Barbara Giordana


Degree in Biological Sciences in 1965 at the University of Milan. Associate professor of Physiology at the University of Milan, Department of Biology. Retired in August 2009.
Referee for numerous international journals. Research grant applications and of proposals submitted to US-BSF. Has published 86 papers on international Journals.
Her scientific activity is related mostly to the functional analysis of transepithelial transport mechanisms in the insect gut. Detailed studies on amino acid transport in the larval lepidopteran midgut led to the discovery of K+/neutral amino acid symporters and to the identification of the cellular mechanism involved in intestinal amino acid absorption. Different amino acid symporters specific for the different classes of amino acids have been recognized and functionally characterized. In particular, the K+-dependent symporter for most essential neutral amino acids in Bombyx mori is inhibited by Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa toxin and is upregulated by different factors, like thyroid hormones and a family of amino esters, which interacts directly with the transport protein. More recent research interests are focused on the absorption of nutrients by the midgut and epidermis in the parasitoid Aphidius ervi during its larval development, and on the permeation of peptides and proteins across the peritrophic membrane and the midgut epithelium of lepidopteran larvae in vitro and in vivo.

– Giordana B., Sacchi V.F., Hanozet G.M. (1982) Intestinal amino acid absorption in Lepidopteran larvae. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 692, 81-88.

– Giordana B., Parenti P. (1994) Determinants for the activity of the neutral amino acid/K+ symport in lepidopteran larval midgut. J. Exp. Biol. 196, 145-155.

– Giordana B., Leonardi M. G., Casartelli M., Consonni P., Parenti P. (1998) The K+/neutral amino acid symport of Bombyx mori larval midgut: a system operative in extreme conditions. Am. J. Physiol. 274, R1361-R1371.

– Caccia S., Casartelli M., Grimaldi A., Losa E., de Eguileor M., Pennacchio F., Giordana B. (2007) The unexpected similarity of intestinal sugar absorption by SGLT1 and apical GLUT2 in an insect (Aphidius ervi, Hymenoptera) and mammals. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 292, R2284-R2291.

– Caccia S., Grimaldi A., Casartelli M., Falabella P., De Eguileor M., Pennacchio F., Giordana B. (2012) Functional analysis of a fatty acid binding protein produced by Aphidius ervi teratocytes. J. Insect Physiol. 58, 621–627.