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Rossana Trotta, PhD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:

Microbiology and Immunology


BRB 8-043

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

  • 1990: M.S. Biology, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Italy
  • 1995: Ph.D. Medical Biotechnology, University of L’Aquila, Italy
  • 1996-2003: Post-doctoral Researcher, Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2003-2013: Research Scientist, Div. of Human Genetics, Dept Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics, and Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 2013-present: Assistant Professor, Dept of Microbiology & Immunology and Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore MD




Dr. Trotta is a member of the Tumor and Immunotherapy Program within the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. One specific area of interest is Natural Killer (NK) Cell Biology. Her focus is to assess the molecular mechanisms regulating NK immune-regulatory and anti-tumor functions against myeloid leukemias. She has identified several key molecules (e.g MAPKs, SHIP1 and I2PP2A/SET, MiR-155) that positively or negatively influence NK cell activation induced by binding to tumor cells or CD16 triggering and by exposure to cytokines. The final goal of these and future studies is to further understand the role played by NK cells in the tumor microenvironment in order to find alternative ways to enhance NK anti-tumor activity.

A second area of research interest is to understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) disease progression. Indeed she has been working to determine the role played by tumor suppressors (e.g. P53 and Phosphatases) in survival of leukemic blasts. As a Research Assistant Professor working in Prof. Perrotti’s laboratory, her research focuses on understanding the role played by microRNAs in the interplay between NK cells, bone marrow microenvironment and leukemic stem/progenitor cells.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Natural Killer cells, leukemia, cytokines, CD16, BCR/ABL, Signal Transduction, microRNAs.

Highlighted Publications

Trotta R, Kanakaraj P and Perussia B. FcγR-dependent mitogen-activated protein kinase activation in leukocytes: A common signal transduction event necessary for expression of TNF-α and early activation genes. J. Exp.Med.184(3):1027-1035, 1996

Trotta R, Vignudelli T, Candini O, Intine RV, Pecorari L, Guerzoni C, Santilli G, Byrom MW, Goldoni S, Ford LP, Caligiuri MA, Maraia RJ, Perrotti D and Calabretta B. BCR/ABL activates mdm2 mRNA translation via the La antigen. Cancer Cell. 2:145-160,2003

Trotta R, Parihar R, Yu J, Becknell B, Allard II J, Wen J, Ding W, Mao H, Tridandapani S, Carson WE, and Caligiuri MA. Differential expression of SHIP1 in CD56(bright) and CD56(dim) NK cells provides a molecular basis for distinct functional responses to monokine costimulation. Blood. 105: 3011-3018. 2005

Trotta R, Ciarlariello D, Dal Col J, Allard II J, Neviani P, Santhanam R, Mao H, Becknell B, Yu J, Ferketich AK, Thomas B, Modi A, Blaser BW,  Perrotti  D and Caligiuri MA. The PP2A Inhibitor SET Regulates Natural Killer Cell IFN-g Production. J. Exp. Med. 204:2397-405, 2007

Trotta R, Dal Col J,  Yu J, Ciarlariello D,  Thomas B, Zhang X, Allard JII, Wei M, Mao H., Byrd JC, Perrotti D, and Caligiuri MA TGF-β utilizes SMAD3 to inhibit CD16-mediated IFN-γ production and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity in human NK cells.  J. Immunol. 181:3784-92, 2008

Trotta R., Chen L., Costinean S., Josyula S., Mundy-Bosse B.L., Ciarlariello D., Mao C., Briercheck E.L., McConnel K, Mishra A., Yu L., Croce C.M. and Caligiuri M.A. Overexpression of MiR-155 results in expansion, block in terminal differentiation and functional activation of NK Cells. Blood, 121:3126-34, 2013

Additional Publication Citations

NCBI Bibliography (46 Publications as of Sept. 2016)