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Additional Title:

Research Associate in the Division of Infectious Agents and Cancer, Institute Of Human Virology



IHV, N471

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Education and Training

University of Sassari, Italy, B.S. and M.S. in Biological Science, cum laude, 1992

University of Pisa, Italy, Ph.D in Immunobiology of Viruses, 1997

University of Sassari, Italy, post-graduate degree Specialist in Microbiology and Virology, cum laude, 2000

University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MS in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, concentration in Clinical Research, 2020

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Sassari, School of Medicine 1997-2000

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Institute of Human Virology, 1999-2003

Research Associate, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Institute of Human Virology, 2004-present


During my Ph.D and Specialization program in Microbiology and Virology I was trained in cell biology and virus pathogenesis. As a postdoctoral fellow at IHV I worked on mechanisms of HIV-mediated immunosuppression and studied the role of HIV proteins in deregulation of different aspects of immunity. Most recently my research has been centered on the mechanisms of cancer development in association with infectious agents, including viruses and bacteria.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), viral and bacterial Oncology

Highlighted Publications


Curreli, S., Tettelin, H., Benedetti, F., Krishnan, S., Cocchi, F., Reitz, M., Gallo, R.C., Zella, D. Analysis of DnaK Expression from a Strain of Mycoplasma fermentans in Infected HCT116 Human Colon Carcinoma Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 202122, 3885.

Benedetti, F., Curreli, S., Gallo, R.C. et al. Exogenous bacterial DnaK increases protein kinases activity in human cancer cell lines. J Transl Med 1960 (2021).

Popovic M, Liu Y, Lattova E, Mann D, Curreli S, Zdrahal Z, Edelman MJ, Bryant J. In vivo and in vitro cell based model of lung adenocarcinoma from patients with pleural effusion. Neoplasma. 2021 Feb 11:200906N953. doi: 10.4149/neo_2021_200906N953. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33567851.

Benedetti F, Curreli S, Gallo RC, Zella D. Tampering of Viruses and Bacteria with Host DNA Repair: Implications for Cellular Transformation. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jan 11;13(2):241. doi: 10.3390/Cancers13020241. PMID: 33440726; PMCID: PMC7826954.

Zella D, Curreli S, Benedetti F, Krishnan S, Cocchi F, Latinovic OS, Denaro F, Romerio F, Djavani M, Charurat ME, Bryant JL, Tettelin H, Gallo RC. Mycoplasma promotes malignant transformation in vivo, and its DnaK, a bacterial chaperone protein, has broad oncogenic properties. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Dec 18;115(51):E12005-E12014. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1815660115. Epub 2018 Dec 3. Erratum in: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jan 7;: PMID: 30509983; PMCID: PMC6304983.

Curreli S, Wong BS, Latinovic O, Konstantopoulos K, Stamatos NM. Class 3 semaphorins induce F-actin reorganization in human dendritic cells: Role in cell migration. J Leukoc Biol. 2016 Dec;100(6):1323-1334.

Benedetti F, Davinelli S, Krishnan S, Gallo RC, Scapagnini G, Zella D, Curreli S. Sulfur compounds block MCP-1 production by Mycoplasma fermentans-infected macrophages through NF-κB inhibition. J Transl Med. 2014 May 24;12:145.

Davinelli S, Scapagnini G, Denaro F, Calabrese V, Benedetti F, Krishnan S, Curreli S, Bryant J, Zella D. Altered expression pattern of Nrf2/HO-1 axis during accelerated-senescence in HIV-1 transgenic rat. Biogerontology. 2014;15(5):449-61

Curreli S, Krishnan S, Reitz M, Lunardi-Iskandar Y, Lafferty M., Garzino-Demo A., Zella D, Gallo RC., and Bryant J. B Cell Lymphoma in HIV Transgenic Mice. Retrovirology 2013, 10:92.

Curreli S, Arany Z, Gerardy-Schahn R, Mann D, Stamatos NM.  Polysialylated neuropilin-2 is expressed on the surface of human dendritic cells and modulates dendritic cell-T lymphocyte interactions. J Biol Chem. 2007 Aug 15.

Stamatos N, Curreli S, Zella D, and Cross AS. Desyalilation of glycoconjugates on the surface of monocytes activates the extracellular signal-related kinases ERK 1/2 and results in enhanced production of specific cytokines.  J Leukoc Biol. 2004 Feb; 75(2):307-13.

