Nicoletta Sacchi on RNAi
  Nicoletta Sacchi     Biography    
Recorded: 08 Jun 2004

RNA interference again is one more time we capitalize or if we will be able to capitalize on what nature already discovered. Because basically often we take tools that nature already discovered and we are there. And now we just have to adopt them to find the right application like you correctly pointed for curing cancer or—yeah, I think RNAi is a very powerful technology that nature somewhat offered to us and then it will be like restriction enzymes. They were there. We were able to capitalize on them and utilize them for several applications. PCR also was exploiting a polymerase that was in a bacterium that was able to live at extreme temperatures. So, sometimes nature already has the tool. If we are smart to use them in the right way I think also from RNAi we will be extracting important advances for disease cure and treatment, or management better than cure, because I think more we want to manage disease.

Nicoletta Sacchi, Ph.D., is a Professor and Distinguished Member of the Department of Cancer Biology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York where she has been focusing on gene regulation in cancer cells since 2003. Native to Milan, Italy, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Milan in 1972, followed by postdoctoral work at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, at the Roche Institute of Immunology in Basel under Nobelist Georges Köhler.

In 1982 she came to the United States to continue her postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute. She returned to Italy in 1991 to become an Associate Professor at the University of Milan, until 1997 when she decided to make the US her home. That year she became a Visiting Scientist at Johns Hopkins University.

In 2002 Dr. Sacchi, was named the most cited women scientist and the 18th most cited scientist worldwide That year she received recognition for having the most quoted paper over the 20 year period from 1983 to 2002, "Single-step method of RNA isolation by acid guanidinium thiocyanate phenol chloroform extraction" Analytical Biochemistry 162(1):156-9,1987, which she co-wrote with Piotr Chomczynski.. This article has been cited over 56,000 times as of January, 2008.

Dr. Sacchi has been awarded the EMBO Award (1974 and 1981), the Soroptimist International Award (1976), AIRC Award (1984), the Gianina Gaslini Medal (1989), and the BIOTEC Award (1989.)