseppe De Berardinis

Research Focus : New strategies for targeted immunotherapy

Two major projects are carried out in the lab: 

1)    Development of new antigen delivery systems.

We mainly work on the phage display platform as a vehicle able to induce antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells and we perform the analysis of the in vitro and in vivo immune response to the delivered antigens, using wild type and transgenic mouse models. We have demonstrated that the administration of recombinant bacteriophage displaying tumor-associated antigens is able to generate protective immune response inhibiting tumor growth in animal models. We also have engineered fd vectors for targeting dendritic cells, and reported the ability of bacteriophage particles, delivered to dendritic cells via the C-type lectin receptor DEC-205, to confer adjuvanticity and activate both innate and adaptive immune responses. 

2)    Guided TCR pairing.

Cellular therapy using T cells transduced with TCR genes specific for relevant pathogens is an appealing therapeutic strategy. A major limitation is caused by the formation of hybrid TCR molecules between the transduced and the endogenous TCR chains, which may have unpredictable specificity with potential autoreactivity. To prevent that, we have developed a technology based on transmembrane modifications of alpha and beta TCR chains. Preclinal data indicate that this technique, which requires minimal manipulation, is able to promote the correct pairing of the transferred TCR chains, and thus may have relevance for translational application in adoptive T cell therapy.



Recent Key Patents and Publications


  • Rossella Sartorius, Piergiuseppe De Berardinis: “Coniugati fagici e loro usi”.
    Patent application n.102017000009270. Data di deposito: 27/01/2017
  • D'Apice L, Costa V, Sartorius R, Trovato M, Aprile M, De Berardinis P.
    Stimulation of Innate and Adaptive Immunity by Using Filamentous Bacteriophage fd Targeted to DEC-205.
    J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:585078. doi: 10.1155/2015/585078. Epub 2015 Aug 26
  •  Sartorius R, D’Apice L, Trovato M, Cuccaro F, Costa V, De Leo MG, Marzullo VM, Biondo C, D’Auria S, De Matteis MA, Ciccodicola A, De Berardinis P. Antigen delivery by filamentous bacteriophage fd displaying an anti-DEC-205 single-chain variable fragment confers adjuvanticity by triggering a TLR9-mediated immune response.
    Embo Molecular Medicine (2015) Apr 17. pii:e2011404525. Doi:10.15252/emmm.2014042525

  • Luciana D’Apice, Umbero Oreste, Piergiuseppe De Bereradinis:
    “T cell receptors”:. PCT/EP2015/075607 (2015) ;
    International patent application n. WO2016/071343. Data di pubblicazione: 12/05/2016

  • Prisco Antonella, De Berardinis Piergiuseppe, De Falco Diana, Caivano Antonella:
    “Multimeric proteins able to induce an antibody response against the beta-amyloid and use  thereof”.  
    European patent: n.2238160. Data rilascio: 07/01/2016

  • Mantile F, Trovato M, Santoni A, Barba P, Ottonello S, De Berardinis P, Prisco A.
    Alum and Squalene-Oil-in-Water Emulsion enhance the titer and avidity of Anti-Ab antibodies induced by Multimeric Protein Antigen (I-11)E2, preserving the IgG1-skewed isotype distribution. Plos One (2014) Jul 1;9(7):e101474. Doi:10.1371/journal .pone 0101474.

  • Krebs SJ, Mc Burney S, Kovarik DN, Smith C, Jaworsky JP, Sutton WF, Trovato M, Waagmeester G, Barnett SJ, De Berardinis P, Haigwood N.
    Multimeric scaffolds displaying the HIV-1 envelope MPER induce MPER-specific antibodies and cross-neutralizing antibodies when co-immunized with gp 160. Plos One (2014) Dec 16;9(12):e113463. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone 0113463.




1989PhD University of London (UK)
1985Specialization in Clinical Immunology , University of Rome (Italy)
1981MD University of Rome (Italy)

Research Experience

2001-present   Senior Scientist at the “Institute of Protein Biochemistry” C.N.R. Naples, Italy
1994EMBO Fellowship, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
1990-2001Researcher at the “Institute of Protein Biochemistry” C.N.R. Naples, Italy
1985-1989Research Assistant at the “Charing Cross Sunley research Centre”, London, UK

Scientific Appointments and Memberships

2015-present         Member of the Editorial Board of "Immunology Letters", "BMC Microbiology" and other scientific journ
2013-2016Invited visiting Scientist at the “Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro”, Brasil
2011-presentMember of the Faculty of PhD course “Biomolecular Sciences”,  II° University of Naples, Italy
2008-2014   Member of the Board of Directors of the Italian Society of Immunology (SIICA)
2006 CNR, Italy: P.I. of “commessa” SV.P03.006 (“New vaccines design”)
2005CNR, Italy :  Project Research Adviser “Esperto in gestione Progettuale”

See CV in pdf * format for more details     



Piergiuseppe Deberardinis               Group Leader  
Luciana D’Apice Researcher     
Rossella Sartorius  Researcher
Deborah Cipria Phd Student
Fausta Cuccaro

Guest (IRBM Junior Researcher)