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The Francesca Martini Prize for an experimental degree thesis in Oncohaematology 2022, in the amount of €5,000,

In memory of Armando Felsani

  Is won by Dr. Stefano Di Giovenale with a thesis on

“The characterisation of the reguloma of paediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia reveals mechanisms of tumour evolution”.

The Francesca Martini Award for an experimental degree thesis in oncohematology stems from the idea of supporting young graduates of value who wish to pursue their career in research and encourage them to access the PhD program. The awarding of the prize is bound to the admission of the recipient to a PhD course in the field of oncohematology.

Armando Felsani, an internationally renowned researcher in the field of molecular biology and genomics, passed away on April 21, 2022. In his memory, his family and friends – who share NAnA’s aims and intentions – have chosen to fund this Award.

The Evaluation Committee includes:

  Lucio Luzzatto, President, University of Florence
Stefano Casola, IFOM, Milan Francesco Mannelli, University of Florence Cristina Mecucci, University of Perugia Tiziana Ottone, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Thanks to the Italian Society of Experimental Haematology for the promotion and dissemination of news regarding this award.

Useful information:

  • The competition awards a prize of € 5,000.00 for an experimental degree thesis on a project in the field of neoplastic haematological diseases, discussed in the period between June 2021 and July 2022.
  • The minimum requirement for participation in the award is a degree in the single-cycle Master’s Degree course (Laurea) in Medicine and Surgery, in Biotechnology, Biological Sciences, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Chemistry, following the discussion of an experimental degree thesis on a project in the field of neoplastic haematological diseases with a minimum grade of 110/110.
  • To participate you must:
    • fill in the attached form;
    • write a short letter of intent (max 300 words) with reference to the PhD you intend to pursue;
    • send everything, together with a copy of an identification document and the degree thesis to Nanaonlus88@gmail.com no later than the deadline of August 30, 2022.
  • Condition for the awarding of the prize is that the recipient participates and is admitted to a PhD course in the oncohaematological field, whose admission certificate must be sent to NAnA – if not available yet by the August 30, 2022 deadline – no later than November 30, 2022.
  • The delivery of the prize will take place by December 15th 2022.

To contribute to the Francesca Martini Award in memory of Armando Felsani, you can make a bank transfer to the bank account of NAnA Onlus IBAN IT95F0538703211000002414714 with the reason: DONATION IN MEMORY OF ARMANDO FELSANI. THANK YOU.

Francesca Martini Award for an experimental degree thesis in onco-hematology 2021

Giorgia Silvestrini is the winner of the Francesca Martini Prize for an experimental degree thesis in onco-hematology 2021.

The Award Evaluation Commission 2021 includes:
Lucio Luzzatto, President, University of Florence – Francesco Mannelli, University of Florence – Cristina Mecucci, University of Perugia – Maria Teresa Voso, University of Rome Tor Vergata, President of SIES – Tiziana Ottone, University of Rome Tor Vergata.

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Francesca Martini Prize for best poster in cancer research is a result of a collaboration of NAnA Onlus with the Italian Society for Biophysics and Molecular Biology (SIBBM). An International Jury of Scientists evaluate the best poster among those exhibited at the SIBBM Annual Workshop, which is entitled  “Frontiers in Molecular Biology”.

The winner of Francesca Martini Prize for best poster in cancer research 2022 is FRANCESCA ORSO, University of Turin for her poster  entitled “MiR-214 mediate stroma-tumor cell crosstalk during tumor progression“. Click here for her c.v.

Winners of the past editions

2021 Erica Pranzini University of Florence for her poster “Mitochondrial serine metabolism mediates 5-fluorouracil resistance in colorectal cancer by fueling nucleotide biosynthesis and supporting DNA damage response“. More details here.

Because of Covid 19, in 2020 the prize fifth edition was postponed to 2021.

