1983-1985: Internal student attending the Institute of Biological Chemisty of the University of Padova

1985: Graduation in Biological Sciences at the University of Padova presenting the thesis on the topic "Expression of the mitochondrial gene OXI3 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: mRNA maturation".

1987: Study premium of the University of Padova for the study of the atherosclerosis.

1988-1992: Ph.D. in Molecular and cellular biology and pathology at University of Padova.

1992: Assistant Professor at the Institute of Histology and Embryology (from 2000 at the Dept.of Experimental Biomedical Sciences), School of Medicine of the University of Padova.

Research experience abroad:

1989-1990: Visiting Fellowship at National Cancer Institute (NIH) of Bethesda,MD, (USA)

1997: FIRC Fellowship at National Cancer Institute (NIH)of Bethesda,MD, (USA)

2017: Associate Professor

The research work carried out by Dr. M. Onisto began in 1983 at the Inst of Biological Chemistry, University of Padua, where he served his internship and where he graduated with the thesis titled: "Expression of the oxi3 discontinuous mitochondrial gene in S.cerevisiae : mRNA maturation ".

Later, he moved to the Ist. of Histology and Gen. Embryology , following the research topics:
a) the evaluation of soluble elastinic peptides in biological fluids in a project coordinated by Profs. L. Gotte and M. Spina;
b) the study of enzymatic processes involved in the degradation of some components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in collaboration with Prof. S. Garbisa.
In particular, until 1996 the main research project involved the study of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 or Gelatinase A), specific for type IV collagen of basement membranes, and its relative tissue inhibitor TIMP-2 ,whose cDNA he cloned at National Cancer Inst. of Bethesda (JBC 1990, Int.J. Cancer 1995, EMBO J. 1997).

Since 1997, he coordinates a research group continuing to study ECM remodeling and starting, at the same time, the study of genes and proteins involved in spermatogenesis. In particular he has cloned and characterized a new human protein associated with spermatogenesis initially named PD1 and then renamed SPATA2 (spermatogenesis-associated protein 2) in agreement with the Gene Nomenclature Committee and with the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) (Exp.Cell Res.1999).

He currently deals with the study of heparanase, the unique and specific endoglycosidase capable of cleaving heparan sulfate (HS) chains. HS cleavage results in remodelling of ECM as well as in regulating the release of many HS-linked molecules such as growth factors, cytokines and enzymes involved in inflammation, wound healing and tumour invasion (BMC Cancer 2009, Curr.Cancer Drug Target 2014, BBA-MCR 2014).

The research activity has resulted in 73 publications of which:
- 68 papers on international journals surveyed by ISI.
- 5 book chapters.

Slongo ML, Molena B, Brunati A, Frasson M, Gardiman M, Carli M, Perilongo G, Rosolen A, Onisto M. (2007). Functional VEGF and VEGF receptors are expressed in human medulloblastomasNeuro Oncol. 9 (4), 384-392.

Masola V, Maran C, Tassone E, Zin A, Rosolen A, Onisto M. (2009) Heparanase activity in alveolar and embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma: implication for tumor invasionBMC Cancer, 9, 304.

Masola V, Gambaro G, Tibaldi E, Brunati AM, Gastaldello A, D’Angelo A, Onisto M., Lupo A. (2012). Heparanase and syndecan-1 interplay orchestrates fibroblast growth factor-2-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition in renal tubular cells. J Biol Chem, 287 (2), 1478-1488.

Masola V., Secchi M.F., Gambaro G., Onisto M. (2014). Heparanase as a target in cancer therapyCurrent Cancer Drug Target 14(3), 286-293.

Masola V., Zaza G., Secchi M.F., Gambaro G., Lupo A., Onisto M. (2014). Heparanse is a key player in the renal fibrosis by regulating TGF-b expression and activityBBA-Molecular Cell Research, 1843, 2122-2128.

University of Padova

MIUR (Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research)

Sigma-Tau Res. Switzerland S.A.