• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

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Sapienza University of Rome
Istitute of Molecular Biology and Pathology CNR
Istitute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - National Research Council Department of Biology and Biotecnology - Charles Darwin Sapienza University of Rome - Istituto Genetica basement room 015 - P.Le A.Moro 5 00185 Roma
My research activity is mainly focused on the study of the genetic determinants of aging and human longevity, by following two specular lines of research. On the one hand, investigate susceptibility genes for age-related complex neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Mild Cgnitive Impairment (MCI)., which prevent the achievement of advanced ages. On the other, to investigate which genes, interacting with some non-genetic factors, can predispose to longevity,i.e. to reach the extreme ages (90-100 years).
Telomere shortening has been associated with aging of organisms, in humans the length of telomeres, is measured most often in leukocytes (Leukocyte Telomere Lengths LTL), is inversely proportional to age. More recently, I investigated the relationship between LTL and AD development, including in the analysis patients with MCI, a clinical entity considered prodromal of AD. Clarifying this relationship, could help define biomarkers useful for measuring progression of the disease, with applications in clinical practice. In fact, the possibility of detecting and following the disease before the onset of the most serious symptoms, could provide a window of opportunity for actions aimed at preventing or delaying the disease.
1. Scarabino D., Gambina G., Broggio E., Corbo R.M Leukocyte telomere length in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease patients. Exp Gerontol. 2017 Nov;98:143-147. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2017.08.025. Epub 2017 Aug 19.              

Scarabino D, Broggio E, Gambina G, Pelliccia F., Corbo RM. Common variants of human TERT and TERC genes and susceptibility to sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Exp Gerontol. 2017 Feb;88:19-24. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2016.12.017. Epub 2016 Dec 27.

 Scarabino D, Broggio E, Gambina G, Maida C, Gaudio MR, Corbo RM. Apolipoprotein E genotypes and plasma levels in mild cognitive impairment conversion to Alzheimer's disease: A follow-up study. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2016 Dec;171(8):1131-1138. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.32495.

4. Scarabino D, Gambina G, Broggio E, Pelliccia F, Corbo RM. Influence of family history of dementia in the development and progression of late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2016 Mar;171B(2):250-6. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.32399.

5. Scarabino D, Scacchi R, Pinto A, Corbo RM. Genetic Basis of the Relationship Between Reproduction and Longevity: A Study on Common Variants of Three Genes in Steroid Hormone Metabolism--CYP17, HSD17B1, and COMT. Rejuvenation Res. 2015 Oct;18(5):464-72. doi: 10.1089/rej.2015.1665. Epub 2015 Sep 29.

6. Corbo RM, Gambina G, Broggio E,
Scarabino D, Scacchi R. Association study of two steroid biosynthesis genes (COMT and CYP17) with Alzheimer's disease in the Italian population. Neurol Sci. 2014 Sep 15;344(1-2):149-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jns. 2014.06.045. Epub 2014 Jun 29.

7. Putti S, Calandra P, Rossi N,
Scarabino D, Deidda G, Tocchini-Valentini GP. Highly efficient, in vivo optimized, archaeal endonuclease for controlled RNA splicing in mammalian cells. FASEB J. 2013 Sep;27(9):3466-77. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-231993. Epub 2013 May 16.

8. Morgan H, Beck T, Blake A, Gates H, Adams N, Debouzy G, Leblanc S, Lengger C, Maier H, Melvin D, Meziane H, Richardson D, Wells S, White J, Wood J; EUMODIC Consortium, de Angelis MH, Brown SD, Hancock JM, Mallon AM.
EuroPhenome: a repository for high-throughput mouse phenotyping data. Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Jan;38(Database issue):D577-85. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkp1007. Epub 2009 Nov 23.

9. Zamboni M,
Scarabino D, Tocchini-Valentini GP. Splicing of mRNA mediated by tRNA sequences in mouse cells. RNA. 2009 Dec;15(12):2122-8. doi: 10.1261/rna.1841609. Epub 2009 Oct 22.

Scarabino D, Crisari A, Lorenzini S, Williams K, Tocchini-Valentini GP. tRNA prefers to kiss. EMBO J. 1999 Aug 16;18(16):4571-8.

11. Scarabino D, Tocchini-Valentini GP. Influence of substrate structure on cleavage by hammerhead ribozyme. FEBS Lett. 1996 Apr 1;383(3):185-90.

12. Cremisi F,
Scarabino D, Carluccio MA, Salvadori P, Barsacchi G. A newt ribozyme: a catalytic activity in search of a function. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Mar 1;89(5):1651-5.

















Within IBPM:
Rosa Maria Corbo,  IBPM associate, Sapienza  University  of Rome, Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie Charles Darwin

External collaborations:

Gambina G., Brogio E.,(Alzheimer's Disease Center, Department of Neuroscience, University and Hospital of Verona)

Businaro R. (Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University)

Maida C., Gaudio M.R. S. Giovanni –(Addolorata Hospital, Rome)

Mantuano E.,Veneziano L., (CNR Institute of Translational Pharmacology (IFT))






1986-1989: PhD Fellowship in Applied Molecular Sciences at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa,Biotechnologies Programme.                                       

1984: Degree in Biology cum Laude, Sapienza University, Rome. 

Research positions

2017- to date: CNR Researcher, Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology (IBPM), Rome. 

2003-2017: CNR Researcher,Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology (IBCN) Campus “A.Buzzati-Traverso”, Monterotondo (Rome).

1999-2002: Researcher (permanent position) ENITECNOLOGIE SpA (ENI Group) Monterotondo (Rome).

Researcher (permanent position) ENI-CNR Biotechnology Laboratories Monterotondo (Rome).


1988-1989: Visiting researcher at University of California, Berkeley (Ca, USA), (lab head: Ignatio  Tinoco) 


1986-1989: PhD student, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (lab head: Giuseppina Barsacchi)


1985. Post-graduate training at the Center of Evolutionary Genetics, CNR, Rome