Anna Picca

Title: Post doc

Sector: Medicine


Anna Picca is a board-certified biologist from Italy, with a PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics from the University of Bari (Bari, Italy). Anna is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Aging Research Center of Karolinska Institutet, in the research group of professor Laura Fratiglioni.

Her main research interests are:

Molecular mechanisms of aging and related diseases. Aging is a complex and heterogeneous process. Among the multiple biological drivers of aging, the so-called “hallmarks of aging”, mitochondria have been long studied as relevant contributors. Since her PhD studies, Anna focused her research on mitochondrial structural and functional changes related to aging. Her research activities have been conducted on preclinical models and in the context of clinical studies through the use of biochemical and molecular biology methodologies that allowed her developing approaches to identify and quantify mutations affecting the mitochondrial genome.

Biomarkers of aging. According to the geroscience hypothesis, perturbations in the “hallmarks of aging”, increase the susceptibility to most chronic diseases, functional loss, and eventually death. Hence, these pathways may represent ideal targets for interventions to foster healthy aging. The collaboration with KI and other international Institutions has allowed developing innovative multi-marker strategies for the identification of biomarkers of aging also related to mitochondrial dysfunction in age-related conditions, including skeletal and cardiac muscle aging, frailty, inflamm-aging, and neurodegenerative diseases. This approach has been applied in several studies Anna has authored and co-authored.

Selected publications:

Riccardo Calvani, Anna Picca (co-first), …Emanuele Marzetti. A novel multi-marker discovery approach identifies new serum biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease in older people: an EXosomes in PArkiNson Disease (EXPAND) ancillary study. Geroscience. 2020 May 26. doi: 10.1007/s11357-020-00192.

Anna Picca, Flora Guerra, … Emanuele Marzetti. Generation and Release of Mitochondrial-Derived Vesicles in Health, Aging and Disease. Journal of Clinical Medicine 2020 May 12;9(5). pii: E1440. doi: 10.3390/jcm9051440.

Anna Picca, Raffaella Beli, … Emanuele Marzetti. Older Adults with Physical Frailty and Sarcopenia Show Increased Levels of Circulating Small Extracellular Vesicles with a Specific Mitochondrial Signature. Cells. 2020 Apr 15;9(4). pii: E973. doi: 10.3390/cells9040973.

Anna Picca, Daniela Ronconi, … Rosa Liperoti. The “develOpment of metabolic and functional markers of Dementia IN Older people” (ODINO) Study: Rationale, Design and Methods. J Pers Med. 2020 Apr 9;10(2):E22. doi: 10.3390/jpm10020022.

Anna Picca, Riccardo Calvani, … Emanuele Marzetti. Inter-Organelle Membrane Contact Sites and Mitochondrial Quality Control during Aging: A Geroscience View. Cells. 2020 Mar 3;9(3). pii: E598. doi: 10.3390/cells9030598.

Anna Picca, Flora Guerra, … Emanuele Marzetti. Mitochondrial Signatures in Circulating Extracellular Vesicles of Older Adults with Parkinson’s Disease: Results from the EXosomes in PArkiNson’s Disease (EXPAND) Study. Journal of Clinical Medicine 2020;, 9(2). pii: E504. doi: 10.3390/jcm9020504

Anna Picca and Riccardo Calvani: Biomarkers of frailty: Moving the field forward. Experimental Gerontology 2020;, 133:110868. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2020.110868

Anna Picca, Francesca Romana Ponziani, … Emanuele Marzetti: Gut Microbial, Inflammatory and Metabolic Signatures in Older People with Physical Frailty and Sarcopenia: Results from the BIOSPHERE Study. Nutrients 12/2019;, 12(1):65., DOI:10.3390/nu12010065

Anna Picca, Robert T. Mankowski, … Christiaan Leeuwenburgh: Advanced Age Is Associated with Iron Dyshomeostasis and Mitochondrial DNA Damage in Human Skeletal Muscle. Cells 2019; 8(12):1525., DOI:10.3390/cells8121525

Anna Picca, Riccardo Calvani, … Maria Rita Lo Monaco: Circulating amino acid signature in older people with Parkinson’s disease: A metabolic complement to the EXosomes in PArkiNson Disease (EXPAND) study. Experimental Gerontology 10/2019; 128:110766., DOI:10.1016/j.exger.2019.110766

Anna Picca, Robert T. Mankowski, … Christiaan Leeuwenburgh: Mitochondrial quality control mechanisms as molecular targets in cardiac ageing. Nature Reviews Cardiology 07/2018; 15(Suppl. 2):1. DOI:10.1038/s41569-018-0059-z