Pietro Bertino, PhD

Pietro Bertino, PhD

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (808) 450-9618

Full Member, Cancer Biology Program, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center

Academic Appointment(s):
Assistant Researcher, Cell & Molecular Biology Department, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

MS (Hygiene), University of Milan, Milan, Italy
PhD (Molecular Medicine), University of East Piemont "A.Avogadro", Novara
Post-Doctoral Training, Thoracic Oncology Research, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Post-Doctoral Training, Cell & Molecular Biology Department, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Research Focus

My interest about malignant mesothelioma (MM) started when I was a Ph.D. student at the University of East Piedmont in Italy. Nearby industries manufactured asbestos-made products until 1994 and this caused an increase of MM incidence among the local population. In my early career I conducted studies oriented in developing effective therapies for the cure of MM that are currently under evaluation in clinical trials. As part of my formation, I have also studied the molecular pathways that promote tumor initiation and discovered a different mechanism of MM carcinogenesis. I personally developed the mouse MM models utilized in my researches and I became an expert in designing animal studies in which evaluate therapeutic and preventive efficacies of novel treatments. As PI or co-PI on different grants, I laid the groundwork for the proposed research by developing two anti-cancer vaccine prototypes, FP-surv and HIvax, respectively for mouse or human immunization. My team of collaborators includes pathologists, cancer immunologists and experts in vaccine development with outstanding records of peer-reviewed publications. Our achievements with FP-surv and HIvax strengthened our research team that is now fully committed in creating the next-generation anti-cancer vaccines proposed in this research project.

Selected Publications

Rose AH, Hoffmann FW, Hara JH, Urschitz J, Moisyadi S, Hoffmann PR, Bertino P. (2015). Adjuvants may reduce in vivo transfection levels for DNA vaccination in mice leading to reduced antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses. Hum Vaccin Immunother;11(9):2305-11. PubMed PMID: 26091088; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4635848.

Hoffmann PR, Panigada M, Soprana E, Terry F, Bandar IS, Napolitano A, Rose AH, Hoffmann FW, Ndhlovu LC, Belcaid M, Moise L, De Groot AS, Carbone M, Gaudino G, Matsui T, Siccardi A, Bertino P. (2015). Preclinical development of HIvax: Human survivin highly immunogenic vaccines. Hum Vaccin Immunother;11(7):1585-95. PubMed PMID: 26042612; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4514257.

Rose AH, Bertino P, Hoffmann FW, Gaudino G, Carbone M, Hoffmann PR. (2014). Increasing dietary selenium elevates reducing capacity and ERK activation associated with accelerated progression of select mesothelioma tumors. Am J Pathol; Apr;184(4):1041-9. PubMed PMID: 24492200; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3969994.

Bertino P, Panigada M, Soprana E, Bianchi V, Bertilaccio S, Sanvito F, Rose AH, Yang H, Gaudino G, Hoffmann PR, Siccardi A, Carbone M. (2013). Fowlpox-based survivin vaccination for malignant mesothelioma therapy. Int J Cancer; Aug 1;133(3):612-23. PubMed PMID: 23335100; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3663911.

Bertino P, Urschitz J, Hoffmann FW, You BR, Rose AH, Park WH, Moisyadi S, Hoffmann PR. Vaccination with a piggyBac plasmid with transgene integration potential leads to sustained antigen expression and CD8(+) T cell responses. Vaccine; Mar 26;32(15):1670-7. PubMed PMID: 24513010; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3973154.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

P. Bertino, PI
Department of Defense
CA 150300
"Preclinical Development of TVAX: An Advanced Multiantigen Vaccine for Therapy and Prevention of Malignant Mesothelioma"