Skip to main content

Fiorenza Cocchi, MD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Assistant Professor - Institute of Human Virology


Institute of Human Virology S-619 725 West Lombard Street

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training


1987   MD, University of Milan, Italy

1992   Specialization in Infectious Diseases, University of Milan, Italy

Post Graduate Education and Training:

1987 – 1990: Internship, Clinic of Infectious Diseases and Laboratory of Cellular Immunology, University of Milan, Italy

1990 - 1993: Guest Researcher, Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology (LTCB), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Health, (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland

1993 – 1995: Visiting Fellow, LTCB, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland


Dr. Cocchi received her MD in1987 from the University of Milan, Italy. She received her Specialization in Infectious Diseases in 1992 from the University of Milan. She was trained as a postdoctoral fellow in cell biology, molecular biology and virology in the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology (LTCB), National Institute of Health, (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland. She joined as Research Associate the Institute of Human Virology of the University of Maryland, Baltimore in 1995. She became Assistant Professor in 1998.

Dr. Cocchi's primary research interest has been to study the role of host factors in controlling HIV replication. Her research focus has been the identification and characterization of the mechanism(s) of action of soluble factor(s) released from T cells, broadly active against HIV. She played an important role as a member of the team that in 1995 identified the chemokines RANTES, MIP-1α and MIP-1ß as the CD8+ T- cells factors responsible for the suppression of “R5” HIV isolates that use the CCR5 coreceptor for entry. This discovery, coupled with seminal studies on CCR5, has led to the development of a new generation of drugs that interfere with R5 HIV entry. She contributed to the identification of the T-cell-derived factors responsible for the inhibition of X4 HIV strains that use CXCR4 coreceptor for entry and are insensitive to the suppressor effect of RANTES, MIP-1α and MIP-1ß.  These factors primarily are a mixture of three β chemokines MDC, TARC, and I-309 and two RNases (angiogenin and RNase 4) of lesser potency. Dr. Cocchi’s current research interest is to study the link between cancerogenesis and the microbiota in order to elucidate the molecular mechanism(s) of cellular transformation caused by bacteria, with a particular focus on the study of Mycoplasma. Mycoplasmas have been implicated in many human diseases and associated with a number of human cancers, although any oncogenic role remains speculative. Therefore the focus of the research is to better define the role of Mycoplasmas infection in tumorigenesis in vivo and to study the general relationship of mycoplasmas with some human cancers. 

Research/Clinical Keywords

HIV, Chemokines, cancer, microbiota

Highlighted Publications

Cocchi, F., DeVico, A.L., Garzino-Demo, A., Arya, S.K., Gallo, R.C., and Lusso, P.:  Identification of RANTES, MIP-1a and MIP-1ß as the major HIV-suppressive factors produced by CD8+ T cells.  Science270: 1811-1815, 1995.

Cocchi, F., DeVico, A. L., Garzino-Demo, A., Cara, A., Gallo, R.C. and Lusso, P.:  The V3 domain of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein is critical for chemokine-mediated blockade of infection.  Nature Med.  2(11): 1244-1247, 1996.

Cocchi, F., DeVico, A., Yarchoan, R., Redfield, R., Clefhorn, F., Blattner, W., Garzino-Demo, A., Colombini-Hatch, S. Margolis, D., and Gallo, R. Higher macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α and MIP-1β levels from CD8+ T cells are associated with asymptomatic HIV-1 infection. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 97(25): 13812-13817, 2000.

Abdelwahab, S., Cocchi, F., Bagley, K. Kamin-Lewis, R.,  Gallo, R. C, Devico, A., and Lewis, G., HIV-1 Suppressive Factors Are Secreted by CD4+ T Cells during Primary Immune Responses. .  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA ,100(25):  15006-10, 2003

Cocchi F, DeVico AL, Lu W, Popovic M, Latinovic O, Sajadi MM, Redfield RR, Lafferty MK, Galli M, Garzino-Demo A, Gallo RC. Soluble factors from T cells inhibiting X4 strains of HIV are a mixture of b chemokines and RNases. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA,109(14): 5411-5416, 2012.

Benedetti F., Curreli S., Krishnan S., Davinelli S., Cocchi F., Scapagnini G., Gallo RC., Zella D. Anti-inflammatory effects on H2S during acute bacterial infection: a review. J Transl Med 2017  15:100. doi: 10.1186/s12967-017-1206-8.