Vincenzo Cerullo

Associate professor

  • PL 56 (Viikinkaari 5)



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Personlig profil


1.     Full Name:                             Vincenzo Cerullo


2.     Date and place of birth:       March 8, 1974, Naples Italy

Citizenship:              Italian

Office address:          Cultivator II, Viikinkaari 4, Room A330b, 00790 Helsinki, Finland (Europe)

Home Address:          Uimarinpolku 10C 15, 00330 Helsinki, Finland (Europe)

Marital Status:          Married, two children (Victor and Nicole)



23 Oct 1998    Master of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (5 years), score 110/110 cum laude University of Naples “Federico II”. Title of the Thesis: Crellastatin A: A Cytotoxic Bis-Steroid Sulfate from the Vanuatu Marine Sponge Crella sp. Supervisors: Professors Luigi Minale and Mariavaleria D’Auria

3 Jun 1999     Board of Pharmacy

17 Jun 2004   Doctor in Biotechnology, University of L’Aquila and University of Naples “Federico II”. Title of the thesis: Development of Helper-dependent Adenoviral Vectors for gene therapy of Atherosclerosis. Supervisors: Professor Lucio Pastore and Professor Fabrizio Pane.

13 May 2011   Docent (equivalent of adjunct professor or senior lecturer) of Experimental Virology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki.



09/12-to-date  Assistant Professor (Tenure-Track) and group leader Laboratory of Immunovirotherapy, Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki – Finland Europe

2011-2012      Principal Investigator, Faculty of Medicine, Moleculer Cancer Biology Program, University of Helsinki – Finland Europe

2009-2011      Senior Researcher, Cancer gene Therapy Group, University of Helsinki, Finland Europe

2004-2008      Postdoc, Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX USA

2001-2004      PhD student, CEINGE (Center for Genetic Engineering) and University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy Europe

2001                Exchange PhD student, Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX USA

1998-2000      Research Assistant, Department of Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples, Italy Europe

1993-1998      Master Student, Department of Chemistry of the Natural Compounds, University of Naples, Italy Europe



Italian: mother tongue English: fluent Spanish: good Finnish: entry (second level Helsingin Aikuisopisto, training still on-going) Swedish: good (wife and son Swedish-speaking)



Professor at Faculty of Pharmacy University of Helsinki

Group Leader Laboratory of Immunovirotherapy (IVTLab) , Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences and Centre for Drug Research (CDR), Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki – Finland



1998-2000       Department of Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples, Italy Europe                                   (Research Assistant)

2000-2001       Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX USA (PhD student)

2001-2004       CEINGE (Center for Genetic Engineer) and University of Naples, Italy Europe (PhD Student)

2004-2008       Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX USA (Postdoc)

2008-2010       Molecular Cancer Biology Program, Biomedicum University of Helsinki, Finland Europe (Senior Researcher)

2011-2012       Molecular Cancer Biology Program, Biomedicum University of Helsinki, Finland Europe (University of Helsinki, Adjunct Professor and Principal Investigator)



K. Albin Johanssons stiftelse (PI) (2008-2013)            (Lab expenses)                                     30,000.00€

Sigrid Jusélius Foundation Grant (PI) (2008-2009) (PI’s salary)                                               54,000.00€

FP7-PEOPLE-IRG-2008 (PI) (2009-2013) (Lab expenses)                                         100,000.00€

University of Helsinki Postdoctoral Researcher (PI) (2010-2013) (PI’s salary)                       120,000.00€

University of Helsinki Three years research grant (PI) (2013-2015) (Student’s salary)            140,000.00€

University of Helsinki Tenure-track (PI) (2012-2017) (PI’s salary only)                                400,000.00€

Cancer Finnish Foundation (PI) (2014) (Lab expenses)                                                            25,000.00€

Faculty of Pharmacy (PI) (2014) (Lab expenses and infrastructure)                             60,000.00€




2008    Candidate: Matteo Ugolini; Score 110/110 cum laude; Thesis Title : Manipulating different arms of the immune system to orchestrate tumor-specific immunity and enhance tumor clearance by adenovirus-based gene therapy”

2009                Candidate: Federica Madarena; Score 106/110; Thesis Title: DC-based cancer immunotherapy

2009-2010       Candidate : Valentina Romano; Score 110/110 cum laude. Thesis Title: CpG-rich oncolytic adenoviruses to enhance tumor clearance stimulating TLR9

2011-2012       Candidate: Mari Hirvinen; Score Eximia cum laude approbatur. Thesis Title: Fcgamma receptors polymorphisms as prognostic biomarkers for oncolytic adenovirus therapy.



