Ursini, Francesco

Research Fellow - WHRI Academy EU Cofunded Fellowship Programme

Dr. Francesco Ursini, M.D., Ph.D. trained at University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia” and graduated in 2008 with honors. In 2014, after 5 years of residency in Internal Medicine Inpatient Clinic and Rheumatology Outpatient Clinic – University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia” he obtained the title of Specialist in Internal Medicine.  In 2016, after a 4-years course started during his higher medical training, he obtained also a Ph.D. in “Molecular Oncology, Experimental Immunology and Development of Innovative Therapies”. Currently is Post-Doctoral Clinical Research Fellow in Rheumatology at the University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia” and Research Fellow of the WHRI Academy Programme (Cofunded EU Marie Curie action) in Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology lab directed by Prof. Costantino Pitzalis. 

Summary of Research

Dr. Francesco Ursini research activity involves both clinical and translational research focused on 3 major topics: cardiometabolic risk stratification in inflammatory arthritis; development of innovative therapies in systemic scleros and molecular imaging in rheumatoid arthritis.

In this regards, despite the advent of powerful biologic therapies, including monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), ~40% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) fail to respond to treatment and trial-and-error is still the basis for intervention rather than specific patients’ characteristics or likelihood of response. In the EMR lab, currently we are investigating the potential use of a novel molecular imaging approach for the stratification of response to treatment in RA patients.

Key Publications

Ursini F, Leporini C, Russo E, D'Angelo S, Tripepi G, Bruno C, Naty S, De Sarro G, Olivieri I, Grembiale RD. Anti TNF-alpha biologic agents and insulin resistance in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents, 2016 (in press)

Olivo D, Grembiale RD, Tallarigo F, Russo E, De Sarro GB, Ursini F. Kaposi’s sarcoma after T cell costimulation blockade with abatacept in rheumatoid arthritis: a case report. J Clin Pharm Ther 2017 (accepted).

Ursini F, D'Angelo S, Russo E, Arturi F, D'Antona L, Bruno C, Naty S, De Sarro G, Olivieri I, Grembiale RD. Serum complement C3 strongly correlates with whole-body insulin sensitivity in rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2016 Oct 27. PubMed PMID: 27908300.

Ursini F, Arturi F, D'Angelo S, Amara L, Nicolosi K, Russo E, Naty S, Bruno C, De Sarro G, Olivieri I, Grembiale RD. High Prevalence of Achilles Tendon Enthesopathic Changes in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Without Peripheral Neuropathy. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2016 Oct 10. PubMed PMID: 27723381.

Leporini C, Piro R, Ursini F, Maida F, Palleria C, Arturi F, Pavia M, De Sarro G, Russo E. Monitoring safety and use of old and new treatment options for type 2 diabetic patients: a two-year (2013-2016) analysis. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2016 Dec;15(sup2):17-34. PubMed PMID: 27718744.

Ursini F, D'Angelo S, Russo E, Nicolosi K, Gallucci A, Chiaravalloti A, Bruno  C, Naty S, De Sarro G, Olivieri I, Grembiale RD. Complement C3 Is the Strongest Predictor of Whole-Body Insulin Sensitivity in Psoriatic Arthritis. PLoS One. 2016 Sep 22;11(9):e0163464. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163464. PubMed PMID: 27656896; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5033360.

Chiaravalloti A, Fiorentini A, Ursini F, Martorana A, Koch G, Belli L, Torniolo S, Di Pietro B, Motta C, Schillaci O. Is cerebral glucose metabolism related to blood-brain barrier dysfunction and intrathecal IgG synthesis in Alzheimer disease?: A 18F-FDG PET/CT study. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Sep;95(37):e4206. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000004206. PubMed PMID: 27631200.

Ursini F, D'Angelo S, Padula A, Gilio M, Russo E, Naty S, De Sarro G, Grembiale RD, Olivieri I. Retrospective analysis of type 2 diabetes prevalence in a systemic sclerosis cohort from southern Italy: Comment on "Reduced incidence of Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes in systemic sclerosis: A nationwide cohort study" by Tseng et al., Joint Bone Spine 2016;83:307-13. Joint Bone Spine. 2016 Oct;83(5):611-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2016.07.006. PubMed PMID: 27622312.

Ursini F, Grembiale RD, D'Antona L, Gallo E, D'Angelo S, Citraro R, Visca P, Olivieri I, De Sarro G, Perrotti N, Russo E. Oral Metformin Ameliorates Bleomycin-Induced Skin Fibrosis. J Invest Dermatol. 2016 Sep;136(9):1892-4. doi:  10.1016/j.jid.2016.05.097. PubMed PMID: 27251791.

Ursini F, Russo E, D'Angelo S, Arturi F, Hribal ML, D'Antona L, Bruno C, Tripepi G, Naty S, De Sarro G, Olivieri I, Grembiale RD. Prevalence of Undiagnosed Diabetes in Rheumatoid Arthritis: an OGTT Study. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Feb;95(7):e2552. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000002552. PubMed PMID: 26886599; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4998599.

Leporini C, Degli Esposti L, Sangiorgi D, Ursini F, Scicchitano F, Russo E. Adverse Drug Reactions, Medication Adherence and Physicians' Prescribing Behavior: Which Relationship? a Database Analysis on Statin use. Value Health. 2015 Nov;18(7):A374. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2015.09.770. PubMed PMID: 26532111.

