Prof. Dr. Sergio Rutella, MD, PhD, FRCPath

The John van Geest Cancer Research Centre

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The John van Geest Cancer Research Centre


Professor Sergio Rutella is a physician-scientist and Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, with a broad background in tumor immunology, leukemia biology and stem cell transplantation. He received his M.D. from the Catholic University Medical School of Rome in 1993 (summa cum laude), followed by residency and fellowship in Hematology in 1997 (summa cum laude) and Ph.D. in Experimental Hematology in 2001 (with honors).

Before joining the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre at Nottingham Trent University, Sergio was the Executive Director of Clinical Research at Sidra Medical & Research Centre, Doha, Qatar (2014-2016) and served as the Chairman and Head of Service for Immunohematology and Transfusion Medicine at the Bambino Gesú Children’s Hospital in Rome, Italy, from 2012 to 2014. Previous to these posts, he was Consultant Hematologist at the Bambino Gesú Children’s Hospital (2011-2012) and Consultant Hematologist and Assistant Professor of Hematology at the Catholic University Medical School in Rome (2000-2011).

Professor Rutella received merit awards from the American Association of Immunologists in 2011, 2006, 2003 and 2002 for research into dendritic cell-based tolerance and regulatory T cells. His current research efforts focus on visualizing the state of cancer-immune interactions in individual patients and on biomarker discovery, with the aim to guide treatment choices and improve clinical outcome.

Areas of research interest include: 1) Identification of predictive/prognostic gene signatures that reflect immune system activation, and help predict treatment response as well as risk of relapse in patients with acute myeloid leukemia; 2) Novel immunotherapy approaches for hematological malignancies. This research work tackles the immune suppressive circuits that prevent the establishment of effective anti-tumor responses in patients with acute leukemia, including the IFNG-induced upregulation of IDO1 and PD-L1.

Sergio has published 209 scientific articles and 14 book chapters (cumulative IF [2018]=1,120; current H-index=53; i10-index=161; times cited=9,760), and has supported his research through competitive grants (>€4,200,000) from National and International funding bodies and charities (Roger Counter Foundation, Qatar National Research Fund, HEFCE-UK, Italian Association for Cancer Research, Italian Ministry of Health, Italian Ministry of University and Research, FILAS) as well as from commercial partners. He has teaching, mentoring and supervisory experience at both undergraduate and post-graduate level, with teaching contracts in hematological oncology, stem cell biology and, more recently, in immunology and virology.