2007-2010       Candidate: Joao Dias; Thesis Title: Adenoviral gene therapy for advanced Head and Neck cancer. Approved with distinction by the faculty of Medicine

2010-present  Candidate: Noora Rouvinen

2011-present   Candidate: Mari Hirvinen; Title: Immunovirotherapy of cancer – Immunological boosting and personalizing of viral cancer therapeutics 

2012-present   Candidate: Mariangela Garofalo; Title: Role and use of L-Carnosine in cancer treatment

2012-present   Candidate: Cristian Capasso; Title: Personalized cancer vaccine development

2013-present   Candidate: Lukasz Kuryk; Title: Development of novel immune-boosted oncolytic adenoviruses for treatment of mesothelioma


10.  TEACHING DUTIES AND PEDAGOGICAL competence/training

Major teaching experience and duties

2003-2004       Series of lectures on Gene Therapy, University of Naples “Federico II“ Faculty of Biotechnology; 5 lectures 120 min each

2006    Lecture on use of Helper-dependent Adenoviral vectors, University of Naples “Federico II” Faculty of Medicine; 60 min

2008    Lecture on safety and toxicity of adenoviral vector, University of Helsinki Faculty of Medicine, Haartman Institute; 45 min

2010    Series of lectures on the use of adenovirus as vector for cancer gene therapy and gene replacement, Department of Immunology University of Verona; 3 lectures 60 min each

2011                Public Lecture on use of Adenovirus-derived vectors for gene therapy, University of Helsinki

2012    Lecture on Pharmacokinetic of viral vectors for Gene Therapy; course of Advances Biopharmaceuthics

2013    Gene and Cell therapy lectures for the course - Biopharmaceuticals II

2013-2014       Advanced Course in Immunology (A course that I have completely developed for the Faculty of Pharmacy, 6 credits with theory and practice)


2010    University of Helsinki Pedagogy I training course, “Teaching and Learning in higher education” (YP1) and “design and implementation and assessment of teaching” (YP2) (10 credits). Score: excellent

2011    University of Helsinki Pedagogy II training course, “Academic Supervising” (5 credits).  Score: Very Good

2014    University of Helsinki Leadership course training course, “Academic Leadership” (5 credits).



1993                Scholarship at Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department of University of Naples

1998                “SOCRATES” Scholarship at “Universitat de Barcelona” Spain

1998                University of Naples, special mention and publication of the thesis

1999                Award from Società Chimica Italiana (Italian Society of Chemist) for the Master thesis

2005                Award for presentation at Cell and Gene Therapy, Galveston TX USA

2012                “New investigator of the month” awarded by the American Society of Gene Therapy

2013                            Nomination for Outstanding New investigator at ASGCT (American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.

2014                Outstanding Young investigator at ESGCT (European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.




INVITED oral presentation at international conferences (selected from 16)

1. V. Cerullo, W. McCormack, V. Mane, M.P. Seiler, R. Garcia, C. Clarke, S. Pipe, B. Lee. Long-term phenotypic correction of murine Hemophilia A and immunological differences of bioengineered FVIII variants delivered by helper-dependent adenoviral vectors. 10th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene Therapy -2007, Seattle WA

2. V. Cerullo, M Seiler, D. Wang, V Mane, C Clarke, B Lee. Toll-like receptors activation in the innate and adaptive immune response to Helper Dependent Adenoviral Vectors. 10th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene Therapy -2007, Seattle WA

3. Vincenzo Cerullo, Michael P. Seiler, Peleg Ben-Galim, Christian Clarke, Aylet Erez, Michael A. Barry, Brendan Lee. Retargeting Metabolically Biotinylated Helper Dependent Adenovirus to Cartilage in the Knee Joint and Intervertebral Disc. 11th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene Therapy – 2008, Boston MA

4. Vincenzo Cerullo, Nicola Brunetti-Pierri, Racel Cela, Donna J. Palmer, Phil Ng, Brendan Lee. Long-Term Phenotypic Correction of Murine von Willebrand Disease by Helper Dependent Adenovirus Gene Transfer. 11th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene Therapy – 2008, Boston MA

