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Avnet Sofia, Biotechnologist


Date of Birth

Biologist and Biotechnologist, PhD

Current assignment


Title of qualification awarded

2000: Master of Science in Biotechnology, cum laude, University of Bologna, Italy.

Other qualifications awarded

2005: PhD in Medical Biotechnology, University of Bologna, Italy.
2010: Master Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Bologna, Italy.

Positions held
  • From 2019: Guest Researcher at the University of Zurich, Centre of Dental Medicine.
  • From 2008: Biotechnologist, staff, Laboratory for Orthopaedic Pathophysiology (formerly, Laboratory for Pathophysiology of Orthopaedics Implants) and Regenerative Medicine, IOR (Prof. N. Baldini).
  • 2006: Visiting Researcher at Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Division of Experimental Medicine and Department of Oncology, McGill University, Montreal, Que., Canada (Prof. M. Pollak)
  • 2004-2008: Research fellow and PostDoc, University of Bologna, at the Laboratory for Pathophysiology at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute.
  • 2003: Research fellow and scientific coordinator for a Spinner project (funded by a consortium between the University of Bologna and the Emilia-Romagna Region) and Research fellow of the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC), at the Laboratory for Pathophysiology at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute.
  • 2001-2002: Research fellow at the Laboratory for Pathophysiology at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute.
  • 2000-2001: Research fellow at the Laboratory of Genetic Oncologicy, Istituto per la Ricerca e la Cura del Cancro (Institute for Cancer Research and Care) di Candiolo, Candiolo (Prof. P. Comoglio and Prof. M.F. di Renzo)

Fluent English.


Good computer skills, including the use of standard office software (Word, Excel, Power Point, Access), digital imaging software (Jasc Paint Shop, Adobe Photoshop), scientific software (Statview, Oligo, Quantity One, NIS-Element, Sgma-plot) and online biology-related software (PubMed, GeneBank, Blast).

Teaching activities
  • 2014-2016: Lecturer, Course in Podology, University of Bologna.
  • 2001-2004: Lecturer, Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Bologna.
  • From 2001: Tutor for graduating students' theses at the Faculty of Biotechnology and of Pharmacology, University of Bologna.
Scientific activities
  • 2002: Travel award, “Frontiers of Skeletal Biology”, Davos, CH.
  • 2002: Young Investigator Award, Annual Meeting of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, Dallas, USA.
  • 2003: Scholarship grant Exchange, European Calcified Tissue Society.
  • 2003: Marco Polo Award, Università di Bologna.
  • 2006: BIOLOX AWARD 2006, CeramTec.
  • 2012: Young Investigator Award, International Society for Proton Dynamics in Cancer, Kyoto, Japan.
  • 2013-2014: Board member “International Society for Proton Dynamics in Cancer”.
  • 2015-2016: President, “International Association of Cancer Metabolism”.

Research project s participation in the last 5 years:

  • From 2019: AIRC “Altered lipid metabolism as a stress reaction to acid tumour microenvironment and a driver of metastasis in osteosarcoma” (2019-23).
  • From 2018: ERANet-LAC call “Acid microenvironment as a target for cancer-associated bone pain” (2018-21).
  • From 2017: Horizon 2020 SC1-2016-RTD “Orthopaedic randomized clinical trial with expanded bone marrow MSC and bioceramics versus autograft in long bone nonunions” (2017-22)
  • 2017-2019: National Technological Clusters 2012 “Creazione di un’infrastruttura multiregionale (Italian Regenerative Medicine Infrastructure, IRMI) per lo sviluppo di terapie avanzate finalizzate alla rigenerazione d’organi e tessuti” ("Creation of a multi-regional infrastructure for the development of advanced therapies aimed at organ and tissue regeneration").
  • 2015-2017: AIRC “Targeting tumor-stroma interaction in sarcoma microenvironment to inhibit the development of metastases”
  • 2015-2019: Del Monte Foundation of Bologna and Ravenna “Clinical and in vitro study on the efficacy of alkaline citrates in the treatment of osteopenias”.
  • 2014-2016: Principal Investigator of AIRC project (my first AIRC grant) “Photodynamic therapy and proton pump inhibitors for the treatment of pain in patients with bone metastases”.
  • 2013-2015: Emilia-Romagna PRrU project “Use of biomarkers and gene expression profiles to identify cancer patients with different prognosis and sensitivity to molecular targeted agents”.

Editorial Board member of the following journals: Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Frontiers in Oncology, Current Cancer Drug Biotechology.

Reviewer of: International Journal of Cancer, Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Letter, Future Medicinal Chemistry, eCells and Materials Journal, BMC Cancer, Cancer Research, Cell cycle, Oncotarget, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Frontiers in Oncology, Frontiers in Physiology.

Author of 76 scientific papers on Pubmed e Scopus. Total number of citations: >1700 (Scopus); >2400 (Google Scholar). Total IF: 288, average IF: 4,2. H-index: 26 (Scopus), 31 (Google Scholar). Author of 2 book chapters; 20 lectures upon invitation, >100 scientific comunications at conferences.

Clinical and/or Scientific interests

Care of bone tumors, with particular regard to osteosarcoma, bone metastases, and giant cell tumor of the bone. Pathophysiology of bone remodelling, tissue engineering in orthopaedics through bioprinting and microfluidics, dual photon and spectral confocal microscopy.