Professor of Pharmaceutical biology Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology
University of Ferrara
Gianni Sacchetti is full professor of Pharmaceutical biology at the department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology of the University of Ferrara (Italy).He is a member “Biochemistry, molecular biology and biotechnologies” PhD of the University of Ferrara. Since years, he has been belonging to the Società Italiana di Fitochimica and he is a peer reviewer for manuscripts submitted to be published on Journals which fit with his scientific field sector and research area (mainly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Food Chemistry).Editorial Board Member of the following journals: Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, International Journal of Biotechnology and Bioengineering.
His research activity is focused on pharmaceutical biology topics, with particular attention to general and applied pharmacognosy. In particular, Gianni Sacchetti, since the beginning of his research career, has developed studies on the production of bioactive compounds in higher plants and cultured cells, with reference to onthogenesis. The researches were performed optimizing in vitro systems culture, conventional, fluorescence and electronic microscopy coupled with histochemistry. More recent developing of the in vitro research concerns the evaluation of the biotransformation capacity of molecular synthetic models using plant cultured cells and micro-organisms with different biological characteristics with the object to obtain optically pure compounds of pharmaceutical interest from enantio-selective reactions. With reference to the phytochemical characterization of plant sources, particularly interesting for health fields, Gianni Sacchetti studies the optimization of extractive and analytical methods with the object to identify and quantify phytochemicals, trying to employ strategies to improve the interaction between solvent and plant material with Green chemistry approaches. With this aim, traditional extraction methods, coupled to sonication and supercritical fluid extraction have been developed and improved. For analytical characterizations, screening methods (TLC, HPTLC) and more exhaustive technics (HPLC, GC, GC-MS, NMR) have been performed. To the extractive and analytical studies, particular emphasis has been devoted to the biological activities of natural chemicals (phytocomplexes, their fractions and isolated molecules). These investigations have been developed employing organisms with different biological characteristics and focused on the determination of their growth, morpho-functional aspects, cytotoxicity, antioxidant activity, mutagenesis and anti-mutagenic activity of phytocomplexes, isolated fractions and pure compounds. For what concerns the determination of antioxidant activity, in vitro tests as DPPH, TLC-DPPH bioautographyc assay, beta carotene bleaching test, cytochrome c test and instrumental assays as photochemiluminescence have been optimized and combined. The research group coordinated by prof. Gianni Sacchetti has proficiency to perform assays to test antiproliferation and erythrodifferentiation activity on cancer cell lines, NF-kB interactions and gene expression, differentiation and apoptosis on osteoclasts and antiviral properties of plant derived phytocomplexes and isolated chemicals. For mutagenesis and preventing mutagenesis activity, prof. Gianni Sacchetti has contributed to the developing and application of Salmonella typhimurium Ames test, SOS Chromotest and assays which include the employment of selected Saccharomyces cerevisiae (D7) strain with a genetic assessment to detect alterations in some gene expression in relation to point mutations, gene conversion and mitotic recombination. Along years, prof. Gianni Sacchetti has also developed particular interest on ethnobotanical studies about officinal plants used in different folk medicines, employing data - acquired following traditional ethnopharmacobotanical research protocols - to better focusing his phytochemical and biological research activities toward renewed health uses of the plant sources.