Development of antitumoral and antibacterial drugs (Prof. Sava)

Prof. Gianni Sava

Tel: +39 (040) 558 8633/8637



Gianni Sava is Full Professor in Pharmacology at the University of Trieste since 2001 and he is also Scientific Director at the Callerio Foundation Onlus – Institutes of Biological Research since 1992.

Professor Sava has a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Trieste. He had his research training at the Institute of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy of the University of Trieste. Among his research experiences, he had been visiting scientist at the Rudjer Boskovich Institute (HR, formerly YU), at RCSI, Dublin (IR), at the University of Leiden (NL), at Chimie-Paristech (F) and at EPFL (CH).

His research interest focuses on the mechanisms of tumour metastasis and of their pharmacological control. Particularly, with both basic and translational approaches, his work has contributed to elucidate the role of ruthenium-based drugs for the control of the development and growth of solid tumour metastases. Among his main contribution to the field:

  • the pharmacological characterization of the drug nicknamed NAMI (Clin Expl Metastasis 1992; Int J Cancer, 1996);
  • the identification and characterization of the clinical candidate NAMI-A (Clin Expl Metastasis 1998; J Pharmacol Expl Ther 1999; Clinical Cancer Res 2003);
  • the discovery of the control of angiogenesis in the antimetastatic effects of ruthenium-based drugs (Brit J Cancer 2002; Eur J Biochem 2002; Brit J Cancer 2003);
  • the discovery of the potential of ruthenium-based drugs to act as selective agents to control solid tumour metastases (J Pharmacol Expl Ther 1999; Brit J Cancer 2000; J Pharmacol Expl Ther 2004);
  • the discovery of the molecular events leading to metastasis inhibition by ruthenium-based drugs (J Pharmacol Expl Ther 2006; Dalton Transactions 2007; Anti-Cancer Agents Med Chem 2012; Biochem Pharmacol 2012).

Professor Sava has more than 270 papers published in international scientific journals and he is also author of 14 patents; the main bibliometric data are: HI 59, Total Citations 10829, updated December 2016.

He has been Director of the Department of Biomedical Sciences (2003-2008), President of the Council of the Scientific Structures of the University of Trieste (2006-2008) and vice-Director of the Department of Life Sciences (2008-2012). He has been delegate of the Rector of the University of Trieste for the training activities (1996-2006).

He has been editor-in-chief, is component of the editorial board, and reviewer for top impact factor scientific journals; vice-President of the Italian Society of Chemotherapy (SIC), and component of the executive committee of the Italian Society of Pharmacology.


Last update: 06-05-2020 - 21:30