Oxidative Stress: Biochemical and Pharmacological Aspects


The oxygen-, nitrogen- and sulfur-containing reactive species (respectively known as ROS, RNS and RSS) are subject to a tuned control in normal cells and tissues, where they play a role in the maintenance of redox homeostasis. An unbalance in these reactive species is a fingerprint of several diseases, including chronic infections, inflammatory disorders, vascular failure, neurodegeneration and cancer.

Biological activity of antioxidant molecules is crucial to counteract the overflow of reactive species in response to pro-oxidant insults; however, recent findings highlighted the Janus-faced properties of both free radicals and antioxidants, owing to the complexity of the cellular machinery involved in the response to oxidative stress.

The upgrade from in vitro studies to potential therapeutic applications of natural or synthetic antioxidants proved not to be straightforward, due to several aspects ranging from inefficient delivery and assimilation to paradoxical effects, revealing how challenging pharmacological recovery from an unbalanced redox homeostasis can be.

Deepening our knowledge on the molecular mechanisms underlying the modulation of ROS, RNS and RSS bioavailability, their crosstalk and interaction with antioxidant compounds is key to figure out how to sustain and possibly enhance the cell response to redox unbalance.

Finally, the identification of the key players in cell redox pathways and of new biological markers of oxidative stress is paramount to develop innovative diagnostic tools or pharmacological interventions against pathological conditions associated to persistent oxidative stress, with a view of criticism toward current trends of massive antioxidant consumption.

These topics will be addressed in a series of webinars where scientists actively working in the field will have the opportunity to share their recent research progresses.


Aberrant redox responses in neurodevelopmental conditions: the case of autism and Rett Syndrome

16 December 2021

Giuseppe Valacchi

Giuseppe Valacchi
(University of Ferrara, Italy)

Michael Müller

Michael Müller
(University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany)

Michael Müller

Alessandra Pecorelli
(North Carolina State University, Kannapolis, NC, USA)

Organising Committee

Alessandro Giuffrè

Alessandro Giuffrè


Elena Forte

Marzia Arese

Sapienza University of Rome

University of L'Aquila

Invited Speakers

Marcello Allegretti
(Dompè, L’Aquila, Italy)

D. Allan Butterfield
(University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA)

Daria Capece
(University of L'Aquila , Italy)

Daniela Caporossi
(University of Rome “Foro Italico”, Italy)

Paola Chiarugi
(University of Florence, Italy)

Maria Rosa Ciriolo
(University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy)

Marcus Conrad
(Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany)

Miriam Cortese-Krott
(University of Dusseldorf, Germany)

Antonio Cuadrado
(Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain)

Albena T. Dinkova-Kostova
(University of Dundee, UK)

Martin Feelisch
(University of Southampton, UK)

Omidreza Firuzi
(Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran)

Cristina M. Furdui
(Winston-Salem, NC, USA)

Mari Carmen Gomez-Cabrera
(University of Valencia, Spain)

Ivan Gout
(University College London, UK)

Nadine Hempel
(Penn State University College of Medicine, USA)

Malcolm J. Jackson
(University of Liverpool, UK))

Alessandro Leuti
(Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Italy)

Paula I. Moreira
(University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Michael Müller
(University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany)

Rebecca Oberley-Deegan
(University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA)

Paulo J. Oliveira
(University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Alessandra Pecorelli
(North Carolina State University, NC, USA)

Marzia Perluigi
(Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)

Bindu D. Paul
(Johns Hopkins University, MD, USA)

Robert K. Poole
(University of Sheffield, UK)

Douglas R. Spitz
(Cancer Center at the University of Iowa, USA)

Adrie J.C. Steyn
(University of Alabama, AL, USA)

Csaba Szabo
(University of Fribourg, Switzerland)

Fulvio Ursini
(University of Padua, Italy)

Barbara Tavazzi
(Catholic University of Rome, Italy)

Giuseppe Valacchi
(University of Ferrara, Italy)

João B. Vicente
(Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal)

Francesca Zazzeroni
(University of L’Aquila, Italy)

Mauro Maccarrone

Mauro Maccarrone, Dr. Enzymology and Bio-Organic Chemistry, is Professor and Chair of Biochemistry at the Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L’Aquila (Italy). He is also Head of the Lipid Neurochemistry Unit at the European Center for Brain Research – IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome. For his research activity he has received the “4th Royan International Research Award for Reproductive Biomedicine” (2003), the “2007 IACM Award for Basic Research”, the “2016 Mechoulam Award”, and the “2020 Tu Youyou Award”. Chair of the 2015 Gordon Research Conference on “Cannabinoid Function in the CNS”. Visiting Professor at Leiden University (Leiden Institute of Chemistry, The Netherlands) in 2017. Faculty member of The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, since 2019. Visiting Professor at Cambridge University (Department of Psychology, U.K.) in 2019. Published more than 510 full papers, of which 60 with I.F. ≥ 9 (total I.F. > 2600; citations >18000, h-index = 70 according to Scopus). Listed among the Top Italian Scientists.

Luciano Saso

Prof. Luciano Saso ( is a Member of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy ( He is author of more than 250 original scientific articles published in peer reviewed international journals with impact factor (H-index Google Scholar = 49, H-index SCOPUS = 39, Total Impact Factor > 800) working mainly in the field of pharmacological modulation of oxidative stress. He coordinated several international research projects and has been referee for many national and international funding agencies and international scientific journals in the last 25 years. He has been Editor and Guest Editor of Special Issues of different international journals including ANTIOXIDANTS, JOURNAL OF PHARMACY AND PHARMACOLOGY, FRONTIERS IN PHARMACOLOGY, FRONTIERS IN CELLULAR NEUROSCIENCE, MOLECULES, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES. More information is available at

Alessandro Giuffrè

Alessandro Giuffrè ( is a Senior Researcher of the National Research Council of Italy (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - CNR). Since 2020 he is Director of the CNR Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology (IBPM) in Rome. Since he was awarded his PhD in Biochemistry in 1997, he has investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the metabolism of O2, nitric oxide (NO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and related reactive species, with the ultimate goal of elucidating the role of these molecules in human physiology and pathophysiology. His research has focused on a variety of microbial and human enzymes and their ability to metabolize O2, NO and related species, as well as on the effects of NO on cellular bioenergetics. More recently his interests have extended also to H2S, another important small gaseous molecule with a key role in cell signaling. Currently, he has signed 95 articles in peer-reviewed International journals, with an H-index of 35 and more than 3.500 citations.