5. Cerullo Vincenzo, Diaconu Iulia, Ugolini Matteo, Nokisalmi Petri, Pesonen Sari, Haavisto Elina, Hemminki Akseli. Oncolytic adenovirus expressing Granulocyte Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF) for treatment of cancer. 9th International adenovirus meeting – 2009, Dobogoko Hungary

6. Cerullo Vincenzo, Noora Rouvinen, Iulia Diaconu, Lotta Kangasmiemi, Maria Rajecki, Sari Pesonen, Petteri Arstila, Hemminki Akseli. Immunological effect of three different schedules of low dose cyclophosphamide in cancer patients treated with oncolytic adenovirus. 6th International Conference on Oncolytic Viruses as Cancer Therapeutics – 2011, Las Vegas, NV USA

7. Vincenzo Cerullo, Valentina Romano, Iulia Diaconu, Matteo Ugolini, Noora Rouvinen-Lagerström, Akseli Hemminki. Arming adenovirus with CpG motifs to stimulate innate and adaptive immune response to enhance anti-tumor efficacy. 14th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy -2011, Seattle WA

8. Vincenzo Cerullo, Iulia Diaconu, Sirkka-Liisa Holm, Dario Greco, Akseli Hemminki. Novel CpG-rich oncolytic adenovirus backbone to stimulate tumor-specific immune response and block the suppression of Myeloid-derived Suppressive Cells. 15th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy -2012, Philadelphia PA

9. Cristian Capasso, Mari Hirvinen, Kilian Guse, Marko Ahonen, Dario Greco, Markus Vähä-Koskela, Akseli Hemminki, Vincenzo Cerullo. DAI-armed double deleted oncolytic vaccinia virus displays enhanced anti-tumor activity. European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy 2013 Madrid, Spain.

10. Cristian Capasso, Mari Hirvinen, Mariangela Garofalo, Dmitry Romanyuk, Lukasz Kuryk, Maxim Antopolsky, Arto Urtti, Vincenzo Cerullo. Oncolytic adenovirus loaded with MHC-I restricted peptide as platform for oncolytic vaccine. American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy 2014, Washington DC, USA.


INVITED seminars to foreign Universities as expert in Gene Therapy (Selected from 12)

2012             Adenovirus-gene therapy from bench to bedside, CEINGE and University of Naples (IT)

2012             Oncolytic viruses for Cancer gene therapy, University of Liverpool (UK)

2013             Adenovirus-gene therapy from bench to bedside, Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM), Naples (IT)

2014             Oncolytic Vaccines for cancer treatment, Faculty of Pharmacy University of Naples “FedericoII”

2014             Oncolytic Vaccines for cancer treatment, Faculty of Pharmacy University of Naples “FedericoII”

2014             Oncolytic Vaccines for cancer treatment, Istituto per la cura di tumor G. Pascale



1.  Title: “Antigen specific immunosuppression by dendritic cell therapy”

Patent No. : US20080311140

2.  Title: “Adenoviral vectors and methods and uses related thereto”

    Patent No. : Finnish patent office 20095466    

3.  Title: “Non-Ad5 adenoviral vectors and methods and uses related thereto”

    Patent No. : Finnish patent office 20095751

4.  Title: Ad5D24-CD40L-family, Finnish Patent pending, application #20105988

5.  Title: Ad5D24-CTLA4-family, Finnish Patent pending, application #20105991
6.  Title: VVDD-CD40L-family, Finnish patent pending, application #20115914
7.  Title: VVDD-CD40L-family, US patent pending, application #61/535429
8.  "Novel therapeutic vectors", Finnish application #20116181 and US application #61/563,634
9.  "Novel therapeutic vectors", US application #61/563,634
10.           “Personalised peptide-coated viruses – PeptiCrad, FI patent application No. 20145449 filed on 19.5.2014, entitled “Modified adenoviruses for cancer vaccines development”



American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, Finnish Society of Gene Therapy



  • Editorial Board of: Molecular Therapy Oncolytics, Biomedicines
  • Guest Editor of Biomedicines for the special issueGene therapy for cancer treatment
  • Official Grant Reviewers for: American Institute for cancer Research (AICR), The welcome Trust UK, Swiss National Science Foundation
  • Board of Immune Response to Gene and Cell Therapy Committee of ASGCT (2013 - 2016)
  • Evaluator for the Italian professorship evaluation; selected from 1700 applicants by ANVUR (2013)
  • American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT): abstract review committee and co-Chair of: the Adenovirus and double stranded virus section (Philadelphia, 2012); Immunotherapy section (Salt-lake city 2013)
  • Ad hoc reviewer for: Molecular Therapy, Human Gene Therapy, Gene Therapy, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, International Journal of Cancer, Journal of Gene Medicine, PlosOne, among others




