Skip to main contentSkip to footer
A finger pointing at a scan
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

staff profiles

BSMS > About BSMS > Contact us > Staff > Professor Pietro Ghezzi

Professor Pietro Ghezzi

Prof Pietro Ghezzi

Professor Pietro Ghezzi (PhD)

RM Phillips Chair in Experimental Medicine
T: +44 (0)1273 873112
Location: Trafford Centre for Medical Research, Room 210, BSMS, University of Sussex, BN1 9RY

DA: Pat Butler

T: +44 (0)1273 876768

Areas of expertise: Inflammatory cytokines and the mechanisms of innate immunity; redox regulation of immunity; analysis of quality of health information

Research areas: Infection and immunology; neuroscience; information quality

Other relevant positions: Director of Doctoral Studies; Research Lead for the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine


Professor Pietro Ghezzi has a PhD in Pharmacology from the Mario Negri Institute in Milano and a Post-graduate Certificate in Higher Education at the University of Sussex.

From 1991 to 2008 he was the Head of the Laboratory of Neuroimmunology, Istituto Mario Negri, Milano and from 1998 to 2000 he was Research Associate at Stanford University School of Medicine, in the laboratory of the late Len Herzenberg. He joined BSMS in 2008.


The body responds to injury and infection both by killing the infectious agents and by tolerating the damage. It does so by producing soluble mediators called cytokines. These cytokines were originally studied for their role in the defense against cancer and infection. Later, researchers identified a role of cytokines in inflammation, and this led to the development of new drugs for chronic inflammatory diseases.

While in regenerative medicine the focus has often been in stem cell therapy, we believe we have identified a new role for cytokines in tissue repair and regeneration and established the definition of tissue-protective cytokines.
As part of the University of Brighton, Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Pietro works on characterizing the therapeutic potential of tissue-protective cytokines in several indications, their structural biology and molecular mechanism of action. This may effectively represent a way towards drug-induced regeneration and repair.

Redox regulation of immunity

Inflammation is induced as part of the innate immunity to infections, triggered by bacterial of viral molecules, or in autoimmune diseases, triggered by autoimmunity and T cell response to self. However, inflammation is also observed in injury or ischemia and we are investigating whether this is due to change in the cellular oxidoreductive metabolism (redox regulation). We have discovered how specific metabolites can act as inflammatory mediators and identified new biomarkers of redox imbalance.


Pietro runs a student-selected component for second year medical students on information literacy, teaching students how to evaluate the quality of information using various learning strategies. He also uses “big data” approaches to assess the health information on the Web in terms of information quality using statistical analysis and cluster analysis of health-related websites as well as natural language analysis, in collaboration with the Cultural Informatics group at the University of Brighton.

Selected publications

Gyetvai G, Hughes T, Wedmore F, Roe C, Heikal L, Ghezzi P, Mengozzi M. Erythropoietin IncreasesMyelination in Oligodendrocytes: Gene Expression Profiling Reveals Early Induction of Genes Involvedin Lipid Transport and Metabolism. Front Immunol. 2017;8:1394.

Diotallevi M, Checconi P, Palamara AT, Celestino I, Coppo L, Holmgren A, Abbas K, Peyrot F, MengozziM, Ghezzi P. Glutathione Fine-Tunes the Innate Immune Response toward Antiviral Pathways in aMacrophage Cell Line Independently of Its Antioxidant Properties. Front Immunol. 2017;8:1239.

Aslam R, Gibbons D, Ghezzi P. Online Information on Antioxidants: Information Quality Indicators,Commercial Interests, and Ranking by Google. Front Public Health. 2017;5:90.

Ghezzi P, Jaquet V, Marcucci F, Schmidt HHHW. The oxidative stress theory of disease: levels ofevidence and epistemological aspects. Br J Pharmacol. 2017;174(12):1784-1796.

Mullen L, Seavill M, Hammouz R, Bottazzi B, Chan P, Vaudry D, Ghezzi P. Development of 'RedoxArrays' for identifying novel glutathionylated proteins in the secretome. Sci Rep. 2015;5:14630.

Maki A, Evans R, Ghezzi P. Bad News: Analysis of the Quality of Information on Influenza PreventionReturned by Google in English and Italian. Front Immunol. 2015;6:616.

Checconi P, Salzano S, Bowler L, Mullen L, Mengozzi M, Hanschmann EM, Lillig CH, Sgarbanti R,Panella S, Nencioni L, Palamara AT, Ghezzi P. Redox proteomics of the inflammatory secretomeidentifies a common set of redoxins and other glutathionylated proteins released in inflammation,influenza virus infection and oxidative stress. PLoS One. 2015;10(5):e0127086.

Mullen L, Hanschmann EM, Lillig CH, Herzenberg LA, Ghezzi P. Cysteine Oxidation TargetsPeroxiredoxins 1 and 2 for Exosomal Release through a Novel Mechanism of Redox-Dependent Secretion.Mol Med. 2015;21:98-108.

Salzano S, Checconi P, Hanschmann EM, Lillig CH, Bowler LD, Chan P, Vaudry D, Mengozzi M, Coppo L,Sacre S, Atkuri KR, Sahaf B, Herzenberg LA, Herzenberg LA,Mullen L, Ghezzi P. Linkage ofinflammation and oxidative stress via release of glutathionylated peroxiredoxin-2, which acts as adanger signal. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(33):12157-62.

Click here to elements profile >