Lucio Luzzatto


LUCIO LUZZATTO was born in Geneva, Italy on September 28, 1936. Married to Paola Caboara Luzzatto, with two children, Stefano and Fatima. Qualified MD from the University of Genova Medical School in 1959. Trained in haematology in Pavia, and at Columbia University in New York. Obtained Liberia Docenza in Biochemistry in 1968. From 1964 to 1974 was lecturer then professor of haematology at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan Nigeria. From 1974-1981 was Director of the International Institute of Genetics and Biophysics, CNR, Napoli, Italy. In 1981 Lucio Luzzato succeeded Sir John Dacie as Professor of Haematology and Director of the Haematology Department at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, University of London, Hammersmith Hospital, where from 1981-1993 he was also Honorary Director of the MRC/LRF Leukemia Department of Human Genetics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, Cornell University Medical College, New National Institute for Cancer Research, Genova, Italy, where in 2002 he was also appointed to a personal Chair of Haematology. Lucio Luzzatto obtained FRCPath in 1982 and FRCP in 1983, and obtained Medical Licenses in Italy, Nigeria, UK and New York State.

Lucio Luzzatto holds a honorary degree in Pharmacy from the University of Urbino (1990), and an honorary DSc from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1998). He is honorary member of the American Society of Haematology, he has been Founding President of the Nigerian Society for Haematology, President of the Italian Association of Genetics, Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Gene Therapy, member of EMBO since 1979, of HUGO since 1990 and member of the American Association of Physicians. Lucio Luzzatto has obtained several awards, including the William Dameshek Medal (1975), the Pius XI Medal (1976), Jose Carreras Medal (2002). In 2004 he was elected Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Lucio Luzzatto’s main goal in research and teaching has been the understanding of human disease at the molecular level; throughout his career he has always combined scientific work and clinical work. His research has concentrated on the genetic basis of blood disorders. Main contributions. (a) Mlecular Genetics, clinical aspects and populations genetics of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase(G6PD); this was the first human enzyme of which molecular cloning was achieved with M G Perisco in 1986. (b) Genetics of haemoglobinopathies and inherited susceptibility to malaria. Lucio Luzzatto’s group helped to elucidate since the nineteenseventies the mechanism whereby several genes expressed in red cells confer relative resistance against lethality of Plasmodium falciparum. In year 2000 Luzzatto collaborated with M Sadelain to obtain correction of thalassaemia by gene therapy in a pre-clinical mouse model. (c) Pathogenesis, molecular basis and clinical aspects of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuruia (PNH). Lucio Luzzatto with his collaborators first provided evidence that this was a clonal disorder; subsequently his group identified the underlying biochemical abnormality, and with Bruno Rotoli and others provided the currently accepted model to explain the expansion of PNH clones. Lucio Luzzato has about 300 publications in learned journals and several chapters in major textbooks