Cancer research, Nanomedicine, Cellular biology, Apoptosis and Oxidative Stress.
Fields of Research (FoR)Paediatrics, Cancer Therapy (excl. Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy), Nanomedicine
Dr Vittorio is a cancer biologist with an international reputation in studying the mechanism of action of anti-cancer therapeutics in paediatric cancers. He is Scientia Associate Prof at the School of Biomedical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney and Team Leader at the Children’s Cancer Institute. He is the Head of the Metal Targeted Therapy & Immunology lab. He authored >100 papers in international journals, 6 book chapters...view more
Dr Vittorio is a cancer biologist with an international reputation in studying the mechanism of action of anti-cancer therapeutics in paediatric cancers. He is Scientia Associate Prof at the School of Biomedical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney and Team Leader at the Children’s Cancer Institute. He is the Head of the Metal Targeted Therapy & Immunology lab. He authored >100 papers in international journals, 6 book chapters and he is inventor on 6 patents. He has extensive experience in cell biology, molecular biology, immunology, nanomedicine and PET imaging. In the past 10 years Dr Vittorio secured competitive research funding of >$5 million as sole CI and >$10 million as co-CI. His recent investigations are focused on understanding the role of copper metabolism/homeostasis in progression of aggressive childhood cancers (Neuroblastoma, Lower-Grade-Glioma, DIPG and Glioblastoma). A/prof Vittorio was awarded the “Outstanding Career development Fellow” of the year 2020 from the Cancer Institute New South Wales and the Young Tall Poppy Science Award 2021, and Cure Cancer Australia Research of the year 2022 in recognition of his achievements and dedication to childhood cancer research. Dr Vittorio’s discovery that the level of copper in childhood neuroblastoma cells are higher than in normal cells is a world first achievement, and his development of anti-cancer therapeutics for both neuroblastoma and gliomas is internationally recognised. He also developed a PET imaging protocol using radiolabelled Copper to monitor cancer cell response to therapy in Neuroblastoma. Importantly, he was the first to discover that neuroblastoma and gliomas use copper to hide from the immune system attack, opening to the potential clinical use of copper chelation therapy as immunotherapy to boost anti-cancer immune response. Dr Vittorio’s strategic position at UNSW, the Children’s Cancer Institute and the Kids Cancer Alliance has allowed him to expand his research, build capacity in the field of copper targeting anticancer drugs and accelerate the translation of discoveries to the clinic.
2013-2015 UNSW Vice Chancellor's Postdoc Research Fellowship
2014-2016 Cancer Institute NSW Early Career Fellowship
2016 Australian Institute of Nuclear Science Award
2017-2018 The Lake Golf Charity Day Grant
2017-2019 Cancer Institute NSW Career Development Fellowship
2018-2019 Australia- Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme
2018-2019 Cancer Australia’s Priority-driven Collab. Cancer Res Sch.
2018-2020 Australian Institute of Nuclear Science Award
2019-2020 Tour de Cure Australia
2020 ARC LIEF
2020-2021 The Zoe fight foundation
2020-2021 Cancer sphere seed grant
2021 Tour de Cure Australia
2020-2022 The Ross Trust Foundation Research grant
2019-2023 NHMRC Career Development Fellowship
2020-2025 Cancer Institute Program Grant
2019-2026 UNSW Scientia Fellowship
Master Of Science in Biology 2006
PhD in Oncology 2011
2013 Cancer Institute NSW Award: Outstanding Cancer Research of the Year
2015 The SPOT Award – Childrens Cancer Institute
2017 NanoMedicine Elevator Pitches Award, UNSW
2018 UNSW Postgraduate Research Supervisor Award
2018 ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress Genève Dec 2018 (Best Poster presentation).
2018 Early Career Researcher Best Publication Award 2018 School of Women's and Children's health UNSW.
2020 CINSW Outstanding Cancer Research CDF of the Year 2020.
2021 Young Tall Poppy Science Awards
2022 Cure Cancer Australia Research of the year
My Research Activities
Copper metabolism; Cancer immunology; Single cell transcriptomics; Nanomedicine; Neuroblastoma, Low-Grade Glioma, Diffuse Midline Glioma, Glioblastoma, Triple Negative Breast Cancer.