2019 Emanuele Monteleone University of Turin for his poster “STAT3-dependent pluripotency control via the stam-cells specific long non-coding RNA LincS1“. More details here.
2018  Valeria Rosato University of Sannio at Benevento for her poster “miR-27a-3p is a master regulator of metabolic reprogramming in colorectal cancer“. More details here.
2017  Davide Cassani  University College London for his poster “Cryo electron tomography of actomyosin cortex in isolated blebs“. More details here.
2016  Stefano Amente University of Naples Federico II for his poster “High-resolution genome profiles of 8-oxodeoxyguanine, γH2AX and NBS1 reveal their co-association at transcribed long genes“. More details here.



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The “Francesca’s Cells” Research Project

Molecular characterization of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Another success for NAnA! As part of the project Francesca’s Cells, the Institution managed to fund a PhD position in “Immunology, Molecular Medicine and Applied Biotechnology” at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. The winner is Dr. Maria Rosaria Pascale and here is her Curriculum Vitae.


JUST PUBLISHED! Molecular dissection of a hyper‑aggressive CBFB‑MYH11/FLT3‑ITD–positive acute myeloid leukemia. Please, read it here

“ Le Cellule di Francesca project is in full swing here in the laboratories of the Regina Elena Institute in Rome. The first phases of our work are aimed at the production of a cell line that carries the same mutations found in the leukemia diagnosed in Francesca. For this purpose, a leukemia cell line similar to Francesca’s has been acquired and we are establishing the most effective methods to manipulate and analyze it. A plasmid, a “packet” of DNA, containing the exact mutations that have been identified in Francesca’s genes, was also commissioned to a specialized company; thanks to it, we will be able to obtain an experimental model in the cells with which to reconstruct the molecular pathological picture of this extremely aggressive cancer. In the future, the cells thus obtained can also be compared with the original cells, which will help to highlight any particularities of the disease.
A second line of the project is based on the work initiated by the late Prof. Francesco LoCoco. Through the Whole Exome Sequencing procedure, a DNA library of Francesca and her parents was created, which allows the comparative study of the genes involved in the disease. Comparing these data also with those obtained in 2018 by Prof. Robin Foà of the Policlinico Umberto I, the analysis we started could highlight other possible mutations responsible for Francesca’s disease that could, in the future, be used to diagnose these fulminant forms of Acute Myeloid Leukemia .
Dr. Gabriele Loiudice, Rome 02/11/2020

Gabriele Loiudice is the winner of the scholarship for the project “Identification and study of the impact of genetic variants of susceptibility in adolescent acute myeloid leukemia (AML)”, Maurizio Fanciulli, Principal Investigator. Click on Gabriele’s name for his C.v.

The bursary announcement and results are available on the IFO website.

Public call for scholarship n. 18 of 12.06.2020 in .pdf format or in .doc format
Scholarship N. 18/2020 was awarded with resolution 922 of 25.08.2020

The project stems from a collaboration started in November 2017 between the IRCCS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute of Rome – where the cells are hosted – by Prof. Gennaro Ciliberto Scientific Director and Maurizio Fanciulli PhD, of the Department of Research, Diagnosis and Innovative Technologies, Traslational Research Area and the UOC Enhanced Diagnostic Oncoematologica of the University of Rome Tor Vergata by the late Prof. Francesco Lo Coco and Prof. Maria Teresa Voso, Director.

The Research Project “Francesca‘s Cells” – a molecular characterisation of acute leukaemia – was announced for the first time in this brochure created by the late Mario Spadetta and distributed at the Treasure hunt “La Nave di Nana” on Serapo Beach, Gaeta, on July 7th, 2018.

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The event La Nave di NAnA aims to remember Francesca Martini on the anniversary of her death and to raise funds for research on leukemia. It takes place in Gaeta, at Serapo beach which this year celebrates 70 years of activity. The sixth edition has been on 10th of July and there was a Competition for Little Photojournalists who record the Live Painting of the artists Joele D’Angelo and Alessandra Muto and Emanuela Ambrosone doing a 13m by 2m high mural. Watch the video of the day, click here!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7DqwQeAHis


La Nave di Nana