Mazzucchelli R, Amadio M, Curreli S, Denaro F, Bemis K, Reid W, Bryant J, Riva A, Galli M, Zella D. Establishment of an ex vivo model of monocytes-derived macrophages differentiated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from HIV-1 transgenic rats. Mol Immunol. 2004 Aug; 41(10):979-84.

Curreli S, Romerio F, Secchiero P, Zella D. IFN-alpha2b increases interleukin-10 expression in primary activated human CD8+T cells. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2002 Dec; 22(12):1167-73

Secchiero P, Zella D, Curreli S, Mirandola P, Capitani S, Gallo RC, Zauli G. Pivotal role of cyclic nucleoside phosphodiesterase 4 in Tat-mediated CD4+ T cell hyperactivation and HIV type 1 replication. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Dec 19; 97(26):14620-5.

Secchiero P, Zella D, Curreli S, Mirandola P, Capitani S, Gallo RC, Zauli G. Engagement of CD28 modulates CXC chemokine receptor 4 surface expression in both resting and CD3-stimulated CD4+ T cells. J Immunol. 2000 Apr 15; 164(8):4018-24.

Zella D, Romerio F, Curreli S, Secchiero P, Cicala C, Zagury D, Gallo RC. IFN-alpha 2b reduces IL-2 production and IL-2 receptor function in primary CD4+T cells. J Immunol. 2000 Mar 1; 164(5):2296-302.

Biolchini A, Curreli S, Ziccheddu M, Serra C, Dolei A. Opposite effects of IFN-gamma on CCR5 and CXCR4 expression and on entry of M-and T-tropic HIV in epithelial cells. AIDS. 2000 Mar 31; 14(5):613-5.

Dolei A, Curreli S, Marongiu P, Pierangeli A, Gomes E, Bucci M, Serra C, Degener AM. Human immunodeficiency virus infection in vitro activates naturally integrated human papillomavirus type 18 and induces synthesis of the L1 capsid protein. J Gen Virol. 1999 Nov; 80 (Pt 11):2937-44.

Dolei A, Biolchini A, Serra C, Curreli S, Gomes E, Dianzani F. Increased replication of T-cell-tropic HIV strains and CXC-chemokine receptor-4 induction in T cells treated with macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1alpha, MIP-1beta and RANTES beta-chemokines. AIDS. 1998 Jan 22; 12(2):183-90.


Additional Publication Citations

Benedetti F, Curreli S, Zella D. Mycoplasmas-Host Interaction: Mechanisms of Inflammation and Association with Cellular Transformation. Microorganisms. 2020 Sep 4;8(9):1351. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms 8091351. PMID: 32899663; PMCID: PMC7565387.

Benedetti, F.; Cocchi, F.; Latinovic, O.S.; Curreli, S.; Krishnan, S.; Munawwar, A.; Gallo, R.C.; Zella, D. Role of Mycoplasma Chaperone DnaK in Cellular Transformation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 1311.

Benedetti, F., Krishnan, S., Cocchi, F., Hervé Tettelin, Robert C. Gallo, Davide Zella and Sabrina Curreli . Proteome analysis of Mycoplasma fermentans cultured under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Transl Med Commun 4, 15 (2019).

Benedetti F, Curreli S, Krishnan S, Davinelli S, Cocchi F, Scapagnini G, Gallo RC, Zella D. Anti-inflammatory effects of H(2)S during acute bacterial infection: a review. J Transl Med. 2017 May 10;15(1):100.

Serra C, Mameli G, Biolchini A, Ziccheddu M, Curreli S, Arru G, Dolei A. Characterization of an HIV type 1 strain with preferential replication in adherent cells. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2002 Jun 10; 18(9):641-7.

Curreli S, Romerio F, Mirandola P, Barion P, Bemis K, Zella D. Human primary CD4 + T cells activated in the presence of IFN-alpha 2b express functional indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2001 Jun; 21(6):431-7.

Colamussi ML, Secchiero P, Zella D, Curreli S, Mirandola P, Capitani S, Zauli G. Stromal derived factor-1alpha induces apoptosis in activated primary CD4+ T cells. AIDS. 2000 Apr 14; 14(6):748-50. 



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