Grembiale RD, Bruno C, Tripolino C, Ursini F, Calabria M, Naty S, Gutierrez M, Mazzuca S. Correlation between elastosonography and nailfold microvascular alterations in systemic sclerosis patients. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2016;62(1):71-8. doi: 10.3233/CH-151948. PubMed PMID: 26410857.

Ursini F, Russo E, Letizia Hribal M, Mauro D, Savarino F, Bruno C, Tripolino  C, Rubino M, Naty S, Grembiale RD. Abatacept improves whole-body insulin sensitivity in rheumatoid arthritis: an observational study. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 May;94(21):e888. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000000888. PubMed PMID: 26020396; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4616417.

Ursini F, Russo E, Leporini C, Calabria M, Bruno C, Tripolino C, Naty S, Grembiale RD. Lymphocutaneous Sporotrichosis during Treatment with Anti-TNF-Alpha Monotherapy. Case Rep Rheumatol. 2015;2015:614504. doi: 10.1155/2015/614504. PubMed PMID: 25755904; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4338406.

Ursini F, Naty S, Russo E, Grembiale RD. Abatacept in psoriatic arthritis: Case report and short review. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2013 Dec;4(Suppl 1):S29-32. doi: 10.4103/0976-500X.120943. PubMed PMID: 24347977; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3853664.

Ursini F, Grembiale A, Naty S, Grembiale RD. Serum complement C3 correlates with insulin resistance in never treated psoriatic arthritis patients. Clin Rheumatol. 2014 Dec;33(12):1759-64. doi: 10.1007/s10067-013-2366-4. PubMed PMID:  24005838.

Patanè M, Ciriaco M, Chimirri S, Ursini F, Naty S, Grembiale RD, Gallelli L,  De Sarro G, Russo E. Interactions among Low Dose of Methotrexate and Drugs Used in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2013;2013:313858. doi: 10.1155/2013/313858. PubMed PMID: 23737767; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3667469.

Ursini F, Mauro D, Naty S, Gagliardi D, Grembiale RD. Improvement in insulin  resistance after short-term treatment with abatacept: case report and short review. Clin Rheumatol. 2012 Sep;31(9):1401-2. doi: 10.1007/s10067-012-2034-0. Review. PubMed PMID: 22837017.

Ursini F, Naty S, Grembiale RD. Fibromyalgia and obesity: the hidden link. Rheumatol Int. 2011 Nov;31(11):1403-8. doi: 10.1007/s00296-011-1885-z. Review. PubMed PMID: 21476098.

Ursini F, Succurro E, Grembiale A, Gagliardi DA, Arturi F. [The HPA axis in the pathogenesis of chronic fatigue syndrome]. Clin Ter. 2010;161(5):461-4. Review. Italian. PubMed PMID: 20949245.

Ursini F, Succurro E, Grembiale A, Rudi S, Grembiale RD, Arturi F. Sudden progression from impaired glucose tolerance to type 2 diabetes after discontinuation of administration of anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha antibody infliximab. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2010 Jul-Sep;23(3):961-3. PubMed PMID: 20943070.

Ursini F, Pipicelli G, Grembiale RD. Efficacy and safety of duloxetine in fibromyalgia. Clin Ter. 2010;161(4):391-5. Review. PubMed PMID: 20931165.

Ursini F, Naty S, Mazzei V, Spagnolo F, Grembiale RD. Kaposi's sarcoma in a psoriatic arthritis patient treated with infliximab. Int Immunopharmacol. 2010 Jul;10(7):827-8. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2010.04.016. PubMed PMID: 20433950.

Ursini F, Naty S, Bruno C, Calabria M, Spagnolo F, Grembiale RD. CD4+ T-cells lymphocytosis and reduction of neutrophils during treatment with adalimumab: Challenge and dechallenge study. Clin Immunol. 2010 Jun;135(3):499-500. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2010.02.004. PubMed PMID: 20219434.

Ursini F. [TNF-alpha and insulin-resistance: metabolic effects of in vivo therapeutic blockade]. Reumatismo. 2009 Oct-Dec;61(4):254-9. Review. Italian. PubMed PMID: 20143002.

Ursini F, Naty S, Grembiale RD. Infliximab and insulin resistance. Autoimmun  Rev. 2010 Jun;9(8):536-9. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2009.12.014. Review. PubMed PMID: 20060507.

Ursini F, Succurro E, Grembiale A, Arturi F. Acute rhabdomyolysis during treatment with amisulpride and metformin. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2010 Mar;66(3):321-2. doi: 10.1007/s00228-009-0773-x. PubMed PMID: 20020281.

Lakshmikanth T, Burke S, Ali TH, Kimpfler S, Ursini F, Ruggeri L, Capanni M,  Umansky V, Paschen A, Sucker A, Pende D, Groh V, Biassoni R, Höglund P, Kato M, Shibuya K, Schadendorf D, Anichini A, Ferrone S, Velardi A, Kärre K, Shibuya A, Carbone E, Colucci F. NCRs and DNAM-1 mediate NK cell recognition and lysis of human and mouse melanoma cell lines in vitro and in vivo. J Clin Invest. 2009 May;119(5):1251-63. doi: 10.1172/JCI36022. PubMed PMID: 19349689; PubMed Central  PMCID: PMC2673866.

Ursini F, Pipicelli G. Nutritional supplementation for osteoarthritis. Alternative and complementary therapies. 2009; 15(4):173-77.

Grembiale RD, Naty S, Ursini F. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment in the elderly. BMC Geriatrics 2010, 10(Suppl 1):L83doi:10.1186/1471-2318-10-S1-L83


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