Area of interest:

Leopoldo Staiano graduated cum laude in Molecular Biology in 2008 and got his PhD in Model Systems in Biomedical and Veterinary research in 2012 at Federico II University in Naples working, at Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, on the evolution of thyroid function in marine invertebrates.

In 2012 he joined Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM) as postdoctoral fellow in Antonella De Matteis Laboratory working on in vitro and in vivo models of inherited kidney diseases. In 2020 he became tenured researcher at the Institute of Genetic and Biomedical Research of the CNR (IRGB-CNR) and was also appointed as Assistant Investigator (group leader) at the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM). In the last 9 years at TIGEM he contributed to the identification of the molecular mechanisms underneath kidney proximal tubule dysfunction in Lowe Syndrome, focusing on the contribution of phosphoinositides metabolism in the regulation/deregulation of intracellular membrane trafficking (such as endocytosis and autophagy) in health and diseases. In the last years, Dr. Staiano contributed to the identification of a new cellular role for OCRL (in autophagosome-lysosome fusion) and has worked on the development of microscopy-based phenotypical screening (by High Content microscopy) on kidney cells. This approach led to the identification of drugs that in Lowe cells were able to rescue disease-relevant phenotypes. Then he worked to translate the in vitro results using the mouse model of Lowe syndrome, which he also contributed to characterize. He also worked on additional projects regarding intracellular trafficking of autophagic proteins and on the regulation of key cellular functions, such as protein synthesis, in course of nutrient deprivation. Dr. Staiano also worked, in collaboration with industrial partners, to the identification of the role of the IL-8/CXCR1-2 axis in the onset and progression of Diabetic Kidney disease. He is the recipient of a Lowe Syndrome trust Grant (2018) as co-PI and a Telethon Start-up grant (2020-2023) to set up his own laboratory at TIGEM where he is currently working on the development of disease-modeled kidney organoids aiming at a fine dissection of the molecular mechanisms of proximal tubulopathies in different genetic diseases and at the evaluation of novel therapeutic strategies for rare kidney diseases. He is a member of the Italian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular biology (SIBBM), of the Italian association for Cell biology and differentiation (ABCD), and of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Most significant publications:


Gambardella, G; Staiano, L; Moretti, M N; Cegli, R De; Fagnocchi, L; Tullio, G Di; Polletti, S; Braccia, C; Armirotti, A; Zippo, A; Ballabio, A; Matteis, M A De; di Bernardo, D

GAĐĐ34 is a modulator of autophagy during starvation Journal Article

In: Sci Adv, 6 (39), 2020.


Montagna, R La; Canonico, R; Alfano, L; Bucci, E; Boffo, S; Staiano, L; Fulco, B; DÁndrea, E; Nicola, A De; Maiorano, P; DÁngelo, C; Chirico, A; Nicola, A De; Giordano, A

Genomic analysis reveals association of specific SNPs with athletic performance and susceptibility to injuries in professional soccer players Journal Article

In: J Cell Physiol, 235 (3), pp. 2139–2148, 2020.



Staiano, L; Zappa, F

Ħijacking intracellular membranes to feed autophagosomal growth Journal Article

In: FEBS Lett, 593 (22), pp. 3120–3134, 2019.


Festa, B P; Berquez, M; Gassama, A; Amrein, I; Ismail, H M; Samardzija, M; Staiano, L; Luciani, A; Grimm, C; Nussbaum, R L; Matteis, M A De; Dorchies, O M; Scapozza, L; Wolfer, D P; Devuyst, O

OCRL deficiency impairs endolysosomal function in a humanized mouse model for Lowe syndrome and Đent disease Journal Article

In: Hum Mol Genet, 28 (12), pp. 1931–1946, 2019.


Forrester, A; Leonibus, C De; Grumati, P; Fasana, E; Piemontese, M; Staiano, L; Fregno, I; Raimondi, A; Marazza, A; Bruno, G; Iavazzo, M; Intartaglia, D; Seczynska, M; van Anken, E; Conte, I; Matteis, M A De; Dikic, I; Molinari, M; Settembre, C

A selective ER-phagy exerts procollagen quality control via a Calnexin-FAM134B complex Journal Article

In: EMBO J, 38 (2), 2019.


Staiano, L; Matteis, M A De

Phosphoinositides in the kidney Journal Article

In: J Lipid Res, 60 (2), pp. 287–298, 2019.



Matteis, M A De; Staiano, L; Emma, F; Devuyst, O

Ŧhe 5-phosphatase OCRL in Lowe syndrome and Đent disease 2 Journal Article

In: Nat Rev Nephrol, 13 (8), pp. 455–470, 2017.



Leo, M G De; Staiano, L; Vicinanza, M; Luciani, A; Carissimo, A; Mutarelli, M; Campli, A Di; Polishchuk, E; Tullio, G Di; Morra, V; Levtchenko, E; Oltrabella, F; Starborg, T; Santoro, M; Bernardo, D Di; Devuyst, O; Lowe, M; Medina, D L; Ballabio, A; Matteis, M A De

Autophagosome-lysosome fusion triggers a lysosomal response mediated by ŦLR9 and controlled by OCRL Journal Article

In: Nat Cell Biol, 18 (8), pp. 839–850, 2016.



Staiano, L; Leo, M G De; Persico, M; Matteis, M A De

Mendelian disorders of PI metabolizing enzymes Journal Article

In: Biochim Biophys Acta, 1851 (6), pp. 867–881, 2015.