International: Dotti Giampietro (Texas Children Hospital), Masataka Suzuki (Center for Gene and Cell Therapy (CGCT) Houston TX), Brendan Lee (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX), Markus Moehler (Mainz, Germany), Gennaro Piccialli (Naples, Italy), Davide Melisi (Verona, Italy)

National: Brendan Buttersby, Akseli Hemminki, Markku Variosalo, Arto Urtti (Universty of Helsinki), Ari Hinkkanen, Jarko Ketolainen (University of Eastern Finland).



Summary Table


Total peer-reviewed articles (already accepted and indexed)


Total articles in submission not yet accepted at the time of deadline


First Authorship


Second Authorship


Last and/or corresponding authorship


h index


Total citations


Patents and Invention


Book Chapters


Invited Oral presentation at International Meetings



*Have been recently submitted and not printed yet


  • 3141 Hälsovetenskap
  • 317 Farmaci
  • 318 Medicinsk bioteknologi

Internationellt och inhemskt samarbete Publikationer och projekt inom de senaste fem åren.

Publikationer 2002 2019

Oncolytic Adenovirus Coding for Granulocyte Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor Induces Antitumoral Immunity in Cancer Patients

Cerullo, V., Pesonen, S., Diaconu, I., Escutenaire, S., Arstila, P. T., Ugolini, M., Nokisalmi, P., Raki, M., Laasonen, L., Sarkioja, M., Rajecki, M., Kangasniemi, L., Guse, K., Helminen, A., Ahtiainen, L., Ristimäki, A., Räisänen-Sokolowski, A., Haavisto, E., Oksanen, M., Karli, E. & 6 andra, Karioja-Kallio, A., Holm, S-L., Kouri, M., Joensuu, T., Kanerva, A. & Hemminki, A., 2010, I : Cancer Research. 70, 11, s. 4297-4309 13 s.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

Targeted Chemotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer with a Chimeric Oncolytic Adenovirus Coding for Bifunctional Suicide Protein FCU1

Dias, J. D., Liikanen, I., Guse, K., Foloppe, J., Sloniecka, M., Diaconu, I., Rantanen, V., Eriksson, K. M-M., Hakkarainen, T., Lusky, M., Erbs, P., Escutenaire, S., Kanerva, A., Pesonen, S., Cerullo, V. & Hemminki, A., 2010, I : Clinical Cancer Research. 16, 9, s. 2540-2549 10 s.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

Projekter 2009 2016

Immunovirotherapy Consortium

Cerullo, V.

01/11/2011 → …

Projekt: Forskningsprojekt

Cerullo / Syöpäjärjestöt 2013-2014

Cerullo, V.


Projekt: Forskningsprojekt

Aktiviteter 2000 2011

  • 5 Handledare eller bihandledare av doktorsavhandling
  • 5 Akademisk besök på annan institution
  • 1 Redaktör för forskningsantologi/samlingsverk/konferenspublikation
  • 1 Typer av övriga aktiviteter - Övrigt

Pedagogy II - Academic Supervision

Vincenzo Cerullo (Deltagare)
sep 2011nov 2011

Aktivitet: Andra aktivitetstyperTyper av övriga aktiviteter - Övrigt

Invited Official reviewer for the annual meeting of American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy (Tidskrift)

Vincenzo Cerullo (Referentgranskare)
7 dec 201118 feb 2012

Aktivitet: Typer för peer review av output och redaktionsarbeteRedaktör för forskningsantologi/samlingsverk/konferenspublikation

Supervision of master student for her thesis

Vincenzo Cerullo (Handledare)

Aktivitet: ExaminationstyperHandledare eller bihandledare av doktorsavhandling

Supervision of PhD student candidate

Vincenzo Cerullo (Bihandledare)

Aktivitet: ExaminationstyperHandledare eller bihandledare av doktorsavhandling

University of Verona, Dep. of Immunology

Vincenzo Cerullo (Besökande föreläsare)
23 jul 201028 jul 2010

Aktivitet: Typer för besök till extern institutionAkademisk besök på annan institution